Avocados are revered for their buttery taste and texture, a quality that stems from the “good” monounsaturated fats they contain. It is also these fats that make avocados champions for heart health. Studies have found that oleic acid, one of the monounsaturated fats in the smooth green flesh of the fruit, helps to lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels significantly. Also rich in potassium, fiber, folate, and vitamin K, the luscious fruit of guacamole fame is surprisingly versatile: Brazilians use it to make ice cream, and in the Philippines it’s blended into a creamy avocado shake.
Choose It & Use It
When ripe, avocados yield to gentle pressure. Select firm ones for later use. Hard fruit will ripen faster if stored in a paper bag along with an apple. Mash Hass avocados for guacamole; slice firmer varieties, such as Fuerte and Bacon, for salads or sandwiches. Add diced avocado to soups or replace eggs and butter with it in baked desserts. The simplest use: cut an avocado in half, salt it, and eat from the nubby exteriorit makes a handy serving bowl.
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Avocado Chimichurri Bruschetta
Talk about a fusion of world cuisines! Cubes of avocado are folded into chimichurri—an Argentinean sauce made of chopped parsley, cilantro, garlic, vinegar, and oil—to create a Latin variation on bruschetta, a classic Italian starter.more
Tofu and Cucumber Salad with Sesame-Ginger Dressing
Furikake, a Japanese rice seasoning, adds subtle taste and texture to this salad. To make your own furikake, crumble 1 sheet of nori (toasted seaweed used to wrap sushi) and toss with 2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds and 1/4 tsp. sea salt.more
Once the flesh has been scooped out, halved avocado skins make pretty single-serving cups for guacamole; serve them on saucers, surrounded by tortilla chips. They make a tasty preamble to a chili supper or a Mexican-style stew such as Vegetarian Posole Stew or Chorizo and Potatoesmore
These light, chilled verrines are a great appetizer to serve before a hearty meal because they won’t fill you up. Red quinoa makes the presentation extra eye-catching, but you can also use regular quinoa or steamed couscous or bulgur.more
Smoked sun-dried tomatoes give this sandwich a meaty taste and texture.more
Savoy Cabbage Salad with Carrot-Ginger Dressing
Blended raw carrots give this zippy dressing texture and color. Make extra, and keep it in the fridge for dipping raw vegetables.more