This weekend brought a lot of miles my way. On Saturday we enjoyed a nice - and somewhat challenging - hike in Golden Gate Canyon State Park (stay tuned for a post about this later in the week) to enjoy the beautiful fall colors and Sunday marked another mileage milestone with an 8.75 mile run! I'm feeling pretty good and accomplished going into a new week.
I realized the other day when I was at work, cutting into yet another avocado, that I've been eating a lot of them lately. It seems I can't get enough of them! I thought about it a bit and realized that it seems over the past year or so I see avocados everywhere. I don't remember eating them growing up, but lately they've been a staple in our grocery baskets and our Chipotle orders (chips & quac, anyone?). And that's not a bad thing.
The green fruit packs nearly 20 minerals and vitamins, among them potassium, lutein, and folate, vitamins B, C, E and K. In other words, these creamy guys can help keep your skin healthy and glowing, your bones strong, metabolism humming along, and eyes seeing clearly.
The recommended serving is a quarter of an avocado which equates to approximately 90 calories. Personally, I love the simplicity and ease of avocado spread on toast with a little sprinkle of sea salt. Perfect as part of lunch or as a snack. The high fiber content means that beyond all the other benefits of avocados, it also helps keep you full.
Recently Woody and I have reduced our dairy and meat intake, mostly for health reasons. To keep our meals interesting, satisfying and nutrient packed, I've been experimenting with a bunch of different combos. Avocado has been a go-to ingredient in a good number of our meals because of all these health benefits plus the fact that they provide a good amount of healthy fats and they're low in sugar (the good keeps on coming!).
One night I topped quinoa with all it's protein goodness, with a mix of avocado, chickpeas, onion and zucchini, plus a dash of sea salt. Simple goodness.
If you have a grill, here's another great way to enjoy avocados: slice in half, remove the pit, brush with olive oil and place flesh side down on a hot grill. Check every few minutes till the flesh is soft and there are nice grill marks. When it's ready, sprinkle on some sea salt and if you have it, add a spoonful of a simple, chunky salsa into the center of each side. Makes for a great appetizer!
To start off this past weekend I made a point to get home in time to make dinner. Woody had finished a tough week and I wanted to make something healthy, clean, and tasty. I steamed a bunch of mixed greens (a few types of kale, escarole, and chard), sautéed beautiful grape tomatoes, made some sweet potato "chips," mixed chickpeas, sundried tomatoes, garlic that I baked first, a few slices of avocado! I had also picked up a vegan fall-themed rice mix from Whole Foods that was pretty tasty.
Did you know that people who are allergic to latex may experience symptoms after eating avocado? It's known as the latex-fruit syndrome and I am so thankful that I don't have it!
One helpful tip that I learned just last year - to find an avocado that is not over ripe (how sad!), pull off the little stem off, if you see green flesh - like in the picture below - then it's good, if it's brown, once you cut into it you probably won't want to eat it.
If you're not able to eat the whole avocado when you cut it open - and considering the serving size this will likely happen often - one good tip for keeping the flesh from turning brown (I know we've all had it happen) you can spread a little lemon juice on the flesh then store in an airtight container in the fridge.
I'm eager to try one of the chocolate pudding recipes that use avocado. If you have a suggestion, let me know!
What are your favorite ways to enjoy avocados? * What did you accomplish this past weekend?