Take some avocado…

Avocados, the “fruit of the gods”, are going out of season at the end of this month so you’d better get your fill while they’re still around. There are few things better than mashed avo on hot toast, plus they’re high in vitamin E, potassium, magnesium and the healthy monounsaturated fats that we need in our diets.

Introduced to South Africa in the 19th century, avos are mostly grown in Mpumalanga, Limpopo and KZN, but luckily for the rest of us, these provinces are happy to share their bounty.

So other than eating it as is, here are some ideas:

  • Avo can also be squeezed into your day right from the start – it goes beautifully with poached eggs, rocket and bacon, with mushroom and roast tomato on toast, and with scrambled eggs and salmon
  • Avo provides quite a bit of moisture to whatever you’re eating, so it’s a great alternative to other less healthy options added to meals, e.g. use avo on a sandwich instead of mayonnaise
  • No doubt you’ve all tried your hand at guacamole by mashing the avo with lemon juice, pepper, salt, and a bit of chili. If you want to turn it into a dip that feeds a handful of people, top it up with plain yoghurt instead of mayonnaise and add some finely diced onion – that way it still stays healthy, and the taste of the avo doesn’t disappear
  • For a great snack for many mouths, slice a baguette, rub the pieces with garlic and toast them, top them with mashed avocado, then add very finely diced red pepper and red onion, then top off with a drizzle of balsamic reduction
  • Take an avocado that is still quite firm, slice it into small bite-size pieces, skewer the pieces on toothpicks along with peppadews and serve it as part of a snack platter
  • If you have the time to make a super delicious, healthy and impressive cocktail snack: slice the top off small tomatoes, remove the core without piercing the skin, then slice the very end tip off the bottom so that the tomato can stand up on a plate. Mix low fat cottage cheese, pepper and mashed avo in a bowl, then scoop into the hollowed out insides of the tomatoes.
  • Avo is a great addition to chicken risotto – trust me, give it a go. Just remember to add it afterwards and not during the cooking process.
  • And lastly, as a lot of people would agree, a pizza or a wrap is always better with avo. And just as with the risotto, add the avo to the pizza after it’s cooked and not before!

Adapted from Food Flavours. See www.soundbites.co.za

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