My daily breakfast for as long as I can remember has been avocado on vogels toast – my go to morning ritual. I have however, completely taken this gorgeous fruit for granted in the incredible benefits it holds and also the many ways you can serve avocados. No wonder it has been called the world’s most perfect food and many nutritionists claim it not only contains everything a person needs to survive — but it has also been found to contribute to the prevention and control of Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other health conditions.
A typical avocado contains around 708 mg of potassium, or 15% of your recommended daily allowance, much better than the famously potassium-packed banana. Potassium promotes healthy blood pressure. The great news is that healthy blood flow means a healthy brain which can not only lower blood pressure it can also help prevent neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s.
I was surprised to find out that avos also have a high fibre content which can help contribute to weight loss by helping with gut bacteria; it also reduces blood pressure spikes. The wondrous avocado is also mega high in oleic acid – the vast majority of an avocado’s calories are from this mono-unsaturated fatty acid, which reduces inflammation.
This magic fruit that provides nearly 20 essential nutrients, and is rich in healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (such as omega-3 fatty acids), vitamins A, C, D, E, K and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate) — as well as potassium.
After discovering all these fabulous benefits, as luck would have it, a box of gorgeous avocados arrived on my doorstep from The Fresh Avocado Company in Tauranga. The avos had been lovingly picked by Fiona Syme who made a fantastic lifestyle change and now lives and breathes these precious fruit. As Fiona said “We’re high on the space, fresh air and of course the endless supply of fresh avocados we grow”. I was excited to hear from Fi at this time of year the flavour is at its best as the avos are packed full of oil. Wow – what a fun week ahead I had playing with this magnificent fruit!
Day 1. Avocado Smoothie
I have to admit my first go and making an avocado smoothie was a disaster! First of all I chose an over ripe avo and then pairing it with almond milk and a frozen banana made it simply too rich. I could only manage a mouth full and even though I knew it was good for me the reality is – it has to taste great! This sent me down a new path as most recipes I found had similar combo, whether it was yogurt or tahini, it was all going to be too much.
I finally stumbled upon a Mexican avocado smoothie that ticked all the boxes for me as it combined all my favourite flavours and as I am a huge chilli fan this won me over. It was incredible and almost a meal that you could serve as a chilled soup.
Mexican Avocado Smoothie
- 1 orange, peeled
- ½ bunch fresh cilantro – small stems ok
- juice of one large lime
- 1 small Turkish cucumber (1 cup)
- ½ an avocado
- 1 cup baby kale
- 1-3 slices jalapeno ( or more to taste)
- chia seeds- optional
- Blend all ingredients until smooth, adding a tablespoon of water if necessary to get the blender going. Add a few ice cubes to chill it (or use frozen bananas, pineapple or mango).
Day 2. Avocado and Marmite on Toast
I decided to take my breakfast to the next level as I had just read an interesting article on how researchers at York University now believe yeast extract could be used to prevent seizures in epilepsy, following evidence that vitamin B12 plays an important part in memory. I was fascinated to read that Marmite which contains a high source of B12 can have great effect on the brain’s GABA chemical and might even provide a treatment for dementia. So the winning combo of Avocado and Marmite is now my new morning brain booster. I never been in love with the flavour of marmite but I have to say I now enjoy the taste of the sharpness of marmite counteracting the creaminess of the avocado on my gluten free vogels with a pinch of maldon sea salt, ground black pepper, Chilli flakes and a squeeze of lemon. Delicious!
Day 3. Chocolate Avocado Cookies
I was blown away by this recipe from The Spouted Fig – they are not only a healthier biscuit option they are delicious. Soft, chewy and super chocolatey. If your children are not avocado fans which can sometimes be the case as the texture puts them off, this is a wonderful way to give them them the benefits of this gorgeous green fruit. The combo of avos from The Fresh Avocado Company and The Remarkable Chocolate Company 70% Dark Cacao Chocolate made for a beautiful pairing. Recipe for these stunning cookies here
Day 4. 80’s Avocado Flash Back
I put my wonderful friend Katrina Horton to the challenge to make an avocado dish. No challenge for her of course as she is a natural born cook unlike me. She decided to whip up Pan Fried Fish with Smashed Potatoes and Avocado Vinergarette .This dish was a favourite of hers when she worked at Le Brie in the late 80’s, a french restaurant in St Patrick’s Square, in a location now occupied by The Grove. As Katrina said “It’s really held up over the years, and deserves a come back”
For the recipe please visit her blog Katrina Horton Food
Day 5. Avocado flowers and boats
My darling mother is still very visual and is drawn to colour and sparkle so I decided to have some fun and create a yummy lunch for her that looked pretty and tasted great!
To make an avocado flower was surprisingly easy. Here is a great quick video link here
I filled the flower with a beetroot hummus and nestled it on a bed of edible rose petals and water cress. Mum loved it and a perfect texture for her as sadly she can’t chew so all her food needs to be mashed up.
While I was on a roll I also made an avocado boat. I cook for a wonderful lady 5 days a week who sadly has cancer. When I delivered her dinner and served it her eyes lit up when she saw the avo. It made my week.
Like the flower I took out the stone and filled it with humous. I then sprinkled chia seeds, pink himalayan sea salt and chilli flakes. Easy to do and looks so pretty.
Day 6. Avocado Facial
Of course I could not resist making an avocado facial. Nothing can of course compare to our Girl Undiscovered Face Mask however if you find yourself with a spare over ripe avo and need a quick skin boost give this a go!
Mix the avocado paste with any optional ingredients you choose to include in your mask–including 1 tbsp. honey, 1 tbsp. olive oil, the juice of 1/2 an orange or a raw egg white. Although avocado facial masks are effective when made with avocado alone, these ingredients contain additional properties that may promote skin health, especially if your complexion tends to be oily.
Avocado Face Mask
Things You’ll Need
- 1/2 ripe avocado
- 1 tsp. lemon juice (optional)
- 1 tbsp. honey (optional)
- 1 tbsp. olive oil (optional)
- 1 egg white (optional)
- Juice of 1/2 an orange (optional)
Simply smooth it on your face and leave for 10 minutes. My skin definitely felt smoother afterwards. Don’t do what I did and leave half of it on your face. I missed a patch and went out for dinner with my green concoction in my hair and was not until I was in the bathroom under a bright light I spotted it. Yikes!
I have loved my week and knowing more about this wondrous fruit and trying new ways to serve it has broaden my appreciation for avocados. Thanks to The Avocado Company they have made it even easier for you as they choose the freshest, tastiest avocados you’ve ever eaten. It is their intention you have the avocado “yes” moment every single time you cut into one of our Fresh Avocado Company avocados. No more disappointing bin-it moments, minutes out from guests arriving. They freshly pick their avocados to your order and send them straight to you, so you can eat them like you grew them! Even better they are kindly giving two boxes away. All you need to do is go to their Facebook page – click here and like them and tag someone on Facebook. What a gorgeous gift for Mother’s day!
For optimum brain health how easy is it to have an avocado a day for a Beautiful Mind. I am!