|Posted on July 9, 2016 at 2:25 AM|
Healthy Swap: Adventures with Avocados
It can quickly become confusing when trying to choose a healthy fat option. Use this, not that arguments change daily. A constant good choice that is overlooked is the avocado. This fruit can be added to recipes as a substitute for fats or mayonnaise. They will add a creamy texture to puddings and smoothies. Adding an avocado to homemade dairy-free ice creams provides the rich creamy texture of the real thing. The health benefits of trading avocado for butter or cooking oils is amazing.
The avocado is a power packed fruit providing healthy fats that have been proven to lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in clinical studies. In addition, the avocado is packed with potassium, vitamin K, vitamin E, fiber, magnesium, B vitamins except vitamin B12, vitamin C, phosphorus, manganese, copper, along with Omegas and fiber. If this were not enough, the avocado has the ability to improve absorption of carotenoids (antioxidants) from other foods, and conversion of beta-carotene into vitamin A. Adding a little avocado to your salad will help you reap the maximum nutritional value from those leafy greens. In the same way pairing avocado in meals with carrots or sweet potatoes improves nutrient absorption.
Not a fan of the flavor of avocados? Then try adding them to other foods rather than eating as a stand-alone item. Add avocado to a smoothie. Substitute pureed avocado for cooking oil or butter in baked goods (equal swap); reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees. Use ¼ cup mashed avocado to replace an egg in recipes. Another tasty swap is to trade pureed avocado for mayo in your favorite egg salad or chicken salad recipe. It provides a rich creamy texture without over powering flavor. Try substituting avocado for part (or all) of cream cheese in recipes. Use pureed avocado in dips instead of sour cream. Whether you have special dietary needs or are just looking for healthier fat substitutions, the avocado is your answer.
Need more? Avocados have 0 grams of sugar, making them a diabetic-friendly food. They are also gluten-free, and vegan friendly. The potassium in avocados helps to break down carbohydrates more effectively. Add to the mix being a good fiber food and this fruit has the potential to improve weight management. With the wealth of health packed in a serving, consider swapping this option in some of your recipes.
Avocado Mango Salsa —make 5 (1/2 cup) servings
1 mango, peeled and diced
1 avocado, peeled and diced
1 plum tomato, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped red onion
salt and fresh pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and marinate for at least 30 minutes before using. Great as a topping for chicken, fish or stand alone chunky dip.