Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

If you love fresh guacamole as much as I do, you might find it hard to think of other ways to incorporate avocados into your cooking repertoire. Why mess with perfection, right? But it is actually amazing how versatile they can be! Here are a few ideas on how you can use more delicious avocados at home, while also increasing your intake of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and many important vitamins and minerals.

Top a Tater
Avocado makes a surprisingly tasty topper for baked potatoes! By using 2 tablespoons of mashed avocado in place of 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of sour cream, you’ll save nearly 100 calories and 10 grams of fat.

Make a Better Burger
Ditch the mayonnaise! One tablespoon of regular mayonnaise will cost you an extra 95 calories and 10g of fat on top of that burger, whereas you could top it with TWO tablespoons of creamy avocado for only 50 calories and less than 5 g of fat. That is a nutritional bargain!

Stir in a Smoothie
For breakfast, lunch on the go, or a post-workout snack, smoothies make it easy to sneak in lots of different fruits and vegetables into one meal. Avocado can be added to dairy-free smoothies and juices to add creaminess and texture – almost like a milk shake! You can also add avocado to low-fat dairy smoothies, just like the one featured below.

Recipe
This Avocado Melon blend is a great summertime smoothie that the whole family will love!

Avocado Melon Breakfast Smoothie
A delightful concoction of green fruit and fat-free dairy!

Preparation time: Less than 5 minutes
Serves: 2
Cups of Fruits and Vegetables per Serving: 1 ½

Ingredients

    • 1 large (about 8 oz) ripe, fresh California avocado
    • 1 cup honeydew melon chunks
    • Juice of ½ lime (approximately 1 ½ tsp)
    • 1 cup (8 oz) milk, fat-free
    • 1 cup plain yogurt, fat-free
    • ½ cup (4 oz) apple juice or white grape juice
    • 1 Tbsp honey

    Directions

    1. Cut avocado in half and remove pit. Scoop out flesh, place in blender.
    2. Add remaining ingredients and blend well. Serve cold.

    Holds well in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. If made ahead, stir gently before pouring into glasses.

    Nutrition information per serving: 320 calories, 11g fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 31% calories from fat, 5mg cholesterol, 170mg sodium, 46g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 13g protein

    Recipe courtesy of the California Avocado Commission.

    Monica Amburn, RD, LD/N
    Consumer Wellness Manager
    BI-LO/Winn-Dixie

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