Tuesday, March 25, 2008

An Avocado Day!

Today was an avocado day for me. Rich and exciting and yummy. No matter the situation, they always make me happy. Wish I had had some to eat today. And to celebrate today's bounty, I am passing along some great recipes. But before I do, let us contemplate the many wonderful qualitites an aguacate has...

...more than 25 essential nutrients that our bodies need, including folic acid, Vitamin E, Potassium, B vitamins and fiber, and protein not normally found in fruit.

...phytonutrients that are thought to prevent many chronic diseases

...phytochemicals such as lutein, glutathione and beta-sitosterol.

..."nutrient boosting" qualities because it allows the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha- and beta-carotene and lutein, in foods that are eaten with the fruit.

...both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat and (again) potassium which help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

And now to the recipes! Both tops ones were taken from http://www.avocado.org/ and they have lots more, Amigas!

California Avocado Zucchini Soup
(picture above © Courtesy of California Avocado Commission)

4 Cups fat free chicken broth, divide in half
1 med. onion, finely chopped
4 green onions, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ tsp salt or to taste
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 Cups zucchini, thinly sliced
2 large ripe California avocados, seeded, peeled and chopped

In large pot with lid, heat 1 cup broth, onion, green onions, garlic, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
When boiling, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
Stir occasionally.
Add remaining broth and zucchini and bring to a boil.
Cover and reduce heat to low.
Cook for 20 minutes.
Remove lid and allow to cool slightly.
In food processor, puree zucchini, broth and avocado in batches.
Return to pan and warm gently.
Serve in soup bowls and garnish to taste.

Chilled California Avocado-Cucumber with Thai Basil and Mint Soup

5 California avocados, diced
1 ½ quarts Buttermilk
1 (1 lb.) Kirby (hot house) cucumber, peeled
24 Thai basil leaves
24 Mint leaves
1 tsp Salt (or to taste)
1 ½ oz Finely diced red onion
3 oz Roma tomoato, seeded and diced
1 oz Green onion, thinly sliced
12 Thai basil flowers, with leaves

Puree avocado with next 5 ingredients; cover and chill at least 3 hours to marry flavors. Reserve.
Shortly before service: Fold together red onion, tomato, and green onion.
Per Order:
Pour 1 cup soup into a serving bowl; garnish with 2 tablespoons onion mixture and 1 basil flower.
Serves 12, yields 3 quarts.

My "If All Else Fails" Recipe
(I got this one out of Women's Day Mag last year)

Throw 2 ripe avocados, 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk and chicken broth, 1 seeded jalapeño (optional), 1/2 cup cilantro, tsp ground cumin, and 1/2 tsp salt into a blender and blend until smooth. Garnish with extra slices of avocado.

My next post will include some wonderful beauty recipes that use aguacates as the main ingredient.

Hasta mañana, Chicas!

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