Guacamole is as much a part of American cuisine as burgers, pizza and yes, apple pie. But avocado, the main attraction in guacamole, has so much going for it. Why limit its use to a mere topping for chips?
Avocados are loaded with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, including Vitamin C, K, E and B6, folate, potassium, fiber and lutein, an antioxidant which may help prevent cataracts. What’s more, the fruit—yes, the avocado is a fruit not a vegetable—acts as a nutrition booster, enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients from foods that are eaten with it.
Plus, avocados are low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. According to the American Heart Association, consuming these unsaturated fats in moderation and eaten in place of saturated fats, can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in the blood and risk for heart disease and stroke. And with its smooth, creamy texture and rich, buttery taste, the avocado is literally a natural stand-in for foods high in saturated fats such as butter.
“It’s an extremely healthy swap,” agrees Karen Ansel, registered dietitian and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Ansel enjoys avocado for breakfast. She mashes it up and spreads it on toast or a bagel in place of butter or cream cheese. She also suggests using it to make salad dressings and blending it with orange or pineapple juice and yogurt to create a healthier smoothie.
But our fav avocado recipe is this easy, luscious Avocado Pie from avocado.org. You’d never know there was avocado in it! So here’s a suggestion, if you’re feeding picky eaters, mum’s the word. At least until after the complements start rolling around.
CALIFORNIA SUMMER AVOCADO PIE
MAKES 6-8 SERVINGS
1 ripe avocado
½ cup lemon juice
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
9-inch graham cracker pie crust
Whipped cream or whipped topping such as Cool Whip
Scoop out the flesh from an avocado and place into food processor bowl. Add lemon juice. Pulse a couple of times. Add condensed milk and blend about 45 seconds or until smooth and creamy. Pour mixture into pie crust. Top with whipped cream or whipped topping. Chill in refrigerator for 3-4 hours. Slice and serve.