Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Go Green!

No, I am not on a mission to save the earth, although I'm in total support of the cause. Nor do I all of sudden have a deep love for Marshall (but I will cheer them on when they are not playing the Mounties!) I'm talking about the delicious avocado.

Besides their tastiness, avocados are full of monounsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) while increasing HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). Avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid.
The best way to tell if an avocado is ready for immediate use is to gently squeeze the fruit in the palm of your hand. Ripe, ready-to-eat fruit will be firm yet will yield to gentle pressure. Add this fruit to salad or slice and eat as a side to most dishes.

One of my favorite foods is guacamole. When most people think of guacamole they only associate it with tortilla chips, but why ruin this nutrition powerhouse with grains and unhealthy oils? Think outside the box. My husband and I enjoy guacamole on hamburgers and turkey burgers (sans bun of course). Take some romaine lettuce leaves, add a generous spread of guacomole, insert burger, wrap and enjoy. Chicken breast or deli meat would also fit nicely in this wrap. Don't have time to make our own guacamole? No problem. The produce section of the grocery store now carries several brands of guacamole made with all fresh ingredients. Wal-mart (yes, you heard me correctly) carries Dancing Iguana Guacamole. The ingredient list consists of avocado, jalapeno puree, dehydrated onion, lime juice, salt, and granulated garlic.

Don't be fooled by the imitation guacamole spreads that are found in the dairy section. You won't even find avocado listed in the ingredients - so beware of the impersonators!

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