Quick Bites: All in for Avocados

Is 'fats' a four letter word in your healthy eating vocabulary? It shouldn’t be. In fact, research shows  that your body can’t absorb the cancer-fighting beta-carotene and lycopene in your veggie-packed salad unless you eat them with fat. Avocados have both of the “good” fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.  When these fats are used in moderation and in place of saturated fat, the “good” fats can help to lower blood cholesterol and triglycerides- even helping to reduce the risk of heart disease! Avocados are also a nutrient-dense  source of potassium, Vitamins C, K, E, B6, lutein, magnesium and folate. Plus, they offer a good source of fiber.

The Perfect Squeeze
To some this fruit with the leathery peel is intimidating to choose and cut. Is it ripe, is it too soft?
Here are some quick FYIs about this power-packed fruit:

  • To speed up the process of ripening avocados, place the fruit in a plain brown paper bag and store at room temperature until ready to eat (usually two to five days).
  • Adding an apple or banana in the bag accelerates the process because these fruits give off natural ethylene gas, which will help ripen your avocado.
  • A ripe avocado should give slightly from gentle squeezing in the palm of your hand.
  • Soft ripe fruit can be refrigerated until it is eaten and should last for at least two more days. Refrigerate only ripe or soft avocados.
  • To prevent a cut avocado from turning brown before serving, squeeze lemon or lime juice press plastic wrap directly onto its surface. You can keep it chilled in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Breakfast, lunch or dinner, winner!
When is the perfect time to eat avocado? You don’t have to be a trendsetter  to  eat it on toast for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even a snack. Start with a well toasted slice of whole grain bread and slather ¼ to ½ of a mashed avocado, squeeze on some lemon juice and the rest of the toppings are up to you. Radishes, cucumbers and hummus? Why not?  A trick to eating avocado toast: eat it right away to prevent your bread from becoming soggy.

Bon Appetit!

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