Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

Insider’s Viewpoint: Amazing Avocados! 16 Reasons to Love This Fruit

Insider's Viewpoint: Amazing Avocados! 12+ Reasons to Love This Fruit. Fruits And Veggies More Matters.org

Buttery, rich avocados are a favorite for many … almost a necessity for some! Not only are they the main ingredient for guacamole at parties, but they’re also turning up in everything from salads and wraps to smoothies and brownies. Avocados are packed with “good” monounsaturated fats, they’re cholesterol free, and they contain many vitamins and minerals such as vitamins C, B6, E, K and folate.

How to Select & Store Avocados
Choose avocados with firm skin and no soft spots, firm but yielding to gentle pressure when ripe. Store unripe avocados in paper bag at room temperature. Refrigerate when ripe for 2-3 days.

Avocado Nutrition

  1. They can fit into a variety of healthy eating plans.
  2. Avocados act as a “nutrient booster” to help the body absorb more fat-soluble nutrients from foods eaten with them.
  3. One-fifth of a medium avocado (1 oz.) contributes nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, making it a good choice to help meet nutrient needs.
  4. An avocado’s creamy consistency makes it one of the first fresh foods a baby can enjoy, and it goes great with other mashed fruits and veggies.
  5. Eating avocados supports the American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good Movement + Color Initiative that challenges Americans to add one more cup (2 servings) of colorful fruit and vegetables to their diet every day.
  6. Over 75% of the fat in avocados is unsaturated fat, making it a great substitute for foods high in saturated fats.

The Unique Texture and Flavor of Avocados

  1. A green food you don’t have to force yourself to eat! There’s something truly tempting about the taste and texture of a fresh avocado.
  2. Avocados add value to dishes and menu items. They are a cross-cultural ingredient complementing cooking styles from Mexican to Asian.
  3. Though they are the star in savory dishes like guacamole, avocados also shine in sweet desserts and smoothies.
  4. Avocados are a creamy and tasty addition to cooked quinoa, farro and other whole-grain dishes.

Versatility

  1. Mayo Sub. Avocados are an excellent substitution for spreads on sandwiches and wraps, and they can help you achieve your dietary goals of reducing the amount of saturated fat in your diet.
  2. Late Night Cravings. They store well for unexpected cravings. Unripe avocados stay fresh for 4 to 5 days.
  3. Sweet, Savory or Spicy! Avocados make for a great ingredient in savory, sweet, and spicy dishes … but they also make a glowing addition to your beauty routine.
  4. Always In Season. Avocados are always in season and never go out of style.
  5. Oh So Creamy! Avocados add a thick, creamy touch to simple dressings or smoothies.
  6. Baked, Fried, Grilled or Raw. Avocados add moisture, nutrients, and good fats in baked goods. They can also be fried, grilled, or eaten raw.

Recipe

Dark Chocolate Avocado Truffles
Makes 20 Truffles

Ingredients

  • 1 medium avocado, ripe, peeled, pitted and mashed
  • 5 oz. semi-sweet dark chocolate baking chips
  • 2 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla Extract
  • 2 ½ Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, divided

Directions

  1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave, taking care not to burn it. Once melted, stir in the mashed avocado, honey, vanilla extract, salt, and 1 1/2 Tbsp. of the cocoa powder until thoroughly combined.
  2. Place the truffle mixture into the fridge for 20 minutes and let cool until partially set.
  3. Use a small ice cream scooper or tablespoon to dollop out the truffles and form balls with your hands.
  4. Roll in the remaining 1 Tbsp. of cocoa powder or other desired toppings (ground cinnamon, chopped dried fruit such as apricot or mango, chopped nuts or unsweetened coconut) or fruit colored sprinkles.

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving: 50 Calories; 3.5 g Fat; 7 g Carbohydrate

Adapted from AvocadosofMexico.com

Marilyn Mills, MS, RD, LD, CDE
Supermarket Dietitian
Hannaford Supermarket
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