Putting a Twist to Avocados

I bet that if I threw out the word “avocado,” your mind would immediately think of guacamole.

AvocadoMost of us have a hard time resisting this wonderful dip and why should we? Even those of us following the Weight Watchers program can easily fit guacamole into our eating plan. (Read more for a Classic Guacamole recipe, courtesy of Weight Watchers.)

But avocados are so much more than a main ingredient for guacamole. As a stand-alone or in various recipes, the fruit can easily play a bigger role in our diet and possibly our overall health.

While it’s true that an avocado has a higher-fat content than almost any other fruit, it’s important to keep in mind that its fat is a healthy fat—the kind that works to lower the risk of heart disease. Avocados also contain plenty of fiber, potassium (60% more than bananas) and healthy amounts of Vitamins A, B, D, and E! It’s no wonder that many consider it a superfood!

So, the next time you’re lingering around the produce section, looking for a fruit that’s fun and unique-tasting, head straight to the avocado bin. Choose an avocado based on its softness, not its color. The fruit shouldn’t be squishy soft, but it should give a little when you squeeze it. You can pick less-ripe ones  so that you have a few more days to enjoy them once you leave the store. Just put these harder avocados in a brown, paper bag once you get home. Leave them in there for a couple of days and soon they will ripen.

Once you’re ready to use your ripe avocado, cut the fruit lengthwise, all the way around the fruit.  (You won’t be able to cut through an avocado because of the pit.) Once you make one complete cut, ending where you began, twist the halves apart and remove the  pit. Scoop the fruit out of its skin and it’s ready to eat or include in a recipe. (You can coat the fruit in lime juice to prevent the fruit from turning brown if you don’t plan on using it all immediately or if you’re using it in a recipe.)

Now for the really fun part….enjoying the fruit. Here are simple ways to use an avocado:  add it to a sandwich or burger instead of mayonnaise for a fresh summer taste, use it as a salad topping, include it as a sushi filling, make it a flavor part of a chicken dish, or cook it into an omelet along with your favorite vegetables.

Weight Watchers Classic Guacamole

  • 1 medium avocado, Hass variety
  • 2 Tbsp red onion(s), chopped
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro, fresh, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce
  • 1/4 tsp table salt, or more to taste

Put avocado in a medium bowl and mash with a fork until almost smooth.

Add remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Cover surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 1 day. Yields about 1/4 cup dip per serving.

Notes: Some cooks believe that keeping an avocado pit in the guacamole will prevent it from turning brown. Give it a try but make sure to remove the pit before serving.

Recipe source: WeightWatchers.com

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