News and Notes from The Johnson Center

Family and Food: Avocado - King of Fruits

JCCHD | Wed, June 13, 2012 | [Family and Food][Healthcare]

Free range avocados in the wild.One of the most unique fruits in terms of texture, shape, appearance, and flavor, the avocado (a.k.a. the alligator pear) is also one of the oldest of fruit varieties—it’s been around for thousands of years. Evidence of the avocado dates all the way back to 900 AD, when it was considered the fruit of kings.
Avocado is certainly packed with nutrition fit for a king. Just one cup of puréed avocado has:

• 4.5 grams of protein
• 19.62 grams of carbohydrates
• 1166 milligrams of potassium
• 23.0 milligrams of vitamin C

(USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference)

Because avocados vary greatly in size, a serving is defined as 1 ounce, or 30 grams, which is approximately ⅕ of a medium-sized avocado. That 1 ounce of fruit provides about 50 calories, making avocado one of the most calorie-dense, as well as nutritious, fruit options. Although avocado is higher in calories and fat than most fruits, the mostly monounsaturated fats it contains are extremely beneficial to your health. In fact, the USDA recommends including avocado in the diet regularly when pregnant or breastfeeding, due to its nutrient density. Avocadoes are also recommended as one of the first fruits that should be introduced to infants.

Its versatility is boundless. It can be used fresh in baking, salads, dips, soups, smoothies, and desserts; it can be baked, fried, or even scrambled with eggs. Add a little avocado to your day with these recipes:

Creamy Avocado and White Bean Wrap

2 T apple cider vinegar
1 T canola oil
¼ tsp salt
2 cups shredded red cabbage
1 medium carrot, shredded
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
1 ripe avocado
½ cup shredded Daiya dairy-free cheddar cheese
2 T minced red onion
4 eight to ten inch corn tortillas or washed and dried thick green leaves (such as kale)

1. Layer turkey lunch meat (flat) with mashed avocado (spread evenly), alternate layers,
2. Roll layered lunch meat and avocado lengthwise
3. Take roll of meat and avocado and coat with a thin, evenly spread layer of mashed avocado
4. Roll again in chopped pumpkin seeds and slice into pinwheels

Printable PDF

Avocado Chocolate Pudding

1 ripe avocado, pitted
6-10 dates (depending on size of dates and desired sweetness), soaked if necessary
½ tsp vanilla
4 heaping Tbsp cocoa or 2 Tbsp. carob powder
½ cup water

1. Place all ingredients save the water in a food processor (you can use a blender or Vitamix, but food processors work much better for this recipe) and begin blending.
2. While the motor is running, drizzle the water in, stopping to scrape sides of bowl if need be, until the mixture resembles a thick, chocolate pudding.
3. Let it continue mixing until smooth and creamy.
4. Chill and serve.

Printable PDF

Ultimate Omega-3 Guacamole

2 ripe avocadoes, peeled and pitted
1 medium lime, juiced
¼ cup red onion, finely chopped
2 T cilantro chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 T jalapeno pepper, finely chopped

1. Place avocado and lime in a medium bowl, and lightly mash with fork.
2. Stir in remaining ingredients.
3. Serve immediately or cover and chill up to 3 hours.

Printable PDF

Additional references:

 Sliced Avocados