The awesome avocado: High in heart-healthy, mono-unsaturated fats, rich in potassium, and with a hefty serving of fiber, this fruit ( yes, avocados are fruits), is just brimming with goodness, coming pretty close I dare say, to what I would call a “nutritional super star”. Oh, did I neglect to mention an unforgettable, lusciously creamy texture? No prizes for guessing, I’m a huge fan of avocados. Aside from a winning, nutrient profile, and irresistible taste, avocados can be incredibly versatile, as they are so easy to blend into a quick smoothie, whip into a hummus or dump into a salad. This simple recipe blends the creamy flesh of one avocado with garlic, freshly squeezed lime, a dash of yogurt and olive oil to produce a lip-smacking, delicious dressing that will have your friends thinking you slaved over it, when in fact it can be literally whipped up in minutes!
Ingredients for the dressing:
- 1 large, ripe avocado
- 1 clove garlic, peeled, roughly chopped
- 1/4-1/3 cup organic, low fat or fat free yogurt
- Juice of 1/2 a freshly squeezed large lime + ~ 1 teaspoon more
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin, olive oil
- 1 medium hot pepper, crushed (optional)
- Salt to taste
- 3-4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- Slice the avocado in half, remove the pit and skin and transfer its flesh to a large blender.
- Add all the remaining ingredients with 1/3 cup ( or slightly more) of water and blend until smooth. Adjust water to allow desired consistency.
- Season to taste.
- To make an avocado hummus or dip, simply reduce the water as desired in the above recipe, to allow a thicker consistency
Ingredients for the salad:
- 1 ripe mango, peeled and cubed
- 2 English cucumbers, peeled and chopped
- 3/4 cup red onion, chopped
- 2 fresh, ripe tomatoes, quartered
- 1, 15.5 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly
- 2 tablespoons scallions, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- Place the first 5 salad ingredients in a large bowl.
- Pour desired amount of dressing over veggies to coat well.
- Garnish with scallions and cilantro
- Serve chilled.
Chef’s tips: Choose avocados that are ripe but firm, and should “give” slightly under pressure but not feel squishy. You may have noticed that avocados turn brown as soon as you cut them ( just like apples or potatoes). This is because they harbor an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase that gets to work as soon as you cut the avocado and is exposed to air. This process is called oxidation, so adding the lime juice helps as the vitamin C in lime juice serves as a natural antioxidant, inhibiting the activity of the enzyme. The olive oil in this recipe can also prevent spoilage, however I would recommend using the dressing within 3-5 days for best results.
I would also urge you to use freshly squeezed lime juice and not the “bottled” variety, as you will notice a remarkable difference in the taste and flavor.
Disclaimer: This blog is strictly for informational purposes, and should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult your personal physician or registered dietitian for recommendations tailored to your specific needs.