10 Aug 2010

Avocados



One of the most marvellous fruits to have when adding more raw items to your diet is the avocado. It is very versatile as it can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes, plus it is so, so nutritious. I always make sure that I have both ripe avocados and ones in the process of ripening on hand at all times, whether to be used as a quick snack or as part of a meal.

Avocados originated in Central and South America and have been cultivated there since 8,000 B.C. It is also known as the Alligator Pear, due to its shape and leathery skin.

They contain good to high amounts of potassium, dietary fibre, folate, beta-carotene, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron, with vitamins B3 and B6, C, E, and K. Avocados are rich with EFA's such as omega_3 and omega_6 fatty acids with high amounts of oleic and linoleic acids. They also contain phytochemicals such as glutathione, beta-sitosterol, and lutein. Avocados are a complete source of protein because they contain all the essential amino acids.
Avocados are excellent for the health. People are often worried about their being high in monounsaturated oils (MUFA) but in actual fact these oils are effective in lowering the LDL cholesterol and increasing the healthy HDL cholesterol. This helps maintain a healthy heart, prevent arterial plaque to build up and lower high blood pressure. Another factor of MUFA's is that research shows that regularly eating avocados, olives, nuts and seeds, which contain them, will help to lower body fat levels and reduce weight. 

Their high anti-oxidant levels and lutein content strengthens the body's immune system and helps protect your eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration. Avocados are excellent for pregnant women due to their folate content which aids in healthy foetal cell development and their vitamin B6 content helps alleviate morning sickness. Avocados are also a great food for those suffering with gout as their high potassium levels regulate electrolytes in the body and help rid the blood of of uric acid crystals.

Note: People who are allergic bananas are generally also allergic to avocados.

Avocados can be ripened by placing in a paper bag with a ripe banana, apple or tomato for a day or two.. Excess avocados can be pureed and frozen. Once thawed they can be used in dips and spreads.

Beauty-wise avocado are excellent for face and hair masks. A great way to use up excess ripe or slightly over ripe avocados. Enjoy!
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Cucumber-Avocado Salad Dressing
From All Recipes  Submitted by: roasteroven
This fresh and tasty salad dressing is quick to make - it works as a dip too!~rosteroven

1/3 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 avocados, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
1/4 cup lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Puree the olive oil and garlic in a blender until smooth. Add the cilantro, avocado, cucumber, and lemon juice. Puree again until smooth, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Avocado and Chili Soup Recipe
By Jolinda Hackett, About.com

2 ripe avocados
3 cups soy milk
1 4 ounce can of green chilies
1/2 onion, chopped
dash salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp dry sherry
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

In a food processor or blender, process together all ingredients except cilantro until smooth. Stir in the cilantro and serve chilled.

Avocado Mayonnaise

1 avocado
1 /2 lemon, juice
2 tbsps olive oil
2 tbsps dulse flakes
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp maple syrup, or 2 dates

In your food processor, mix the lemon juice with the avocado, and add the oil gradually with the other ingredients. You can easily double this recipe. Serve with vegetarian sushis, or use as a dip or a salad dressing.

Chocolate Mousse
By Carolyn Hansen at 100 Healthy Raw Snacks
1 avocado
1 cup almond milk
2/3 cup dates soaked 30 minutes, drained
½ cup carob powder
¼ cup almond butter

In a food processor combine all ingredients and blend until creamy.

Tomato Lime Ginger Soup
By Cecilia Benjumea- Raw Food Starter Guide

4 large tomatoes
1/2 large red bell pepper
2 ribs celery
1/2 avocado
small handful cilantro
10 leaves fresh basil
2 cloves garlic
1 inch knob ginger
1 lime juiced

Suggested Garnishes:
torn dulse pieces
diced avocado
chopped red bell pepper
parsley
chopped tomatoes
sprouts
chopped cucumbers
thinly sliced celery

Add all soup ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Garnish with however many topping you would like.

Creamy Cucumber Soup

1 cup water
1 cucumber, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 cup spinach or other greens
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 tbsp lime juice
1 avocado, peeled and chopped
1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
2 tbsp olive oil

Toppings Ingredients:
2 tbsp coconut flakes
1 tbsp minced cilantro
1 tbsp minced dulse

Start by blending the water and cucumber until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and finish blending. Serve with the toppings.

Quick and Easy Nori Rolls
No blending required! This is a 2 minute meal and so easy to make! ~ Sheryl

raw nori sheets
avocado
olives
sunflower sprouts
chopped tomato
lettuce and dark greens
chopped onion
herbs

Lay out 1 nori sheet. Add a mix of any or all of the above ingredients. Roll until you can get a hand around it and eat!
Variation: You can rub some coconut oil on the nori to soften it first - just half a teaspoon is enough. If you let the nori roll sit just a few minutes the vegetables will also soften the nori
and make it easier to eat.

Costa Rican Mango-Avocado Salad
The avocado makes it rich, but it gives a bit of creaminess to the salad~McDougalls

1 large mango, peeled, pitted and chopped
1 large ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
6 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
Dash salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Place all the ingredients in a large covered bowl. Toss until well mixed. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving, tossing several times during that hour to make sure flavors are well combined. Servings: 4-6.
Hints: If you can find some fresh pea shoots, they are delicious tossed on top of this salad before serving.


 

1 comment:

Greenearth said...

What wonderful recipes. My favorite is the chocolate mousse, looks so tasty and yet so healthy. will definitely give that one a try.