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An Avocado a Day...

I usually always start my day off with an avocado in the morning. I use avocados for their amazing health benefits and thickening characteristics. I will share my favorite recipes in this post for you to try! Even if you don't like avocados, you will still like these recipes. If you are a chocolate lover, you will absolutely love my favorite recipe with avocados!

Naturally, avocados are a nutrient rich superfood. They are loaded with healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. A lot of people have strayed away from fats because of their, "fat fear". I want to help everyone break away from the fat fear that society has created by telling us fat is bad and it will make us fat. This is very false! First, you have to know which fats are healthy fats and which fats are unhealthy fats. Second, if a food was meant to be naturally fat, it is healthy! We create unhealthy foods from man made products such as fat free yogurt, skim milk, low fat nut butters and so much more. These foods naturally contain fats so we should eat them in their natural state, just like avocados. Avocados provide a wealth of nutrients that support heart health, weight loss and give us a bigger bang for our buck for their vitamin and mineral content.

Heart Healthy: Avocados are filled with heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and fiber. The main reason that avocados are tied to heart health is because they help break down fat build up and increase our good cholesterol! Yes, having higher cholesterol isn't always a bad thing. We want to make sure our overall good cholesterol, or our HDL cholesterol, is high. At the same time, we want to make sure our lousy cholesterol, or our LDL, is low. Healthy LDL levels are below 100 mg/dl. Healthy HDL levels are above 60 mg/dl.

Personally, I was able to raise my HDL levels by 30 mg/dl and lower my LDL levels by 20 mg/dl over the course of a year by adhering to a low carbohydrate, high healthy fat diet. I was absolutely amazed when I saw my lab results! I knew I was feeling better overall but it is even more fascinating to see the actual results of what is going on in my body. When I received the results of my blood work, my doctor didn't even mention the amazing results that I had achieved over the past year. She simply gave me the print out and said everything looks good! That's not a bad thing, but like, heck, I would want someone to give me a high five for all the hard work I put in to creating a happier and healthier body! So that is why I am here telling you my story!

Anyways, back to avocados...

Weight loss: Avocados are great for weight loss. The high fat and fiber content in avocados will delay our stomach from emptying which allows us to feel more full for a longer period of time and therefore we end up consuming less throughout the day. Plus, if you haven't figured this out yet, fat does not make you fat. The real culprit is processed foods and sugar! Replace all of your processed foods with clean and fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, protein and healthy fats. Try incorporating half an avocado a day at your most hungry meal to help you fill up and stay full longer. Again, I will be sharing my favorite recipes at the end of this post!

Potassium potent: Avocado's are a great source of potassium. They have even more potassium than bananas! One avocado may contain up to 15-20% of our daily value of potassium depending on how big the avocado is. Potassium is an important electrolyte that all of our cells need to function properly and to stay hydrated. It is also important for cell function overall. Potassium helps cells signal to each other to assist in organ function. Adequate amounts of potassium can help to lower blood pressure as well.

Tips on buying the right type of avocados.

You want to make sure you get a really good avocado when you buy them at the grocery store. Avocados have a short shelf life of a few days once they are ripe so you want to make sure you are buying the best! There are a few tips on buying that avocado that is just right and ready to eat! Here is what to look for:

  • Bumpy skin

  • Not too hard, not too soft

  • Place under ripe avocados in a paper bag

  • Pick the "butt" off to see if it is green

  • Refrigerate immediately once ripe

Did you know that avocados with bumpy skin have smaller seeds than avocados with smooth skin? The smaller the seed, the more avocado you get to actually eat! Smooth skin avocados have larger seeds and we end up wasting more money because we throw the seeds away.

Find the perfect toughness. You wouldn't want to purchase an avocado that is as hard as a baseball because it will need a few days to ripen. On the other hand, you wouldn't want to buy an avocado that is too soft because it may be over ripe and be soft, brown and mushy on the inside.

Put hard or under ripe avocados in a paper bag for a few days. This retains the ripening gas that is naturally produced by fruits called, "ethylene gas" and speeds the ripening process so you can eat your avocado sooner!

You know that small, brown, round looking stem at the butt of an avocado? Did you know you can actually pick that off before you slice open an avocado? If you pick it off and it is green underneath, you have yourself a ripe avocado! If it is brown and mushy underneath, it is over ripe.

Once your avocado is ripe, you want to place it in the refrigerator immediately to slow the ripening process and be able to keep it for a longer time if you do not plan on eating it right away.

Wow, avocados are high maintenance! But so good

My Favorite Avocado Recipes

Avocado Mousse:

Mix it all together and have it room temperature or let it chill!

Avocado Brownies

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Take a 9 x 13 pan and line with parchment paper

Heat dark chocolate and coconut oil in a bowl set over boiling water

Melt chocolate and stir until smooth then set aside

Blend avocados in a food processor until smooth to yield 1 cup of avo puree

Stir the avocado mix and vanilla extract into the cooled chocolate mix

Slowly add in the eggs one by one and mix

Add in coconut flour and cacao powder until smooth

Pour into lined pan

Bake 12-15 minutes

Grilled Corn & Avocado Salad

Grill corn for about 15 minutes until slightly charred

Let cool for 10 minutes

Cut kernels from the cob

Toss with sliced avocado, cilantro, lime, EVOO and salt

Notice the trend with chocolate and avocado? I'm obsessed! I hope you give all three of these recipes a try and enjoy your newfound love for avocados! Comment below and let me know what you think or if you have any special avocado recipes, please share!

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