Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Avocados


Looking to add some zip to your healthful diet? Avocados add a creamy and delicious flavor to all types of recipes. Beyond its flavor, this luscious fruit also has many nutritional properties that can be part of a healthful diet. In fact, avocados contain nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.

Avocados are a good source of healthy fats, the monounsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats are healthy additions to the diet because they help to nourish your body, sustain your energy, aid in healing processes and promote a healthy cellular environment.


Avocados were first cultivated in South America and migrated to the United States in the 1800s. California is the largest producer of avocados in the United States. 
Raspberry Avocado Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
Cook's notes: A neighbor gave me some of her raspberries awhile back. It is a gift to be coveted considering the prices in the grocery store right now.  When I rediscovered them in my freezer I knew this salad recipe was perfect for them plus I had ripe avocados. It is a light salad-a no fuss meal.
I included the dressing directions. But I took the shortcut and used a prepared raspberry vinaigrette.
This salad serves 4-6
Ingredients:
  • 2 avocados, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 small package of spring mix salad
  • 1 large can of mandarin oranges, well drained or two oranges peeled  
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 package of glazed walnuts
  • 1/2 cup green onions diced or red onion rings
Directions:
Toss all ingredients with raspberry vinaigrette
Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup virgin oil
  • 1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
  • 1-1/2 TB honey
  • 1/2 TB. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. salt 


 If you happen to be a real lover of avocados there is an entire cookbook devoted to the subject. It is called  Absolutely Avocados by Gaby Dalkin.
This recipe comes from her book called Shrimp and Avocado Pasta. 
Ingredients:
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 TB Parmesan cheese-plus more for serving
  • 1 TB fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 LB. linguine 
  • 2 TB. butter
  • 2 TB. minced garlic
  • 1 LB. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/3 cup chopped scallions
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
Directions:
  • Cut avocado in half lengthwise. Remove pit and remove avocado from skin
  • Place in a food processor and add in Parmesan cheese and lemon juice
  • Pulse one to two minutes while streaming in 2 TB. olive oil till smooth and creamy
  • Season sauce with salt and pepper
  • Bring large pot of water to boil and add in 2 TB. olive oil
  • Add linguine and cook till al dente, drain -set aside
  • Add butter and remaining olive oil to a large skillet, add garlic and onion and cook 30 seconds
  • Add shrimp and cook till pink about 2 minutes per side
  • Add in pepper flakes and stir to combine
  • Add in cooked pasta and the avocado mixture to shrimp and toss to combine
  • Pasta should be evenly coated, add in more Parmesan cheese,taste and adjust seasoning 
PS. I thought this information would be helpful to you in choosing a ripe avocado 
Pick up the avocado to assess its exterior features. This is the easiest way to tell if your avocado is ripe. The avocado should be dark brown in color with small hints of purple in it. If the avocado is green on the outside, it is not ripe.
  • Feel the avocado in your hand. Gently squeeze the fruit in your palms. If the fruit is ripe and ready to be used, it will feel firm but still give in to pressure. If the exterior is hard like an apple, then the avocado is too hard and will need time to ripen. If the avocado is soft and mushy and doesn't retain its shape once pressed on, the fruit is overly ripe and is no longer good.




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