By: Dr. Alyssa Musgrove
Avocados are one of my favorite snacks and are actually considered a fruit. Avocados have the lowest amount of sugar and highest protein content of any fruit. They are packed with healthy monosaturated fats, which help keep blood sugar levels steady and are great for your skin.
Avocados also contain vitamins C and B, which are not stored in the body and need to be replenished daily. Additional nutrients hiding out in this unassuming fruit include folate and vitamin K, which can help improve memory and concentration. Avocados have nearly 3 grams of fiber packed into each serving, as well.
Compared to other fruits and vegetables avocados are high in calories, so moderation is key. Here are some of my favorite avocado recipes for spring – including a tasty and healthy appetizer ideal for Easter dinner.
Mango Avocado Salsa Recipe
1 mango, peeled, seeded and diced
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
4 medium tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
¼ cup red onion, chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
Peel, seed, dice, chop and mince all ingredients according to ingredient list. Add ingredients to bowl and toss until everything is coated and spices are evenly distributed. Serve cold with organic blue corn chips or grain-free tortilla chips (Siete and Trader Joe’s brands are great options). Also great on grilled chicken or fish tacos!
Chilled avocado + arugula soup
With a prep time of 5 minutes and cook time of 5 minutes, this soup is quick and easy. This recipe comes together easily in a Vitamix and yields about 5 cups of soup. If you don’t have a Vitamix, a regular blender will work, although you may need to strain the soup to ensure a smooth texture. Garnish options are endless, but my favorites for this soup are olive oil, fresh mint and/or chives, chevre, toasted pepitas and warm, crusty bread on the side.
2 medium ripe avocados, diced
2 big handfuls arugula
1/3 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
1 tsp sea salt
juice of one medium lemon
1 tsp local honey
1/3 cup heavy cream
3 and 2/3 cup spring water, ice cold (or enough water to reach desired consistency
1 Tbsp quality olive oil
Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until completely smooth and no bits remain. Adjust lemon, salt, honey, and water to taste if you want to. Either chill until very cold or stir a handful of ice through it until cold. Ladle into bowls and top with the garnishes of your choice.
Avocado Deviled Eggs
Ideal as an Easter appetizer, lunch addition or go-to healthy snack, these deviled eggs are easy to prepare and require only simple ingredients.
6 eggs, hard-boiled and peeled
1/2 avocado, pit removed
1 tsp lime juice
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, finely minced
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Pinch of salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
Cut the hard-boiled eggs in half and discard the yolks. Arrange on a plate and set aside. Mash the avocado and stir in the remaining ingredients. Spoon the mixture evenly into the egg whites and serve.
Grapefruit Avocado Salad
This refreshing, citrusy salad is perfect for those who enjoy the slightly bitter taste of grapefruit. Avocado and orange add bulk and color to the salad to make it a bright, satisfying meal. For best results, use the ripest fruits that you can find.
4 cups fresh spinach
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, finely diced
2 tsp honey
1 Tbsp tarragon
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 avocado, diced
1 orange, peeled and cut into segments
Cut the grapefruit in half and remove the segments over a bowl, reserving 2 tablespoons of the grapefruit juice. Mix the grapefruit juice with the olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk in the shallot, honey, and tarragon. Add the spinach to the bowl and toss. To serve, arrange the spinach on two plates. Top each plate with the segmented grapefruit and orange, and then the diced avocado. Serve immediately.