When it comes to entertaining, planning out what to feed your guests doesn’t have to be a daunting task. In fact, there are plenty of ways produce, like fresh avocados, can make its way into a variety of dishes that are quick, easy, nutritious – and most importantly delicious! Whether it’s a small gathering with a few friends, a big holiday celebration, or an exciting game night, offering an assortment of healthy and easy-to-make appetizers will impress your guests and keep them happily satisfied!
One of the most versatile and nutrient-rich foods you can feature in your array of tasty offerings is fresh avocados. With their creamy texture, bright color and impressive nutrient profile, avocados pair perfectly with other fruits as well as vegetables, meats and starches.
Here are five important reasons to include avocados in your next party spread:
- Perfect Pairings. Avocados taste delicious when paired with other fruits and vegetables, and they also provide a nutrition bonus! The unsaturated fats in avocados can act as a nutrient “booster” by helping increase the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Avocados naturally contain six grams of good fats per serving (one-third of a medium sized avocado).
Research insight: Produce for Better Health’s recent Hacks to Habits behavioral research study aimed at helping bolster fruit and vegetable intake, encourages pairing fruits and vegetables with foods already commonly eaten, like adding fresh avocado to your favorite mango or tomato salsa!
- Satisfaction Guaranteed. When it comes to foods that keep us feeling full longer, the fat and fiber contents make a big difference! Both nutrients promote the physical sensation of fullness, or satiety, which is important for managing appetite and body weight. Avocados are unique because they are a good source of fiber (3 grams per serving) and virtually the only fruit with unsaturated fats. So, add avocados to mini tostadas and spinach and artichoke spread for a delicious and satisfying party spread sure to please!
Research insight: Avocado’s fat-fiber combination has sparked researchers to study their satiety benefits. In a clinical trial of 31 healthy adults with overweight or obesity, scientists found that eating a whole avocado as part of a breakfast meal, compared to a meal with no avocado suppressed hunger and improved meal satisfaction.*
- Get That Glow! Did you know that nutrients found in avocados may help contribute to healthy, glowing skin? Vitamins C, E, and niacin play major roles in skin health and avocados provide them all (4% DV vitamin C, 6% DV vitamin E, 6% DV niacin)! Plus, avocados are mostly water, and we know that hydration is also important for skin health. In fact, 72% of an avocado’s weight is water.
Research insight: In a clinical trial among 39 healthy, overweight women, researchers found that daily intake of one avocado for eight weeks improved firmness and elasticity of forehead skin.*
- Heart Smart. Long gone are the days of stripping fat from foods and calling it “healthy.” Fat is an essential nutrient and 75% of the fat in avocados is unsaturated, which helps the body absorb fat-soluble nutrients without raising the levels of harmful LDL cholesterol. Also, the soluble fiber in avocados can help prevent the absorption of dietary cholesterol and reduce your risk of developing heart disease. So, feel free to top your greens and lean meats with avocado for a heart-healthy boost!
Research insight: A growing body of evidence suggests avocados are beneficial for heart health. Researchers have explored the role of eating avocados on blood pressure, cholesterol, risk of heart disease, and more.
- Have a Plant®. Avocado’s mild flavor and creamy texture makes them easy to incorporate into a variety of dishes that will be enticing to your guests and help them Have A Plant® more often. According to PBH’s 2020 State Of The Plate report on fruit and vegetable consumption trends, intake of produce declined three percent between 2015 and 2020, and most Americans are eating a single serving or less of fruits and vegetables daily. Something has to change.
Here are some quick and flavorful appetizers you can offer at your next gathering that place the spotlight on fruits and vegetables and star our favorite green food, avocados!
- Avocado, Bean & Cheese Quesadilla with Avocado with Crema. Slice into small triangles and serve on a platter.
- Avocado Holiday Tree Bites. Whether you’re wrapping-up the year with a holiday gathering or celebrating Earth Day, these are the perfect hand-held treat!
- Greek Town Avocado Tzatziki. Perfect topping for a kabob and a great dip for veggies.
- Pesto BLT Stuffed Avocados. Basil pesto and vegetables served inside a halved avocado. Mess-free and guaranteed delicious.
*The Avocado Nutrition Center, the world’s only independent resource for comprehensive avocado nutrition research, supported these research studies. Though more research is needed to confirm the results and generalize to all people, the findings support the growing body of evidence connecting fresh avocado consumption to a potential role in skin health, satiety, and heart health.
Fresh Avocados – Love One Today®
Love One Today is a leading source of the healthiest reasons and tastiest ways to enjoy fresh avocados. Backed by science, Love One Today, and Saborea Uno Hoy®, designed for Hispanic audiences, are educational resources that are constantly current and culturally relevant to be useful to you and your clients and patients, if you’re a health professional. Learn more.