Friday, November 30, 2018

Avocado: Three Ways

I'll admit, I was slow to climb aboard the avocado express. I could munch on a bite of a friend's avocado toast or enjoy a piece of guiltless avocado based chocolate cookie, but all in all? I wasn't a fan. I found it pretty flavorless and with a bit too much of a baby food texture for my liking.

Knowing the benefits of avocado*, I really wanted to include it in my diet. But no matter what I tried, I could rarely enjoy anything with avocado consistently. Perhaps a restaurant here or there would have a dish with avocado I enjoyed, but still couldn't whip up anything to really enjoy it on.

*PS: This article will give you an easy rundown on some of the benefits of avocado: 12 Proven Benefits of Avocado

But one day last month the switch flipped and I found some amazing ways to enjoy avocado. So here are my three favorite ways to enjoy avocado in your daily diet.

1. A creamy, healthy smoothie to kick off your morning.

beautiful avo smoothie via Well Plated
Load up on vitamins and antioxidants with one drink! Chuck in an avocado, pitted and scraped from the skin, for a creamy base. Then add toppings as you please!

If you're feeling something indulgent, try a small scoop of cocoa powder, a small scoop of plant based protein, a dash of vanilla, half a frozen banana, and some almond milk.

Something for a green goddess? Toss in a few chunks of apple, celery, and a handful of spinach. Top with a splash of coconut water and some spirulina for added benefits.

Feeling berries? Add a handful of mixed berries to your avocado and a frozen acai pack. Top with water, half a cup of spinach, and some maqui berry powder.

2. A super simple, super delicious salad.

I love making this when I don't feel like cooking. It's a lazy girl's best friend and packs a huge punch of nutrients. You can adjust the ratios how you like or personalize with your favorite topping. Here's how I make it:

Start with a handful of your favorite greens. I usually buy a spring mix or arugula blend for my salads, or you can just toss in a bit of spinach or romaine. This isn't a salad in the traditional sense, so don't feel like you need to load up on the greens right away.

For the body of the dish you can chop half an avocado into chunks, quarter a handful of cherry tomatoes, and dice up half a cucumber. Crumble some feta and add chopped shallots on top, and then voilĂ !

You can eat it as is, just stirring everything together. The feta and avocado will form a sort of cream "dressing" that coats everything. Or, if you'd like, add some olive oil and vinegar mixed up with some seasonings - think crushed red pepper & oregano.

And for my favorite? Drum roll pleaaase....

3. Avocado toast!

I'm not wild about your standard avocado toast. Though I've tried many in restaurants that were palatable, this version is by far my favorite.

Start with a lightly toasted piece of multi-grain bread (it adds a lot to the dish in comparison to white or wheat).

Mash half an avocado per slice and spread onto the cooled bread. Sprinkle a standard seasoning of your choice generously on top of the avocado spread - I use Costco's No Salt Seasoning (a blend of garlic, onion, carrot + everything else) with added salt and pepper.

Half cherry tomatoes and place on top of the avocado. Sprinkle generously with crumbled feta and drizzle balsamic reduction on top. Then tuck in to the best meal of your life!


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