Avocado is used increasingly to make dishes vegan – instead of butter on toast and in main course salads instead of ham or chicken. But avocado is far more than an animal product substitute, writes Dr Susan Aldridge, HS guest blogger, freelance writer and editor based in London, with an interest in medicine, health, science and food/nutrition..
The fruit of the Persea Americana tree is rich in vitamins, including vitamin E, and contains more potassium than a banana. It has a glycaemic index of zero and contains more fat than any other fruit. This is ‘heart healthy’ monounsaturated fat – specifically, oleic acid, which is also found in olive oil. Here are three easy ways to include more avocados in your diet.
Avocado green smoothie
This is a lovely, creamy drink which is rather like a super-healthy chocolate milk shake.
One avocado, peeled, stoned and sliced
300ml hemp, almond or coconut milk (or a mixture)
Blend all the ingrdients in a Nutribullet or similar device. Drink immediately.
Avocado on toast
This is my version of avocado on toast, where I replace the traditional poached egg with a version of the classic Italian dish insalata tricolore, which combines avocado with tomatoes and mozzarella.
Serves one as a light main, or make double quantities/add salad for a main for two. You could also cut this into smaller pieces for a party canape dish.
Thick slice of interesting bread (I used walnut, but you could use olive or sourdough), toasted
One sliced avocado
Soft cheese (I used Cornish brie, but mozzarella or feta would also work well)
Chopped mint/basil/microgreens to finish.
Layer the avocado, tomatoes and cheese on the toast and heat under the grill until the cheese has melted. Finish with the herbs/microgreens.
This spread is packed with healthy fats from the avocado and the oils.
Makes around four servings
Tub of hummus (suggest going for an ‘artisan’ or home-made version with extra-virgin cold pressed olive oil, rather than standard supermarket product)
One avocado, peeled and sliced
One tbsp. flax seed oil (I used the chilli-steeped version, but the plain version is just as good)
Juice of one lemon
Blitz all ingredients in a Nutribullet or food processor. Serve with crudites and/or pitta bread. Keeps for a day or two in the fridge.
Next month: Experiments with pineapple