We all know and love guacamole as a snack and party dip (I know I do!), but did you know how good it is for you? Eating guacamole is a win-win for you and your health!
The main star in guac, avocados, are packed with an assortment of vitamins and monounsaturated fatty acids- the 'heart healthy' fats that everyone keeps talking about. These good fats are also found in olives, almonds, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts and their cooking oil counterparts. Monounsaturated fats have been shown to help reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease by raising HDL (good cholesterol) and lowering LDL (bad cholesterol). To achieve a possible health benefit, replace saturated and trans fat in the diet with more monounsaturated fat. Try avocados in place of fat in your baked goods or as a spread on your favorite sandwich. Avocado is also a good mayo substitute so try it in your deviled eggs this holiday season.
Picking the Perfect Avocado
Sometimes a darker skin will help you determine if an avocado is ripe or not but to be certain, give it a gentle squeeze. If it yields then you are good to go. If they are too soft they will most likely be bruised and brown on the inside. If they are all green and firm to the touch you can speed up its ripening process by storing it in a brown paper bag with an apple or banana at room temperature. The gas given off by the fruit will help ripen the avocado.
Storing Leftover Guacamole to Prevent Oxidation
Avocados are full of fatty acids which make it particularly susceptible to oxidation- turning from green to brown after being exposed to oxygen. Guacamole that turns brown is perfectly fine to eat but may not be too appealing so there are a couple of things you can do to prevent or delay this color change.
Always add lemon or lime juice which acts a preservative and will keep your guac looking fresh. Put the pit back in with the dip and make sure you wrap the bowl really well to keep all the air out. Use within 2-3 days for best quality.
Cherry Tomato Salsa with Avocado
This recipe is sure to please as it was voted #1 in my last salsa making class!
- Multi-colored cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
- 1 avocado, peeled and diced
- ¼ cup red onion, diced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 3 T of each, chopped cilantro and parsley
- Juice of 1 lime
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional- black beans and corn
Toss all ingredients in a bowl and add more or less pepper to your liking. Let the salsa sit in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight before serving for best flavor. This is delicious with black beans and corn if you want a hardy dip and is great served with chips, as a condiment or even as a side dish.