A for Avocado

2014-02-08 02.02.34

As much as I love avocado now, I used to almost hate it many years back! The first time I tasted avocado,also called ‘butterfruit’, was in a supermarket sampling aisle.  My husband who is a gourmet himself, was quick to grab two pieces of avocado, just raw and plain. After he put one piece in his mouth, he generously handed me the other, much to my surprise! I still remember after tasting the bland piece of fruit, the look I gave him  that stripped him down to a sheepish smile. He knew my spice-stoked palate wouldn’t receive the blandness very well.

I did find a solution to make it more palatable in the form of guacamole – a dip that we use with corn(tortilla) chips or pita chips. For me the invention of guacamole was revolutionary. It brought me instant fame, in addition to all the health benefits that came with its consumption. I once made guacamole as part of appetizer, for one of our friends’ pot luck parties, and received rave reviews for probably the simplest item in the party compared to the entourage of dishes served that evening. Well, as I gloated in the seemingly undeserved attention, I was secretly happy at the thought of creating a tasty, yet healthy addition to the party menu. As fate would have it, the recipe that I followed from one of my friends’ cookbooks became mine overnight, like it was patented! Needless to mention, it also became an instant hit with friends and family members who visited us as well. Very few went home without learning the recipe which is quite simple. Here is my version of guacamole recipe:

  1. Avocado(medium ripe)                                       2 (mashed)
  2. Tomato(roma or any less sour one)             1 chopped
  3. Onion(yellow or purple)                                      1/4th, chopped
  4. Green chilli                                                                  2 or 3, chopped fine
  5. Cilantro                                                                         2,3 sprigs, chopped fine
  6. Garlic                                                                               2 cloves, crushed
  7. Lemon                                                                             1/2
  8. Salt                                                                                     to taste(about 1/2 tsp)

Mix all ingredients except lemon, in a bowl. Squeeze lemon on top. Leave the seed of the avocado in. This helps in stopping the guacamole from turning black. Serve fresh with chips of your choice or store in refrigerator till ready to serve. The taste of this dip is addicting as you find a bowlful vanish in few seconds with kids and adults swarming it. The good news is this is an addiction you would not want to quit, because of its health benefits, of course.

1. Avocados(also called butter fruit) are an excellent source of healthful fats – mono saturated fats and a good source of fiber, vitamins and minerals. People with moderately high cholesterol levels showed significant health improvements from avocado intake, according to studies. It is a good source of potassium, which helps to regulate blood pressure.

2. The carotenoids found in avocado are believed to be powerful anti-oxidants that help prevent cancer and heart disease. Its amazing carotenoid diversity as well as the fats are key to its anti-inflammatory properties. They also enhance immune response to infections.

3.  Adding avocado to other vegetables(like in salads) improves the absorption of carotenoids from these foods. As carotenoids are fat soluble, the creamy fat in avocado increases  their bioavailability, as per credible sources.

4. Last but not the least, avocados are considered to be one of the best anti-aging super foods that help reduce wrinkles and aging of skin by boosting collagen formation. The amino acids and carotenoid anti-oxidants help reduce age-spots.

Avocados can be consumed in your daily sandwiches, salads, burritos, tacos or just as it is(if you like the taste!). Pack it in your lunch box as a snack or have it as a complement in your main meal. It is also a value addition to your fruit smoothies.

Long story short, it didn’t take  me too long to travel the path from dislike to love for avocados, especially in guacamole. In fact it has found a major place in my everyday dietary chart, off late. Hail the super food for making this world a healthier place!

2014-02-08 02.04.03

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