You know the drill: when friends gather for the game, you’ll have the guacamole and tortilla chips ready. You’re not alone. Consumption of avocados on Super Bowl Sunday has grown from 8 million pounds ( over 3 million kg) in 2000 to a whopping 104.2 million pounds (some 47 million kg) last year. Luckily, avocados are not hard to find in the winter. In the U.S., avocados are grown in Florida, Hawaii, and California (which accounts for 90 percents of the nation’s crop); shipments from Mexico also help keep our shelves full. All that means these are usually plenty of avocados available, so every game-day snack table can offer a brimming bowl of guacamole.
Avocados and your health
There’s no denying that avocados are high in fat (35 of the 50 calories in one-fifith of a Haas avocado come from fat). The good news? The fat in avocados is primarily monounsaturated – one of the “good” fats that can be beneficial when consumed in moderation. In addition, avocados are rich in phytosterols, plant-based compounds that reduce absorption of dietary cholesterol. Despite their buttery texture, avocados contain a good amount of fiber – 1 cup of cubed avocado has 10 grams of dietary fiber – about a third of what we need per day.
Although guacamole is always a favorite, there is so much more that can be done with this versatile fruit. When prepping avocados for a dish, like a salad, where they will not be blended with other ingredients, keep in mind that peeled avocados can discolor fairly quickly. To help retain the original color, toss the cubes or slices with a little lemon or lime juice, or smooth a layer of plastic wrap over the surface. If you’re nog going to use the whole avocado, keep the pit in the unused half, then cover it with plastic wrap and regrigerate. Otherwise, simply trim or scrape off any discolored portion. Here are a few more ideas for enjoying avocados:
- Use half an avocado as a “bowl” for tuna, chicken, or egg salad – easy, tasty, and portable.
- Add a bit of avocado to your morning smoothie for great mixture.
- Think of avocados as your new garnish: top burgers and sandwishes, chili and soups; even drinks can benefit from an eye)appealing slice or two of avocado.
- Purée avocado and mix it into cold dips, stir it into hummus, mash it with feta or cream cheese for a sandwish spread, or blend it with the filling for deviled eggs.
Recipe idea: Super party sandwich!
Serves: 6 – active time: 10 minutes – total time: 20 minutes
Avocados two ways – in a lemony spread and straight-up sliced – give flavor and richness to this party-worthy sandwich. May be halved.
– 2 ripe avocados
– 1 Tbsp. olive oil
– 2 Tbsp. light mayonnaise
– 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
– 1/4 tsp. salt
– 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
– 1 tsp. garlic powder
– (450g) Taste of Inspirations Sesame Semolina Load, split in half horizontally
– 230g fresh mozzarella, cut into very thin rounds
– 2 plum tomatoes, cut into thin slices
– 280g sliced Taste of Inspirations Cracked Black Pepper Turkey Breast
1. In a medium bowl, use a fork to mash together 1 of the avocados with oil, mayo, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Spread the avocado mixture on both of the cut sides of the bread.
2. Top the purée on the bottom half of the bread with half the mozarella. Cut the second avocado in half, then cut each half into thin slices and place on top of the cheese. Top with tomato and turkey, then top with remaining cheese. Place top half of the load over the cheese and PRESS down firmly. Cut into 6 slices and serve.
Aproximate nutritional values per serving: 490 calories, 43g carbohydrates, 25g protein, 25g fat (7g saturated), 60mg cholesterol, 830mg sodium, 6g fiber.
This article was initially published in Hannaford’s Fresh Magazine of January– February 2015. Extracts of the article were used for this posting.