Friday, February 28, 2014

Happy Avocado Month

Healthy Avocados!!

So February is National Avocado Month and since avocados are one of my favorite foods and something I eat almost everyday, I had to get in a post, before the month was over, dedicated purely to this nutritional powerhouse. Everyone knows that avocados are good for you.  There are so many different ways in which to eat them: chopped up on top of a salad, sliced up and on a sandwich or a taco, mashed into guacamole, or just plain (with hot sauce like I prefer)... but my new favorite way to eat avocados is as dessert.  Yes, dessert.  More specifically as a decadent chocolate pudding that tastes better than any other pudding you have ever eaten.  I swear.  This new recipe is basically just a simplified version of my original  raw vegan chocolate pudding, but quicker to mix together and more pure in flavor. Both of my kids love it and my husband who was a bit skeptical of the first attempt, didn't even know at first that this was basically the same thing.  It is that good.  And with only four healthy ingredients, it is a dessert you can eat anytime, all the time. So Happy Avocado Month, for one more day... but please, remember to eat them all year long.  They are one of those fabulous healthy foods that are available all year, not matter where you live or what the temperature is outside.

raw honey and cocoa powder
Simple Chocolate Pudding

2 ripe avocados
1/2 C. dark cocoa powder
1/3 C. raw honey (or pure maple syrup)
1/3 C. organic plain soy milk (or regular organic milk)
1/3 C. natural almond or peanut butter, optional

Mix all the ingredients together in a blender or food processor, refrigerate for about an hour, and enjoy! Best eaten within 24 hours.

all mixed together

dessert for my kids

another version, made with
maple syrup and almond butter

A few fun facts about avocados:

1. They're gluten free, dairy free, vegan, vegetarian. 

2. They have natural packaging: you can't eat the thick skin that protects the creamy inside, but it makes for a perfect, all natural to go container. All you need is a knife and a spoon!

3. They are not only cholesterol free, they have been proven to actually lower bad cholesterol.

4. They're a climacteric fruit, which means that they mature on the tree but ripen off of the tree. Avocados are picked when they are hard and green and kept cold until they reach their final destination, where they ripen at room temperature.  

5. About 75% of an avocado's energy comes from fat, most of which is healthy monounsaturated fat.

6. Based on weight, avocados have 35% more potassium than bananas.

7. Avocados are rich in folic acid and vitamin K and are a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin C and vitamin E.

8. Avocados have a high fiber content, 75 % insoluble and 25% soluble.

Some other dishes I have made or served with avocados:
Enchilada Lasagna

Black Bean Soup

Red Bean and Red Rice Chili

As a salad topper served with Pumpkin Gnocchi

Salad topper served with Baked Potato Skins

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