|© Courtesy of California Avocado Commission|
In my book, there is nothing better than a fresh aguacate. They are my healthy snack of choice because they can be eaten sliced, or as an ingredient in any number of recipes.
They are also an incredible source of nutrition. Did you know that the humble avocado has...
• more than 25 essential nutrients that our bodies need, including folic acid, Vitamin E, Potassium, B vitamins and fiber, and protein not normally found in fruit.
• phytonutrients that are thought to prevent many chronic diseases
• phytochemicals such as lutein, glutathione and beta-sitosterol.
• "nutrient boosting" qualities because it allows the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha- and beta-carotene and lutein, in foods that are eaten with the fruit.
• both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat and (again) potassium which help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
This week, I'm highlighting healthy diets for children. So below, I'm excited to share some of my favorite discoveries of snacks and meals (that feature avocados) for students. All of these particular recipes and more can be found on Avocado.org.
*Large avocados are recommended for these recipes. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.
1 ripe, Fresh California Avocado, seeded, peeled and mashed
¼ cup prepared salsa, or to taste
8 celery stalks, washed and trimmed
12 small grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1) Stir the salsa into the mashed avocado to combine.
2) Carefully fill the hollow in each celery stalk with the guacamole.
3) Nestle 3 grape tomato halves into the guacamole on each celery stalk.
Ingredients12 long, thin pretzel sticks (about 4 inches long)
¼ ripe California avocado, seeded, peeled and cubed
2 slices nonfat American cheese, cut into 1 inch squares
½ red apple, cored and cubed
12 red grapes
1) Using pretzel stick as skewer, thread on grape, cheese square, apple cube and California avocado cube.
2) Repeat process making twelve "Pick Up Sticks".
3) Serve to kids and let them pick up their snack enjoying fruit and sticks.
Hint: Use wooden skewer to poke holes in avocado, apple and grape.
4 fajita size fat free flour tortillas
2 slices ripe, Fresh California avocados, mashed
4 deli slices of sodium-free turkey breast
2 tsp.prepared barbecue sauce, divided
4 thin slices of low fat mozzarella or American cheese, divided
1 cup carrots, peeled and coarsely shredded (about 2 large carrots), divided
1) Place two teaspoons mashed avocado on tortilla, spreading to within 1 inch of tortilla edge.
2) Place 1 slice of turkey breast over mashed avocado.
3) Top with cheese and spread on 1/2 teaspoon barbecue sauce.
4) Sprinkle one-quarter of the carrots over the sauce.
5) Roll up tightly.
6) Place seam side down on plate. Using serrated knife, slice in half.
Repeat procedure preparing four wraps. Serve.
Note: Can be prepared 1 hour ahead of serving, wrap in plastic wrap to insure freshness.
1 cup orange juice
1 ripe, Fresh California Avocado
1 ripe banana
1 cup nonfat frozen yogurt - vanilla, orange, or peach
1) Combine orange juice, avocado, banana and honey in blender. Cover and blend until smooth.
2) Just before serving, add frozen yogurt; blend until thick and smooth.
Yield: 3 cups