Food is kind of like fashion, in many ways. Just like high waist jeans and flannel shirts, certain foods become widely popular and make an appearance at nearly every dinner party worth mentioning. There was the salmon fever and then the cupcake craze, both of which fizzled out in a matter of months. Now with health and fitness on the minds of most Americans (but not necessarily a priority), one super food has caught the attention of anyone and everyone looking to add something healthy to their diet.
The avocado is truly one of the most versatile fruits around. It is the star of many a salad, the main component in guacamole and even makes a popular ice cream flavor. With its creamy texture and numerous health benefits, it’s no surprise that this food craze has stuck around a bit longer than any other fad.
The health benefits behind avocados can be broken down into three main components: fiber, healthy fat and vitamins. Avocados have relatively high amounts of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber is great for appetite control while insoluble fiber is vital to good digestive health. Most of the calories you receive from the avocado are from monounsaturated fat. This helps to decrease your LDL cholesterol and raise HDL. Avocados also contain vitamins B, K and E. These help your body’s metabolism and skin tone, bone growth and maintenance.
Any person with a plant-based diet knows that avocado is a great substitute for products such as mayonnaise and eggs because of its creamy consistency and ability to bind together foods. It truly is a super food. It contains as much as 3 grams of protein and 700 mg of potassium.
While most use avocado to top off a salad or sandwich or as the base of a dip, it really does hold its own in this particular recipe. Gazpacho is usually characterized as a cold Spanish soup, featuring tomatoes at its base. However, gazpacho is now served with fruit such as papaya and watermelon and makes a refreshing meal. This recipe is especially unique because its simple ingredients allow the avocado to be the star without overpowering your palate.
A sort of liquid guacamole, this gazpacho can be used as an appetizer or a full meal. My mom absolutely loves avocado, so this dish was right up her alley. She enjoys it both on its own and atop some tacos at dinner. I found the dish to be best after it has chilled for at least an hour. If you are in a rush to get this soup on the table, I recommend blending in a few ice cubes to keep the avocado from warming up while in the blender. The recipe that I found on Chow recommends chilling before final seasoning to allow the flavors to truly combine.
While I have used avocados before in my bean salad dish, it was not the star of the vegetable medley. This recipe is simple, healthy and heavenly to anyone that enjoys avocado.
3 large avocados
2 cups of chopped cucumber
1 cup of fresh cilantro
¼ cup chopped red onion
2 cloves of fresh garlic
½ small green chili chopped
¼ cup or 2 limes of fresh lime juice
1 tbsp cold extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp Celtic sea salt
1. Chop up the avocado, onion, cucumber and chili.
2. Add all ingredients into the blender and puree until smooth to the consistency of your choice.
3. Place in refrigerator for at least one hour. Taste and season to flavor after allowing for flavors to fully infuse.
4. Garnish to your liking with chopped avocado, cilantro and tomato.