If you try to prepare nutritious and delicious meals as part of your wellness routine, no doubt you’ve come across lists of superfoods and healthier alternatives to typical ingredients. The avocado is one of these nutritional powerhouse foods that not only packs a delicious, creamy flavour punch but also acts as a substitute for other fats and oils in a variety of dishes. Here is everything you need to know about why avocados should be on your plate more often and how to make that happen.
Health Benefits of Avocados
Many people think of avocados as a “superfood” but don’t know why. These creamy fruits are nutrient-dense and contain heart-healthy fats that have been shown to help reduce inflammation and protect against risks for heart disease. In addition to these healthier fats, avocados contain a long list of vitamins, including lutein and zeaxanthin for eye health and vitamin C for immunity. As an added benefit, the high fibre content and omega 9 fats can help you feel full longer than many other fruits and vegetables! The combination of omega 9 fats, vitamins, and a good dose of fibre mean that avocados are a great choice for adding bulk, flavour, and variety to your meals.
These recipes can get your day started on the right foot!
- By now, everyone has heard about the avocado toast trend, and there’s a good reason! This delicious breakfast is more filling and packs a heartier nutrient punch than a lot of toast alternatives. The best part of avocado toast is that you can experiment with your toppings (but here are a few to get you started).
- If you’d like to venture beyond the world of toast, however, avocado is a great addition to other breakfast staples. Try cooking an egg right in the avocado “bowl.”
- Or, try these delicious avocado pancakes!
Many of us gravitate toward salads and sandwiches at lunch, and while avocado is sometimes used as a garnish, it can easily be the star.
- This avocado chicken salad recipe relies on the creaminess of the avocado to bind everything together without any mayonnaise or oil; scoop some onto a sandwich or salad for the perfect lunchtime meal.
- For a warmer option, this avocado grilled cheese can be butter/sauce-free if you use a panini press or toaster oven. The heated avocado perfectly complements the melted cheese and adds depth to this otherwise typical sandwich.
Dinner often means comfort food that the whole family will enjoy, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay away from healthier ingredients!
- For an easy vegetarian/vegan/dairy-free swap for a traditional pasta recipe, try this simple creamy avocado pasta dish. By using avocado in place of butter or cream for the sauce, you’ll have a healthier alternative to your favourite pasta dish, ready in only 15 minutes.
For a healthier twist on pot pies, swap half of the shortening/butter with avocado and retain all of the crust flakiness you know and love - this taco pie recipe uses the avocado substitution to ramp up flavour and decrease saturated fat.
Snacks are often the hardest food to plan because you want something delicious, nutritious, and easy. Using avocados in your snacks can help you feel full longer thanks to their high fibre content, and you’ll feel indulgent due to the creamy texture!
To satisfy a crunchy craving, try making this easy avocado hummus to serve alongside pita chips or whole-grain crackers.
- If you’re looking for a refreshing snack, try a vanilla and avocado smoothie. By using bananas to add some sweetness, you don’t even need additional sugar! This snack will quickly become a summertime staple.
You may be well-versed in adding avocado to your main course meals, but have you tried it in a dessert? The rich, creamy texture of avocado blends perfectly with many dessert staples, so swapping avocado for more traditional ingredients can lead to some delicious results.
- For a chocolate option, try this chocolate avocado mousse that doesn’t use any cream (and only a small amount of sugar from maple syrup).
- If you’re looking for a traditional dessert that swaps butter for a healthier avocado alternative, these avocado brownies are simple and delicious.
- If you’d like to highlight the beautiful green colour, this avocado-lime cheesecake is a great way to pair the creaminess of avocado with the tang of lime at your next gathering.
With so many options that highlight (or hide!) the avocado, you can incorporate this superfood into your meals every day!