November 19th, 2009
More Avocado Please! 6 Easy Ways to Use the Green Wonder
I love avocado. I’m envious of folks who live in places like Southern California where the fruit is local and abundant. Instead, I settle for avocados shipped thousands of miles that could stunt double for rocks. (Thankfully, they soften after some time on my counter.) Not perfect, but still pretty good. And the best part, avocados are super healthy. A nutritional powerhouse, they are especially good for your heart thanks to oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that may help to lower cholesterol.
Avocado is also a perfect family food. It can be fed to children as young as 6 months. In fact, it was the first solid food my oldest ChowBaby tried! It’s great on its own and mixes well with other early foods like banana, cereal, tofu, peach, and pears. And—yes, there’s more!—you can freeze avocado, mashed or in slices. Just expect a little browning (it doesn’t impact flavor).
Here are 6 easy, delicious ways to enjoy avocado.
- Fruit salad with avocado. Most any fruit will do, but I especially love avocado with tropical fruits like mango and pineapple. It also goes well with grapefruit and blackberries. Just remember to use age appropriate fruits if feeding early eaters (e.g., no citrus for children under 12-moths.) You can also drizzle with a bit of honey or agave syrup for extra sweetness.
- Avocado, fennel and orange salad. Delicious and light!
- Skip or reduce mayo or mustard on your next turkey, ham, club or veggie sandwich. Instead, use ripe avocado for a healthy, creamy spread.
- Make a chilled avocado soup! Blend 1/2 of an avocado with a seeded cucumber, 1/2 c of yogurt, a clove of garlic, squeeze of lemon (omit if feeding to kids under 12 mos), salt and pepper. Thin with water if desired.
- Two ways to enjoy avocado, cheese and bread: 1) Make a simple quesadilla with nothing more than grated cheddar and/or monterey jack and avocado. If you want to get fancy, you can add squash, thinly sliced onions, or chicken. 2) Spread avocado on a thick piece of rustic bread that has been brushed with olive oil and grilled or toasted. Top with parmesan shavings.
- And, of course, guacamole! Check out my recipe. But remember, guac is a personal thing. Don’t get too hung up on exact measurements. Instead, taste your way through the recipe. And don’t be afraid to experiment with other ingredients, like mango.