Thursday, March 15, 2012

Avocado Smoothie

Avocados!  They are really starting to grow on me (pun intended).  I grew up in the Midwest listening to my California mother extol the virtues of these creepy looking things (I could see why they’re called ‘alligator pears’)…she even tried to make us eat one!  And, like mothers sometimes are, she was right – I now love avocados and try to have some every day. 
I found myself trying to eat them all before they went bad or throwing them out and it made me sad.   I was looking up information about them and found this great website that taught me a lot about avocados – including how to freeze them!  Thanks to this article, when I feel them start to get very slightly squishy, I put them in the fridge for a few days and then I don’t waste as much of them. I hope you find it as informative as I did.

After the article I've posted my basic Avocado Smoothie recipe.
1/2 medium avocado = 1 serving of fat

excerpts from an Article by Linda Stradley of What's Cooking America

Purchasing & using avocados
Avocados must be used when fully ripe. They do not ripen on the tree and are rarely found ripe in markets. Fresh avocados are almost always shipped in an unripe condition
To test for ripeness by cradling an avocado gently in your hand. Ripe fruit will yield will be firm, yet will yield to gentle pressure. If pressing leaves a dent, the avocado is very ripe and suitable for mashing. They are best served at room temperature.

Tips on ripening avocados:
To ripen avocados slowly, put them in the fruit bin of your refrigerator (no apples please, that would be mixed signals). Avocados can be kept for up to two weeks this way. They will ripening very slowly, so when you take them out of the refrigerator they will be ready to eat in a couple of days.
To ripen an avocado faster, place in a brown paper bag and set in your oven with only the oven light on.
Once avocados are at a desired stage of ripeness, they may be refrigerated for up to 2 to 3 days.

Freezing avocados
You can freeze mashed fresh, ripe avocados if you want to have an “emergency supply” of avocados on hand for guacamole.
To freeze, mash the avocados with a fork.  Add one teaspoon lime or lemon juice per avocado and mix well.  The best way to freeze the prepared mashed avocados is to use a freeze-weight zip lock bag. Fill the bag with the mashed avocado. Remove the air from the bag and then zip closed and freeze. 
Thaw the frozen avocados in the refrigerator or place the container in a bowl of cool water to accelerate thawing.

Avocado Nutrition Chart:
Avocado - 1 medium
Total fat (g)
Carbohydrates (g)
Dietary fiber (g)
Sodium (mg)
Cholesterol (mg)

Avocados and weight loss (dieting) programs:
The following information is from The Avocado and Human Nutrition. I. Some Human Health Aspects of the Avocado, by Bob Bergh, Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, University of California:
Weight Control - Contrary to popular assumptions, the avocado can be a helpful part of a successful weight-management program. It brings several advantages.
Its monounsaturated fat speeds up the basal metabolic rate, as compared with saturated fat.
Its high fat content gives a quicker feeling of satiation (“fullness”), thus helping to reduce overeating.
Its high fat content makes an overall sound diet more palatable, reducing the temptation to binge on foods high in sugars or saturated fats.
Its rich supply of vitamins and minerals also makes the diet more wholesome and satisfying and thus more conducive to overall health.

If you're still with me - let's move on to the Avocado Smoothie, which didn't really sound that appealing to me but I was surprised at how much I liked it.  I had to add protein to it 'cause that's how I roll.  This is a basic recipe, you could search online for ideas to add all kinds of interesting things to it.  After all, isn't that why Al Gore invented the internet?

Avocado Smoothie
makes one large glass

1/2 medium avocado, peeled and pitted

1/2 cup almond milk

1/4 cup half and half

1 tsp agave

1 cup ice

*optional - 1 serving of whey protein powder

Put the liquids into the blender, add the avocado flesh, agave and ice and puree until completely smooth. 

This smoothie is 2 servings of fat and if you add the protein powder, make it also 1 serving of protein.

Click here to print the Avocado Smoothie Recipe.


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