Thursday, October 13, 2011

Avocado-Eating Tips

The follow-up post from yesterday (as promised).  
This article is a guest post written by Long Island Heart Associates, a top-ranked New York Cardiologist.

Eating a whole avocado, or just half of one, several times a week is highly recommended. A typical avocado is about 250 calories, so if you are trying to lose weight, you might want to eat them in moderation.

In North America, two types of avocados are the most common: the Hass avocado, which hails from California, and the West Indian avocado pear from Florida. The easiest way to prepare them is to cut them in half, pull out the pit then scoop out the flesh with a teaspoon. Trying to peel first will take longer, and the result will be less satisfying.

If the thought of eating a plain avocado doesn’t appeal – and why should it? - there are many simple recipes that make getting your daily dose enjoyable. Ripen these delicate fruits in a paper bag along with another piece of fruit (an apple, tomato or banana works best), or you may be waiting quite a long time. But be careful: if you wait too long, your avocado will turn black inside.

Quick and easy ways to eat an avocado include:

• Beautiful breakfast toast. Peel avocado, mash with a fork and add salt and pepper. Spread thickly on toast buttered with margarine or low-fat spread.

• Avocado bruschetta. Warm up pieces of lightly buttered French bread in the oven, then add chopped chunks of tomato and avocado on top. Add a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh herbs, then pop
back in the oven until warmed.

• Slice avocados over a green salad – preferably right before eating to avoid the pieces of this versatile fruit from turning brown and unpleasant. Mix with a light dressing.

• Prepare the Mexican dip guacamole when guests come over. Impress them by mixing a ripe avocado pear with a dash of lemon or lime juice, a ripe tomato, cilantro to taste (chopped) and sliced red onion. Add salt and pepper and enjoy. Fresh chili or hot sauce is optional – spice to taste.

• Add avocado slices to a simple Mexican fajita, or a turkey or chicken sandwich. Alternatively, fill wholewheat pita bread with loads of fresh veg, then top with ripe avocado and a light dressing on top.

Amazing Avocado Pizza

Impress your friends with this variation on a simple Italian theme…

·  Store-bought pre-made pizza base
·  Shredded Mozzarella cheese, to taste
·  Tomato sauce or paste
·  I small onion, preferably red
·  ½ cup black or green olives, if desired
·  ½ cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
·  ½ cup mushrooms, if desired
·  1 sliced bell pepper, any color
·  Fresh basil leaves
·  1 clove chopped garlic
1.      Cover base with tomato sauce and sprinkle onion and garlic on top.
2.     Place olives, tomatoes, pepper and mushrooms on top
3.     Sprinkle shredded Mozzarella on top, then bake in oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until golden
4.     Take out of oven and immediately place cubed avocado on top, along with basil leaves.
5.     Serve with a fresh green salad and enjoy! Glass of wine/garlic bread optional.
NOTE: For a heavier meal, add slices of cooked chicken on top five minutes before you take pizza out of oven.