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Avocado – the green wonder

Avocados are a ‘super food’ because of their high nutritive value. They are good for the heart and eyes, help in weight reduction, lower cholesterol, and aid digestion.

This single-seeded fruit/food contains 160 calories, 15 gm of healthy fat and 2 gm protein together with several vitamins and minerals including Vitamin K, C, E, B5, B6, potassium, folate, iron, and magnesium. Here are four recipes to help you include this super food in your menu. Avocados are in season now, so make the most of them!

K.P. Malini

Avocado Smoothie – This smoothie is a cholesterol and gluten-free vegan breakfast option. The natural creaminess of avocados mixed with the sweetness of mango and orange provides a rich texture and flavour.

Ingredients
1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted and peeled
1 ripe banana (the riper the better)
½ cup frozen berries
½ cup orange juice
½ cup yoghurt

Preparation guide

Mix the avocado, banana, berries, yoghurt and orange juice in a blender or food processor.
Blend until smooth (add some water if necessary).
Chill and serve.

Mushroom Burger with Avocado and Yoghurt Sauce

A pan-fried or grilled mushroom burger can be embellished with a rich avocado and yogurt sauce. Vegans can substitute yoghurt with coconut milk.

Ingredients

• Medium sized stemless mushrooms
• 1 medium-sized onion, cut into ½ inch slices
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• ½ tsp ground black pepper
• 1 sliced avocado
• 2 tbsp low-fat yogurt
• ½ tsp minced garlic
• 4 lightly toasted burger buns
• Lettuce, tomato slices or other burger toppings
• 4 roasted red peppers (optional)

Preparation guide

Lightly brush olive oil on both sides of mushrooms and onion slices. Mix ½ tsp of salt and ¼ tsp of pepper and sprinkle on the mushroom and onion slices.

Heat a large skillet or grill pan over medium heat. Add the marinated mushrooms and cook for about 8-10 minutes, turning once, until they become tender. Transfer them to a plate, hollow side facing up and keep them warm.

Now cook the onion slices in the skillet or grill pan for about 8 minutes turning occasionally until they become golden brown on both sides.

Mix the avocado, yogurt, minced garlic, salt and black pepper in a bowl. Mash everything together using a fork until the mix becomes smooth and creamy.

Divide the onions according to the number of mushrooms. Spoon the onions and roasted red peppers (optional) into the grilled mushroom cavities.

Spread the smooth avocado sauce on the bottom of each burger bun and then place the mushrooms. Place remaining sliced avocado and other burger toppings as desired and cover.

Assemble all burgers and serve hot.

Avocado Fudge

This is a rich and creamy, dairy-free vegan fudge made using vegan margarine and avocados.

Ingredients

1 ripe avocado
½ cup vegan margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preparation guide

Melt vegan margarine in a pan over low heat. Blend the ripe avocado with the melted margarine in a blender until smooth.

Pour this mix into the pan and cook on low heat. Add in the vanilla extract, cocoa powder and half cup of powdered sugar and mix well. Continue adding the powdered sugar half cup at a time and mix well.

After the sugar has been added, the mix will become thick. Add chopped walnuts or any nuts of choice and pour into a loaf pan. Garnish with nuts.

Refrigerate until firm. Slice into squares and serve.

 

Avocado Pesto Pasta

Pesto is a traditional Italian sauce made by pounding basil leaves, pine nuts and olive oil. Avocado and pesto go very well together. For a complete meal, add a side green salad and toasted garlic bread.

Ingredients

1 ripe avocado, diced into 1 inch cubes
1 ½ cups pine nuts or walnuts
1 bunch basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
¼ cup parmesan cheese
Pasta of any type
2-4 tbsp olive oil
Ground black pepper
Salt

Preparation guide

To prepare the pesto sauce, blend pine nuts or walnuts, basil, garlic, salt and parmesan cheese. Add olive oil and process until you get a smooth consistency. Keep aside.

Cook the pasta and drain well.

Toss the pasta in a large bowl and add the pesto mix and diced avocados and mix gently.

Add freshly ground black pepper and salt.

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