by resident blogger Aisling McCabe
I have recently started a love affair with avocados! I know, I know… aren’t they high in fat? Well, yes, but it’s the healthy kind and they are just bursting with nutrition too. Happily, it’s possible to find lots of ripe avocados in the shops at the moment, without paying the earth for them, so now is definitely the time to indulge!
Avocados are high in omega 3 fatty acids (good for a healthy heart) while having relatively low sugar content. Their waist healthy fats help release hormones in the intestine which signal fullness, helping to control appetite. They have more protein than other fruits and more potassium per gram than bananas. They contain a significant amount of folic acid and are fibre rich, benefiting healthy digestion. And there’s more…
Did you know that half an avocado contains 13mg of vitamin C which is 32% of an adult’s RDI. A great reason to add some to your leafy salad.
The carotenoid anti-oxidants lie just under the skin of the avocado. They combat cellular damage, so be sure to scoop out all the squishy flesh when you’re preparing your next avo dish.
One of my favourite ways to eat avocado is to simply mash it up with seasoning and lemon juice and spread on toast (yummy with an egg on top) but below are a couple of recipes to inspire you!
Lightened Up Pesto
recipe from Ambitious Kitchen
- 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 large ripe avocado
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts (optional)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons water, plus more if necessary
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- sea salt, to taste
- Add basil, avocado, garlic, pine nuts and lemon juice to a food processor and pulse for 20 seconds or until pesto is chopped. Add in water and process again until completely smooth. Add more water to get it to your desired consistency. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cheese.
- Store in an airtight container and refrigerate. Pesto is best if used within a few days, otherwise it will freeze for several months.
Skinny Chicken & Avocado Caesar Salad – serves 4
recipe from Cafe Delites
- 120g ciabatta loaf
- 2 whole Chicken Breast fillets - halved horizontally to make 4 fillets
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
- Pinch of salt
- 200g bacon, cut into strips
- 2 eggs, boiled & sliced
- 2 baby cos lettuce, washed and dried
- 1 Avocado, sliced
- 50g shaved parmesan cheese
- 150g Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
- Place the bread slices onto an oven tray; drizzle with olive oil and bake in the oven until crispy.
- Rub the chicken breast with the garlic powder, parsley flakes and salt. Heat frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil and fry chicken until golden on both sides. Remove the chicken and set aside onto a warm plate. Add the bacon strips to the same pan, and fry until golden and crispy.
- While the bacon is frying, boil your eggs to your liking.
To make the Caesar Yogurt Dressing:
- Combine yogurt, oil, garlic, anchovies, lemon juice and parmesan. Whisk until well combined; add salt and pepper to your tastes, and whisk again. Taste test.
- Combine lettuce with the chicken and bacon strips; eggs (halved); avocado slices; shaved parmesan cheese; and bread pieces (halved). Pour over the dressing; mix well to combine, and serve!
Avocado Chocolate Mousse– serves 4
recipe from Well Plated by Erin
- 2 large, ripe avocados (about 225g each)
- 110g chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips (at least 60%)
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 60ml Unsweetened Almond Milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Optional: 1-3 teaspoons light agave nectar/maple syrup
- For serving: fresh raspberries, sliced strawberries, whipped cream (or whipped coconut cream to keep vegan), chocolate shavings
- Microwave the chocolate in 15 second bursts, stirring between each and watching carefully so that the chocolate does not burn. When the chocolate is almost completely melted, remove it from the microwave and stir until smooth. Set aside and let cool until just barely warm.
- Scoop the avocado flesh into a food processor. Add the melted chocolate, cocoa powder, almond milk, vanilla extract, and salt. Blend until very smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed. Taste and add a few teaspoons of agave if additional sweetness is desired.
- Spoon into glasses. Enjoy immediately as a pudding, or for a thicker, mousse-like consistency, refrigerate until well chilled, 2 hours or overnight. Serve topped with raspberries, cream, and chocolate shavings.
See… avocados are SO healthy… they even do yoga!