Adding Healthy Fats to Our Plates: Avocado

avocados. 

it was not love at first sight with these little green powerhouses... (gasp of horror).  but truthfully, it wasn't.  growing up, I wasn't a fan of avocados or even guacamole.  more of a chips and salsa kinda girl.  

yet. somehow along the way, I realized all the amazing benefits of avocados... and started to incorporate them on my plate... in my smoothies... and even in my beauty routine!  

seriously!  

so. let's dive a wee bit deeper and learn more about these amazing fruits! 

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How to select the right avocado? 
This is something that seems to trip people UP on... and here are a few tips I have learned along my way! 

  • ripe avocados will be slightly soft when you press on them 
  • ripe avocados will be dark in color 
  • firm avocados will ripen in a couple of days 
  • you want to avoid ones that are cracked or have sunken spots
  • you also want to avoid ones that are dull in color 

How to store your avocado? 
Here's the thing, I purchase roughly 4-5 avocados at the time.  One being ripe and ready to go while the others need a few days.  I use the ripe one ASAP :) and I'll share tips in a bit!  The other avocados I place in the fridge and store for up to a week. 

Once I need an avocado, I will place it on the windowsill throughout the day and the following day it will be ready to go!  Some folks even place the avocados in a paper bag to help speed up the ripening process.  

I cut the avocado lengthwise... leave the pit in place and spoon out half the flesh to use in salads, along lean meats, in smoothies, etc.  With the other way of avocado, I place the skin back on the avocado + wrap in a plastic (or a towel) and store in the fridge.  Some folks even sprinkle lemon juice on top of the unused avocado flesh to reduce browning.  I don't.  I don't really have a good enough reason besides the fact it's an additional step and never had an issue with browning if wrapped tight in a plastic wrap or a towel.  

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What are the benefits of avocados? 

  • aids in blood sugar regulation
  • help improve cognitive function (memory + concentration)
  • supports healthy cells 
  • detoxifies the liver 
  • helps lower blood pressure 
  • helps prevent blood clots
  • may help with giving your skin a healthy glow

What is the goodness in avocados? 

Here you go in bullet style formation... because that's easier for me to read (and retain!). 

  • Monounsaturated fats
    • Rich in monounsaturated fats which lower LDL cholesterol (the bad one) and increases HDL cholesterol (the good one)
  • Potassium
    • 1/2 avocado = 345mg of potassium
    • helps with regulation of blood pressure
  • Vitamins... K, Bs, C and E
    • Vitamin K helps prevent blood clots
    • Vitamin Bs relieve stress and keep nerves + brain cells healthy
  • Folate
    • folate is essential for brain health and cognitive function
    • MAY reduce risk of stroke
    • 1/2 avocado = ~60mg of folate

How do you use avocado in your beauty routine? 

Avocados are excellent moisturizers!  The oils in avocado can penetrate into the skin to help hydrate and even soften.  

Here's a simple DIY facial mask that you can start doing at home, if you'd like additional beauty tips and tricks with avocado, you can check some ideas out here


Avocado Facial Mask

WHY WOULD I DO THIS? 

  • Well. Avocados as you know will help soften your skin... bananas are known to help tighten skin and to reduce blemishes (you didn't know?)... and eggs have been said to help smooth wrinkles!  
  • THINK: Soften --- Reduce Blemishes --- Smooth Wrinkles ... why not? 

GROCERIES:

  • 1/2 banana (mashed)
  • 1/2 avocado (riped and mashed)
  • 1 egg (whisked)

WHAT'S NEXT? 

  • Combine all the ingredients into a bowl until it forms a puree! 
  • Place on your face... avoiding your eyes (and your hair if able).  
  • Leave on your face for 5-10 minutes then rinse off with warm water.  
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DIY FACE MASK

Take 1/2 mashed banana + 1/2 mashed avocado + 1 whisked egg... mix together then apply on your face (avoiding eyes).  Leave face mask on for ~5-10 minutes then rinse off!  

What's your favorite recipe with avocados? 

So. Let's be real here... I throw avocado everywhere. and on anything.  It's like Oprah's show at my house... Avocado for you.  Avocado for you.  Avocado for EVERYBODY!!!  

I'm not kidding. 

Some of my favorite brunches include:  sunny side up eggs, grilled asparagus and half an avocado!  If I'm having grilled flank steak with sautéed bell peppers and onions... I'll spice it up with some chili powder and avocado slices!  

But one of my most FAVORITE quick snacks is... bacon and mashed avocado.  so simple  yet so delicious.  

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You just cook your bacon (yep. I like ours really crispy... and make sure to opt for hormone free, antibiotic free, good pork bacon.  none of that overly processed crud)... and while the bacon is getting all crispy-goodness, take half an avocado (ripe of course) and mash it to bits!   

Then all you got to do is just chop up the bacon into small bite-sized bits... and scoop up the mashed avocado with the bacon bits!  DELICIOUS!  and oh, so simple. 

What's YOUR favorite way to eat avocado?  Do you know it's been nicknamed "nature's butter"?  YUM!