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Wonderfully Delicious: Avocado

 

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Is it really edible? That was my question when I first saw an Avocado at the farmer's market. Soon to realize how wrong I was in my prejudice. Ignore the lumpy dark skin for when you cut it open, you will be surprised by its inner beauty, the creamy texture and the baby green color that tastes just delicious.

Native to Central America, it has been cultivated for thousands of years. For years, we have been told to avoid the avocado because of its high caloric and fat content. An avocado contains a whopping 731 calories and over 30 grams of fat. Despite these drawbacks, nutritionists say adding a little avocado to your diet each day packs a beneficial punch that outweighs the fat and calories.

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Here are a few health benefits:

1. It contains folate, potassium, mono saturated fats and are very high in fiber. With over 10 gms of fat and 30% of recommended daily percent of folic acid in just one avocado, it is a perfect food for pregnant women and also helps control fat, cholesterol and diabetes in the body.

2. Great antioxidant and rich in potassium and vitamin A, it can be used for skin disorders. The pulp is believed to be anti fungal and anti bacterial. Apply avocado paste to rashes and rough skin to make it smoother.

3. Avocado aids healing for people suffering from digestive and circulatory problems

4. Another benefit of avocado for the skin where avocado paste can be applied to rashes and rough skin to make it smoother.

5. The brighter the fruit, the more beta-carotene (the substance that helps to prevent cancer) your avocado contains.

6. The flesh of a ripe avocado soothes sun burnt skin. Just cut the fruit in half and rub it gently over the affected areas.. Eat an avocado everyday if you’re recuperating from sickness and are trying to regain your strength.

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How to Choose: Select heavy, unblemished unripe and hard avocados. After you've bought one, allow it to ripe for 3 to 6 days on the shelf and not in the refrigerator. On gentle pressure if it yields slightly, it is ready. To speeden the ripening process, place avocado in a paper bag with apple or banana.

Still worried about fat? Buy Florida grown avocados. They contain about 2/3 the calories and half the fat of California grown avocados. Also, stick with those harvested between November and March; they contain 1/3 the fat of those picked earlier in the season.

 

Here are a few recipes

Recipe

Avocado Cups

An opened avocado makes a perfect cup. Fill it up with absolutely anything to make a appetizer, salad, dessert or even a meal.

serves 2-3

  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 2 whole ripe avocados, cut in halve and pits removed

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 2 Tablespoons Sour Cream

  • 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise

  • 2 Hard Cooked Eggs, diced

  • 2 Tablespoons diced red onions

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Method

Squeeze lemon juice over the avocado halves to prevent browning. Slightly score inside of each avocado halve; sprinkle salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, combine sour cream and mayonnaise; divide mixture between the four avocados to fill up. Sprinkle each with some diced eggs and onions.

Place them each on a serving plate and serve.

Avocado and Papaya salad

This delightful salad is not only good for your hunger pangs but also very nutritive.

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

  • 2 large avocados.

  • 1 small papaya fruit.

  • 1 ruby red grapefruit.

  • 1 small head of lettuce.

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.

  • Salt and black pepper, to taste.

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Instructions:

  • Peel the avocados and the papaya, then remove the pits and seeds.

  • Cut the fruit into one inch pieces and mix them together in a suitably sized bowl.

  • Using a sharp knife, peel the grapefruit, then segment it, removing the thin membrane from each of the segments.

  • Cut the segments in half then add to the fruit mixture.

  • Wash the lettuce and break into leaves.

  • Place the the leaves on a platter and put the fruit mixture on top of them.

  • Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper together in a suitably sized bowl to produce the dressing.

  • Drizzle the dressing over the salad.

  • Serve.

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