Not Just Guacamole
An interesting rendezvous with Avocado.
Think avocado and the first thing that comes to mind is guacamole – that tangy, sometimes spicy Mexican dip, which is an essential ingredient in tacos, nachos and burritos. But there is so much more you can do with the avocado beyond mashing it up in this dip.
The avocado tree is native to Mexico and Central America, though it’s also cultivated in the Mediterranean region and in tropical parts of the world. The spherical or egg-shaped green-skinned fruit usually ripens after harvesting. Its flesh is delicately flavoured and has a smooth, creamy consistency when ripe. Remember that the avocado is prone to oxidation and its flesh will turn brown soon after peeling; squeeze some lime / lemon juice on it to prevent the browning.
Avocado is usually used raw in most dishes. Cooking can make some varieties quite inedible and prolonged cooking causes a chemical reaction, so it’s best avoided. Avocado contains mono-saturated fats, especially oleic acid, which is known to reduce cholesterol. It’s also a rich source of vitamins E & C that are beneficial for your skin.
• Start your day with a healthful green smoothie by combining avocado, banana, spinach and kiwi with milk (regular / soy / nut milk). Add a dash of honey and cinnamon and you’re ready to take on the world!
• Make your BLT (bacon, lettuce & tomato) sandwich more heart-friendly by swapping the bacon for sliced avocado. The avocado provides a creamy texture making this sandwich a delicious, light lunch.
• For a creamier hummus, add some peeled and sliced avocado while blitzing the chickpeas and tahini together. The avocado adds a grassy freshness to the hummus.
• Combine avocado, tomato, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice and salt to make a quick salsa to go with your Mexican platter.
• A chilled avocado soup is perfect to beat the heat. Combine avocado, chicken or veg stock, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper in a food processor. Cover and chill.