Holy Guacamole: Put Avocados to Good Use

| August 1, 2012

Avocados are an ideal source for healthy fats and one of the most versatile fruits both in and out of the kitchen. High in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, they slow digestion, provide you with vitamins, and can be used for beauty treatments.

Avocados and Your Diet

In terms of dietary needs, you should get 5 servings a day of healthy oils and spreads. For avocados, this amounts to 1/5 of the full fruit. It is a good idea to include a healthy fat at each meal so that you feel full for longer. Soybean oil, olives, and olive oil are other examples of healthy fats.

Avocados help your body to:

  • Stay full longer
  • Ward off heart disease
  • Create new cells
  • Avoid neural-tube defects (in pregnant women)

Avocados are a source of folate, which aids in the creation of new cells and lowers your risk of heart disease. Usually, women begin to see signs of hypertension when they hit their 30s. Put a slow-down on this by incorporating avocados into your diet.

Avocados can also help you reduce your overall consumed calories. Remember, if you fill up on the good fats then there won’t be any room for the bad ones! Monounsaturated fats are burned quickly when you exercise, unlike saturated fatty acids. So, if you are eating healthfully and including monounsaturated fats with your meals, you should be burning them easily at each workout session.{relatedarticles} If you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, you need to consume a lot of folate. It is a key vitamin used for preventing neural-tube defects. Again, the creation of new cells is important for expectant mothers.

First, let’s start out with a recipe for guacamole. This recipe is from Chef Mark Mendez, Executive Chef at Carnivale in River West, Chicago. Accordingly, it is called:

Carnivale Guacamole

Serves 5-8 people

Ingredient List:

  • 5 ripe Hass avocados (you’ll know an avocado is ripe      when it “dents” slightly with light pressure)
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 Serrano chile, finely diced
  • 3 heads of garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt (to taste)   Cut the avocados into halves. For easy removal, cut the avocado into 1/2 inch thick cubes while still in the shell. When finished, simply run a spoon down between the shell and the chunks and they will easily fall out. Drop these into a mixing bowl.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix together. Don’t mix too hard; leave some chunks of avocado. Season with the sea salt to taste and then mix the salt throughout. Serve at your next fiesta with corn chips or vegetable sticks. Suppose your fiesta goes late and a few of your guests decide to spend the night. Well, you can use any extra avocados to make them a delicious, Mexican breakfast; Torta de Aguacate y Jamón(Avocado and Ham Omelet). This is an authentic Mexican recipe, adapted from Mar í­a Teresa Bermudéz’s book, “Mexican Family Favorites Cook Book.”

Torta de Aguacate y Jamón (Avocado and Ham Omelet)

Omelet Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 6 Tbsp. milk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. butter

Take the separated egg whites and beat them in a mixing bowl until stiff. Keep the yolks. You can use a hand blender or your own elbow grease. In a separate bowl, beat the yolks. To the yolk bowl, add the milk, salt, and pepper. Fold in the egg whites.

Heat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a baking sheet. In a skillet-or omelet pan if you have one-heat the butter and then pour in the egg mixture. Cook the omelet until the bottom is golden brown.

While the omelet is cooking, make the filling:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tomato, diced and peeled
  • 1 medium sized ripe avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup cooked ham, diced

In a sauce pan, heat the sour cream and add the seasonings. Add the tomato, avocado, and ham, blending well. Cover the mixture and remove from heat.

Back to the omelet; once browned on the bottom, transfer to the baking sheet and cook until the top is browned. Add half of the filling to the middle of the omelet and then fold the outside over on top of it. Pour the rest of the filling on top of the omelet and bake until the filling inside is cooked thoroughly.

After your delicious breakfast, you will need to get ready for the day. If you happen to have even more avocados on hand then you can make your very own hair mask with all-natural ingredients. No chemicals; only the vitamin-packed avocado is needed to give you shiny, healthy hair. 

Homemade Avocado Hair Mask

(Adapted from hairstylecity.com)

Take one ripe avocado, slit it vertically up the side and remove the pit. An easy way to remove the pit is to grab a heavy-handled (i.e. large) knife and bring it down swiftly on the pit.

It should lodge about halfway in. Once you’ve secured the pit with the knife, just twist it back-and-forth and it should loosen, coming out easily, stuck to the knife.

After you have successfully removed the pit, you can easily scoop out the avocado meat with a spoon. In a bowl, mash the avocado with 1 tablespoon of honey and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix together until it makes a creamy consistency. Apply to hair, focusing on the ends. Leave in for 20 minutes and then wash out with your regular shampoo. You will have smooth, frizz-free hair, conditioned the natural way!

In sum, avocados are good for you, outside and in. They are a tasty, low cost, low (bad) fat, and low calorie way to incorporate vitamins into your diet. The possibilities are endless – just be creative!

Written by Vanessa Rush. Republished courtesy of mydailymoment.com

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