Some Mouthwatering Recipes for Avocados

Ruth Polak
 


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Although avocados originate from Mexico and Central America they were bought to Spain by the conquistadors and have adapted well to the Mediterranean climate and grow here in abundance. They are an unusual and useful fruit because they do not properly ripen until picked so can be left on the tree and virtually be harvested all year round.

Recently they have been discovered to have umpteen health benefits and as they are included regularly in the Mediterranean diet they give further weight to the health giving benefits of this diet.

In brief some of these benefits include lowering cholesterol and guarding against high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. This is due to their oleic acid content along with their high folate and potassium content.

Oleic acid has also been shown to protect against breast cancer and avocados also contain high levels of lutein and vitamin E both of which also have cancer protective properties. In all avocados contain over 25 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.

Always buy avocados when they are firm to the touch and ripen at home. Once they are slightly soft under pressure they are ready to use. Cut round with a sharp knife to the depth of about 1.5 centimetres then twist and separate the 2 halves. Remove the large pip and they are ready for use.

Recipes for Avocados.

Shrimp and Avocado Salad. Ingredients:

1 lb cooked medium sized shrimp (buy still frozen if possible for freshness)remove tails

1 medium sized tomato, seeded and chopped

3 scallion chopped

1 large clove garlic, pressed

2 TBS fresh lemon juice

1 TBS balsamic vinegar

1 large firm avocado cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 TBS chopped fresh mint

2 TBS chopped pumpkin seeds

1 TBS chopped rocket or watercress

salt & pepper to taste

pinch red pepper flakes

1 head small romaine lettuce, outer leaves removed

extra virgin olive oil to taste

Method.

Make sure shrimp is completely unfrozen, if you buy it already cooked, and patted dry with paper towels. Assemble all ingredients with shrimp in a bowl except lettuce and mix. For optimum flavor, marinate in refrigerator for 15 minutes or more. It is still very good served right away if you don't have the time. Serve on bed of chopped romaine lettuce.

Serves 4

Recipes for Avocados.

Romaine and Avocado Salad.

Ingredients:

1 large head romaine lettuce, outside leaves discarded

1 large tomato chopped

1 small red bell pepper cut in thin julienne, 1 inch long

1/2 small avocado cut into chunks

Optional: 2 TBS coarsely chopped walnuts

Dressing:

2 TBS lemon juice

2 tsp balsamic vinegar

extra virgin olive oil to taste

Salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Method.

1. Remove outer leaves of lettuce heads and discard. Cut off tops of leaves and discard. Tops are bitter. Chop remaining inner leaves. Rinse in cold water, and if you have a salad spinner, spin lettuce to dry. If you don't have one, remove as much water as possible in a colander and then dry with paper towels. This will keep the flavor of the salad from getting diluted.

2. Whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl and toss with salad greens. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts if desired.

Serves 4

Poached Huevos Rancheros.

Ingredients:

4 free range chicken eggs

1 tsp apple cider vinegar, or any other light vinegar

about 4 cups water

3 + 1 TBS chicken or vegetable broth

2 cans of black beans, drained

1 medium onion, minced

4 medium cloves garlic, chopped

2 tsp ground cumin

1 1/2 TBS red chili powder

2 TBS chopped fresh rocket or watercress

salt and black pepper to taste

prepared salsa

2 cups shredded romaine lettuce

1 large avocado, cubed

Method.

Bring water and vinegar to a light boil in a shallow pan. Make sure there is enough water to cover eggs. In a separate stainless steel skillet heat 1 TBS broth. Healthy Sauté onion in broth over medium heat for about 5 minutes stirring frequently, until translucent. Add garlic, beans, red chili powder, cumin, and rest of broth while egg water is coming to a boil. Cook beans for about 10 minutes on medium low heat, stirring occasionally. Add rocket or watercress, salt and pepper. To poach eggs, crack into water and cook about 5 minutes, just until the white is set and the yolk have filmed over. Remove with a slotted spoon, and place eggs over beans. Serve with salsa, shredded romaine lettuce and avocado.

Serves 4

Recipes for Avocados.

Avocado Gazpacho Soup.

Their soft creamy texture make avocados a perfect substitute for tomatoes in this lovely gazpacho soup.

Ingredients.

2 slices bread, crusts removed.

3 ripe avocados, chopped

2 small red bell pepper, diced medium

1/2 red onion, diced medium

1/2 cucumber, diced medium

2 cloves garlic, minced

5 TBS wine vinegar

pinch cayenne

1 teaspoon cumin

approx 1/4 litre of water

3 TBS olive oil

salt and black pepper to taste

Method.

Soak the bread in the water. Place all the diced vegetables in a blender with the garlic, it may be necessary to do them in 2 batches. Blend unti puréed then train into a large bowl. Squeeze the water from the bread and purée in the blender, with the motor running, slowly add the olive oil, then the cumin, vinegar and salt and pepper. Add some of the vegetable purée tpo the blender and then mix all together in the large bowl. Thin to the required consistency with the water and adjust the seasoning. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Serves 6.

Recipes for Avocados.

Avocado Fruit Smoothie. Ingredients:

As with the above soup, avocados with their smooth creamy texture make ideal “smoothies".

Ingredients:

1/2 and avocado

1/2 pint chilled milk

1 small banana

4-5 fresh strawberries

1/2- 1 tsp honey.

Method.

Chop all the fruit up into small pieces then place all the ingredients in a liquidiser and blend until smooth and creamy.

Article submitted by Ruth Polak the owner of http://www.costadelsol-vacationrentals.com A web site specializing in holiday villas and apartments on the Costa del Sol and in Rural Andalucia. You will also find a wealth of information about Spain and Andalucia, in particular.

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