My Prescient Pantry would have avocados in varying degrees of ripeness so that there would always be 2-5 (depending on who’s home) available to use on any given day. Up until last year when I took a nutritional cooking course at CNM (College of Naturopathic Medicine) in London, I had only ever used avocados for guacamole and on occasion, I would throw one in a salad. Now I incorporate them into as much as possible and average at least 1 – 1 1/2 an avocados a day, my nutritionist’s recommended amount. This rich and creamy fruit (yes, fruit) is nutrient and protein dense, replete with healthy unsaturated fats and high in fiber. According to Tess Masters, aka The Blender Girl, “Avocados also contain the magical antioxidant nutrient glutathione, which repairs cell and tissue damage, calms inflammation, clears the respiratory trace and regulates metabolism.” Versatile and easy to prepare, avocados are a veritable meal in one — the perfect fast food.
In our household, we consume them at breakfast, lunch, dinner and even as snacks in-between meals. Here are our five favourite ways to eat avocados:
- On toast — If I’m on my own, which is more often than not these days, mashed up avocado on toasted sour dough bread is a satisfying and quick, not to mention nutritious and filling meal. I sprinkle sprouts and seeds, salt, some cayenne pepper and whatever fresh herbs I have over the top and eat with a small salad on the side.
- On pasta — Not as weird as you might think. Here’s my favourite recipe — Anna Jones’ Avocado and Lemon Zest Spaghetti. The boys like to substitute the capers with anchovies. And instead of whole wheat pasta, we use this brown rice spaghetti.
- For desserts and smoothies — Once again, not as weird as you might think. The creaminess of a ripe avocado makes it a nutritious substitute for dairy products typically used in desserts and smoothies. I presented Deliciously Ella’s Avocado Chocolate Mousse to a friend after he underwent some very invasive dental work and I was concerned that he wasn’t getting enough nutrition through his liquid diet. After one bite, he pronounced with great pleasure, “This must be a sin. It tastes far too good for it to be blameless,”.
- In a salad or in a sandwich — Avocados are the perfect complement for rounding out any salad or sandwich with a little added nutrition.
- Guacamole — A big bowl of homemade guacamole is a favourite snack in our household. We like to keep ours simple and let all the flavours of the fresh ingredients come through, much like this recipe from Jamie Oliver.
And finally, avocados are tasty on their own as well, plain or with some sea salt, lemon juice or tamari sprinkled on top — chili pepper works too!