If you are looking for a tasty food that can help lower cholesterol, regulate blood pressure, and protect against heart disease and stroke, reach for an avocado.
This versatile fruit (botanically, it’s actually a large berry), can be used in everything from guacamole to ice cream to soup. It’s a good source of vitamin K, dietary fiber, potassium and folate. While avocados are very low in sodium and cholesterol-free, don’t eat too many, as they do contain fat, the healthy, monounsaturated kind.
This time of year the Bacon, Fuerto and Zutano varieties are ready to eat. Buy firm, not hard or mushy avocados, when possible. If you find avocados on sale buy several and store in the refrigerator. They will keep up to two weeks. If you buy one that’s hard, you can speed up the ripening process by placing it in a paper bag for a few days.
Guacamole is a delicious dip for vegetables, crackers, and tortilla chips. We add it to fajitas, burritos, and chimichangas.
2 firm ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and lightly mashed
1/2 cup minced onion
1 jalapeno chile, minced (remove seeds and ribs for less heat)
1 plum tomato, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, lemon juice, or vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Watkins Garlic Salt
In a bowl, combine avocados, onion, jalapeno, tomato, cilantro, and lime juice. Season with garlic salt and mix to combine.
You can make the guacamole several hours ahead, and keep it in the refrigerator. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic directly onto the surface of the guacamole to prevent discoloration.
When I make Guacamole I use a small peeled tomato. I buy pickled sliced jalapeno peppers in a jar at the supermarket and use about 1 tablespoon of chopped peppers. I also use the pickling juice from these peppers instead of lime juice, lemon juice, or vinegar.