More Than Guacamole

Avocados are the star of the produce section. Of course they’re the go-to ingredient for guacamole and salads at parties, but they’re also turning up in everything from smoothies to brownies. So what, exactly, makes this pear-shaped fruit such a super food?

Avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid. They also act as a nutrient booster by enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha and beta-carotene and lutein, in foods that are eaten with the fruit.

One-fifth of a medium avocado has 50 calories and contributes nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, making it a nutrient-dense choice. Avocados contain less than 1 gram of sugar per serving and 75% of the fat in avocados is unsaturated, making them a great substitute for foods high in saturated fat.

The avocado’s smooth, creamy consistency makes it one of the first fresh foods a baby can enjoy. The fat in avocado is beneficial to babies for normal growth and development of the central nervous system and brain.

They are also a good source of B vitamins, which help you fight off disease and infection, and they give you vitamins C and E, plus natural plant chemicals that may help prevent cancer. They contain fiber, which helps you feel full longer. In one study, people who added a half to their lunch salad or sandwich were less interested in eating during the next three hours.

Adding avocados to your diet is easy if you try some of our recipes today!

Avocado Chummus

  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled and seeded
  • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Dice half the avocado and set aside. Mash remaining avocado, garbanzo beans, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and salt together until smooth.

Gently stir diced avocado into hummus mixture. Drizzle with additional olive oil if desired. Serve with sliced vegetables or baby carrots.


Classic Guacamole

  • 3 Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, optional
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed

In a large bowl, toss the avocados and lemon juice to coat, then drain, and reserve the juice. Mash the avocado. Fold in the onions, jalapeno, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic; season with salt. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved lemon juice. Serve with tortilla chips.


Avocado and Corn Salad

For the salad:

  • 2 cups cooked corn, fresh or frozen
  • 1 avocado, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion (about 1 medium)

Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Combine the corn, avocado, tomatoes and onion in a large glass bowl. Mix together the dressing ingredients in another bowl, pour over the salad, and gently toss to mix.


Many ingredients are prone to infestation. Please consult a local Rav for specific guidelines on how to avoid transgressions related to insects.


Readers may submit questions to the Culinary Connoisseur, c/o Hamodia, 207 Foster Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11230 or via e-mail to peppermill@hamodia.com. This weekly column has been brought to you by The Peppermill, the world’s first kosher kitchenware store, located at 5015 16th Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y. (718) 871-4022. You can also read a selection of previous columns in their comprehensive cookbook, The Culinary Connoisseur, available now at your local Judaica and kitchenware stores. Jam-packed with delicious recipes, insightful food information and helpful cooking tips, this book is certain to become your constant companion in the kitchen.