Avocados are fruits, but they are unique in that they have very concentrated nutrients making them more like a nut! They are high in calories (usually around 300 per avocado), but they provide the body with up to 5 grams of protein and anywhere from 6-12g of fiber. Most of the fat present in the avocado is monounsaturated, which can be good for the heart. Avocados, when eaten in moderation, provide the body with valuable nutrients.
Working out a lot? Avocados are rich in potassium, and they are a good source of magnesium. They are also fairly high in B vitamins (with the exception of B12) including pantothenic acid (B5) which is considered to be the “stress vitamin.” Avocados are also a great source of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect our bodies.
How Do I Prepare Them?
Ripe avocados are ones that are soft to the touch and that have a darker skin color. Do not use mushy avocados with extremely dark skin. You can ripen avocados by leaving them out on the counter in a fruit basket for a few days. To prepare, wash the outside of the avocado in warm water. On a cutting board, cut the avocado in half lengthwise and remove the pit. Use a spoon and remove the avocado from the peel, and then slice or dice into pieces. Or, you can carefully slice the avocado into squares while it is still in the peel by holding it in the palm of your hand.
What Can I Use Avocados In?
Avocados are delicious in many meals! Try making our Black Bean and Corn Salad, which calls for one ripe avocado. It is one of my absolute favourite meals! I often whip this recipe up after a hard workout at the gym as it provides my body with protein (for muscle repair), fiber (to help keep me feeling full all afternoon), and good fats. Try it out and let us know what you think!
Guacamole is a well-known dip that is a staple for any party! Try out our recipe the next time you are heading over to a friend’s house to watch a football game! Serve it with natural tortilla chips or healthy crackers (try Mary’s Whole Grain Crackers at your next gathering-they are made with whole grains and contain no added sugars).
Barbequing this summer? I love slicing bbq’ed chicken and adding it to an avocado salad. I use lettuce and spinach, one large grated carrot, one diced yellow bell pepper, ½ of a large cucumber diced, and 1 large diced avocado. For the dressing I combine 2 tbsp of olive oil with ½ squeezed lemon or lime, 1/8th a teaspoon of sea salt (or to taste) and 1/8th a teaspoon of cayenne pepper (or to taste) together in a container. Shake and drizzle over the salad, and add in your BBQ chicken! Serve and enjoy!
Did you know that lime or lemon juice can be added to an avocado to help prevent it from browning?! Our black bean and corn salad has lime juice which is for flavour but also helps ensure that your salad stays appealing!
Do you eat avocados? What do you use them in? Do your kids like them?! We’d love to hear from you!