I’m talking about avocados, otherwise known as “nature’s butter”. Don’t be afraid of the “f” word ~ FAT! When people are dieting or trying to lose weight they tend to stay away from fat, but you NEED healthy fats in your diet. Did you know that same green stuff you dip your nachos into can be a healthy alternative to butter, mayo, cream cheese, sour cream, dips, etc?!
I’ll be honest, I never really liked avocados until a few years ago when I decided to make my own guacamole, then I saw all it’s potential. I’ve never been a fan of mayonnaise, well lucky for me you can sub it with avocado. Skip the cream cheese on your bagel and slap on some creamy, mashed avocado. Ditch the butter and start baking with avocados. Add a few slices to your sandwich instead of cheese. Don’t know where to start, read on and I’ll tell you!
Avocados are rich in nutrients such as, lutein, a carotenoid that helps protect against eye disease. They also contain the related carotenoids zeaxanthin, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, and Vitamin E. In addition to being packed with nutrients, they also help you to absorb the nutrients in other foods. Try adding avocado to your green salad to absorb all the nutrients from the other veggies. They help lower your cholesterol and are good for your heart. They are also packed with fibre to help you feel full longer.
Replace saturated fats with healthy fats! For things like tuna or chicken salad I simply add mashed avocado in place of mayo, but here is a great alternative mayo recipe:
1 8oz avocado, sliced or cut in chunks
1-2 heaping teaspoons lemon juice
2 tsp. milk alternative (rice milk, hemp milk, etc.)
a couple of dashes of paprika
a pinch of salt
a pinch of sugar
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pulse to combine. Taste, and add additional bits of any ingredients to your flavor preference. Stir into tuna or chicken salad in place of the mayonnaise.
As a butter substitute
In your baking, trade butter for avocado. Usually you can substitute cup for cup, mashed avocado in place of butter. However, this can get tricky and you may have to experiment by adding more liquid because avocado does not melt the same way butter does. Alternatively, a good place to start would be trading half the amount of butter with avocado. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, substitute with 1/2 cup of butter and 1/2 cup mashed avocado.
It will also turn your dough/batter green, so it works best in chocolate recipes where you would not notice the green colour. Once cooked the avocado taste is indistinguishable. You will not only be reducing fat and calories but will end up with a softer, chewier result!
In your dips
Everyone knows avocado is the main ingredient in guacamole, but did you know you can add it to other dips in place of sour cream, mayo or cream cheese. Here are some great recipes to try:
I hope you jump on the avocado train and start adding it to your meals today!