We just can’t get enough of these creamy green beauties this summer. Avocados are delicious year-round, but they’re especially tempting in the summer when they’re in peak season, and often on sale (we just spotted them 4 for $1!).
Avocados contain mostly heart-smart and belly fat busting monounsaturated fats, which make them a super healthful way to meet your fat requirements for the day. These good-for-you fruit (yes, they’re actually considered fruit) also boost your body’s absorption of fat-soluble nutrients like vitamins A, D, E, and K, and disease fighting carotenoids like lutein and zeazanthin.
The nutrition scoop: One fifth an avocado provides 50 calories and 4.5 grams of fat — the equivalent of one serving of fat. Most people should eat between 5-7 servings of fats (mostly from healthy sources like avocados) per day.
Now for our favorite part — what to do with avocados! First, if you’re not sure how to slice one open, here are some easy directions. We’re betting that most of you have tried an avocado at least once, but for those who haven’t had the pleasure (yet!), avocados have a very mild, slightly sweet flavor and are soft and buttery in texture. Of course, there are traditional uses for avocados, including guacamole, adding chunks to burritos or tacos, or topping sandwiches with slices of avocado. Since you probably already know about these, here are a few of our favorite alternative avocado uses. We could go on for pages and pages about the delicious ways to incorporate avocados into your daily eats, but we’ve narrowed it down to the top six.
Avocado egg salad: Instead of traditional mayo based egg salad, use avocado to create a creamy dressing. Combine 1/4 of an avocado, mashed, with 1 tbsp. non-fat plain Greek yogurt, 1 hard cooked egg, and one hard cooked egg white. Stir in chopped veggies and herbs of choice (onion, celery, cilantro, dill, etc.).
Avocado smoothie: You can add avocado to any of your favorite smoothie recipes, and it won’t change the taste much, but will definitely create a creamy, more milkshake-like consistency. Speaking of milkshakes, blend 1/2 an avocado, 1 cup vanilla soy milk, 1/2 of a banana, 1 tbsp. cocoa powder, and a teaspoon of maple syrup or regular sugar. We love this green spin on a chocolate banana milkshake.
Avocado tomato and tuna salad with herbs: The fresh Mediterranean influenced flavors in this salad make us feel like we’re vacationing somewhere on the coast in Europe. Combine one can of high quality canned tuna packed in olive oil, drained, such as Bumble Bee® Prime Fillet® Solid Light Tuna – Tonno in Olive Oil, 2 cups chopped ripe summer tomatoes, one avocado cut into 1/2-inch pieces, 1/2 cup chopped cilantro or parsley, 2 tbsp. lemon or lime juice, 1 tbsp. olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over whole grain toast, in a wrap, or over salad greens.
Avocado chocolate mousse: It does sound strange, but one of our favorite bloggers, Julie from Peanut Butter Fingers, told us about this avocado chocolate mousse recipe when we interviewed her earlier in the year. It’s smooth and chocolatey and we can’t get enough of it…we think you’ll feel the same.
Grilled avocado: Cut an avocado in half and remove the pit. Brush each half with lime juice and grill, cut side down, for about 6 minutes or until you’ve got some good grill lines. Scoop out and add to a salad, use on a burger or hot dog, or mash up with salsa for a flavorful dip.
Avocado facemask: Who said avocados are only to be eaten? The healthy fats and multiple vitamins and minerals in avocados work to keep your skin moisturized and smooth when you eat them, but avocados are also brilliant moisturizers for your face and hair when applied topically too. Whip up a simple avocado facemask by mixing together 1/2 an avocado, 2 tbsp. hot water, and 1 tsp. honey. Place the mask on clean, dry skin and allow it to set for 15 minutes before rinsing thoroughly with warm water.