How to Make a Creamy Smoothie with a Fresh Avocado
by: DaNae Johnson, M.H.
Fresh avocado cultivation began over 10,000 years ago mainly in tropical areas. Throughout history people have loved eating avocados in many different ways. One of those ways has only been recently discovered since the invention of the electric blender. Do you enjoy healthy smoothies? Are you interested in incorporating healthy fats into your diet? Blend a fresh avocado into a creamy smoothie!How to Pick a Fresh Avocado for a Smoothie
North and Central America leads the world in avocado production. California and Texas avocados are offshoots of the avocados grown by the Aztecs. Florida avocados are descendants of trees found in the West Indies. Avocados from Florida are bigger and less expensive. Avocados from California and Texas have a richer, creamier texture and a nuttier flavor.
The larger the avocado, the more perishable it is. A fully ripe fresh avocado from California usually shows no discoloration when it is cut. A fresh avocado from Florida can show darkening and discoloration even if it is not bruised.
How do you know if your avocado is ripe? Test for ripeness by cradling the avocado in the palm of your hand. If it is an avocado from Florida and yields to gentle pressure, it is ready to serve. If it is an avocado from California and yields to gentle pressure, give it one more day. Once an avocado is cut, the ripening process terminates.How to Prepare an Avocado
How do you slice an avocado? Slice the fresh avocado lengthwise, cutting around the pit. Twist the halves in opposite directions. Do not remove the pit unless you intend to use the entire avocado at once. Some people even like blending the pit in their smoothie.
A fresh avocado will darken after it has been cut open. Place plastic wrap over any unused portion of the avocado and refrigerate. You can also spread lemon juice on the unused half to prevent further oxidization. Refrigerate whole avocados only if you want to stop the ripening process.Benefits of Avocado
Avocados offer a generous supply of healthy fats, vitamin A, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and vitamin E.
The tremendous benefit of adding fresh avocado to your smoothie is that it makes many of the nutrients in the other foods you eat much more easily absorbed. Vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, astraxanthin, zeaxanthin, and calcium are all 50 to 1000 per cent better absorbed in the presence of fats from avocado.
It is not necessary to use a lot of avocado to enhance absorption of fat-soluble nutrients. As little as 1 teaspoon of avocado is enough. Avocados are high in fat, but they also deliver a day's supply of magnesium, and half a day's supply of fiber!Tips on How to Make Avocado Smoothies
The avocado smoothies that are very popular in Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia are made with sweetened condensed milk. You can make a dairy-free version with almond, coconut, or rice milk. For a traditional Mexican avocado smoothie, sweeten with agave nectar.
Use a half to one whole fresh avocado for every two cups of milk or milk substitute to make an avocado smoothie. For flavored smoothies, use half of the avocado for every two cups of milk or milk substitute with peaches, persimmons, mangos, pineapple, or other tropical fruits.Selected references:
Lu QY, Zhang Y, Wang Y, Wang D, Lee RP, Gao K, Byrns R, Heber D. California Hass avocado: profiling of carotenoids, tocopherol, fatty acid, and fat content during maturation and from different growing areas. J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Nov 11;57(21):10408-13.
Raonimalala AF, Digaud A, Fournier P. [Action of soluble carbohydrates from avocado (Persea gratissima Gaertner) fruit on utilization of calcium in the rat] Ann Nutr Aliment. 1980;34(4):735-44. French.
Unlu NZ, Bohn T, Clinton SK, Schwartz SJ. Carotenoid absorption from salad and salsa by humans is enhanced by the addition of avocado or avocado oil. J Nutr. 2005 Mar;135(3):431-6.About the author:
DaNae desires for you to absorb accurate information on how to easily take care of your family's nutritional needs. As a mother of two young boys, she knows how important it is to incorporate nutrition into a busy schedule.
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