Hy-Vee at Midday: Amazing Avocados

By Kimberly Proctor, Hy-Vee Dieitian

The Amazing Avocado

What's the only fruit that provides a wonderful source of heart-healthy fat as well as nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients? Avocados, of course! One fifth of a medium avocado (1 ounce) has only 50 calories, and makes a great substitute for butter, mayonnaise, or sour cream. Today, your Mount Vernon Road Hy-Vee dietitian will share tasty recipes and a new way to cut an avocado that maximizes it's nutrition and lovely green color.

Tips for Choosing and Storing Avocados
• Avocados are ripe when they give slightly to gentle pressure with your palm. Avoid pressing with your thumb, as this can bruise the fruit.
• To hasten ripening, place avocados in a paper bag with an apple or banana for a few days at room temperature.
• Leftover ripe avocado can be stored in the refrigerator for later use. Simply mash the fruit in a covered storage container, add ½ teaspoon of lemon juice per half avocado, and lay plastic wrap over the surface. Cover container and refrigerate 2-3 days.

The New "Nick and Peel" Technique for Cutting an Avocado
The outermost layer of the avocado is dark green, and contains the highest concentration of beneficial carotenoids. Try this easy method of preparation to best preserve the nutrients and color of the fruit.
1. Wash avocado before cutting
2. Cut the avocado in half, lengthwise, around the seed.
3. Rotate ¼ turn and again cut lengthwise around the seed to make ¼ avocado segments.
4. Separate the quarters and remove the seed.
5. Starting from the tip, carefully peel each segment.

California Avocado Toast (serves 1)
source: California Avocado Commission
all you need:
1 slice Hy-Vee Baking Stone Honey Grain and Seed bread, toasted
½ ripe California Avocado, mashed
2 slices fresh tomato
Fresh black pepper and sea salt to taste.
all you do:
Toast one slice of bread. Spread with ½ ripe mashed avocado. Top with fresh tomato, salt and pepper. Tip: Avocado toast is also delicious topped with crumbled bacon or egg!
Avocado Melon Breakfast Smoothie
source: California Avocado Commission
all you need:
1 ripe California Avocado
1 cup honeydew melon chunks
Juice from ½ lime (1 ½ tsp. lime juice)
1 cup fat-free milk
1 cup fat-free yogurt, plain
½ cup apple or white grape juice
1 Tbsp. honey
all you do:
Cut avocado using the "nick and peel" technique and place in blender. Add remaining ingredients and blend well.

Nutrition per serving: calories: 320; total fat: 11 g; protein: 13 g; carbohydrates: 46 g; dietary fiber: 5 g.
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