I field numerous questions as a nutritionist, but you might be surprised by one that makes the top five: how can I include avocado in my diet? Rich in healthy fats, Vitamin K, folate, Vitamin C, B vitamins, and fibre, avocados are extremely nutritious and nourishing to the body. For some of us, such as yours truly, they’re practically a food group in and of themselves, though I’ll admit that wasn’t always the case. I didn’t grow up with avocados and never enjoyed them until my move to Florida several years ago, a state where avocados are both inexpensive and abundant. Like many of the best things in life — wine, aged cheeses, dark chocolate — avocados are an acquired taste. With that in mind, here’s a list of ideas on how to include avocado in your diet, even if you don’t like it!
When shopping, look for avocados that weigh heavy for their size. I personally find larger Hass avocados more flavourful and toothsome than their small, bland counterparts (often found lumped together in mesh bags). Though many people squeeze avocados to check for ripeness, doing so can bruise the fruit. Instead, check the avocado by feeling the ends. If the ends give to the touch, it’s good to go, no squeezing necessary.
How to Include Avocados In Your Diet
1. Make (or buy a high-quality) guacamole. Add a bit of minced, fresh garlic or onion for a pre-biotic boost and sprinkle with cayenne to support metabolism. I prefer to use baked plantain chips, fresh sliced jicama, or Mary’s organic crackers to dip in place of fried tortilla chips. This is my favourite recipe.
2. Enjoy avocado mousse. It may sound gross, but it’s delicious and you can’t detect the avocado whatsoever. Chocolate mousse is popular, but key lime is a good choice, too! Tip: add a few berries or other fruit to the chocolate mousse; the vitamin C will help your body to absorb more of the iron from the raw cacao powder.
3. Incorporate it as a salad dressing. I often mash avocado with cilantro and lime juice and work it into a salad with my hands. This works best with hardier greens such as kale or shredded Brussels sprouts, though it tastes great with Romaine, too. I find the flavour of avocado less evident in salad dressings, and it adds an amazingly creamy, dairy-free mouthfeel. This recipe for a vegan caesar salad is a quick and easy replacement for an old favourite.
4. Use it in place of mayonnaise. I love making egg salad with mashed avocado in place of mayonnaise or other substitute; you can do the same with tuna, salmon, chicken, and so on. Love potato salad? This recipe for vegan potato salad with avocado and dill sounds delish.
5. Bring this recipe for Double Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies to a potluck, picnic, or BBQ. It’s conveniently gluten-free, grain-free, and free of animal products, making this something just about anyone can enjoy. The icing is made of avocados! You can also sub avocado for butter in baked goods to change things up.
7. Avocado toast. While I’ll admit you sort of have to enjoy avocados to like avocado toast, you’d be amazed what a squeeze of lime, flaky sea salt, chili flakes, and a soft-boiled egg can cover up. Simply mash some avocado on a piece of toast — spelt, sprouted wheat or a high-quality gluten-free bread such as that from Queen St. Bakery — and go from there.
What’s your favourite recipe using avocados? Leave it in the comments below!
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