Thursday, 3 November 2011

Avocado...How Do You Have Yours?

My eldest sister was very much into her fancy foods. Coming from a quintessentially English meat and two veg family, I found her cuisine quite exotic back in the day!  She first introduced me to avocados.  This was not however a successful introduction.  My sister's ideas were fancy but the execution was not always as well thought out!  The avocado was horribly over ripe, which is definitely not the best way to eat them. My early foray into avocado was a little disastrous, but I am never one to be deterred by a bad experience.

The Avocado is sometimes referred to as an alligator pear with its leathery outer layer!  Within its reptilian skin lies a green flesh which really is a superfood.  It is recommended that you peel a ripe avocado with your hands to preserve the dark green flesh which is rich in carotenoid anti-oxidants. There are over 20 nutrients within the creamy  flesh, each one supporting our health.   85% of the avocados calories come from fat, but this is not a bad thing.  The fat is rich in health benefits for our bodies and is a mono-saturate which actually reduces our risk of heart disease.  So consuming avocado is beneficial and definitely recommended!

Over the years I have revisited avocados in a variety of ways.  My favourite way of enjoying them has to be as an accompaniment to Mexican Guacamole.    I have a friend who professes to make the best Guacamole in the world.  I can't confirm this claim, having never tried every other variety in the world, but I can confirm that it is good! I've tried supermarket varieties.  I've bought long life versions in squeezy bottles.  I've even made my own. Perfect to dip, spread or pop into veggie fajitas, it adds a wonderful flavour and creamy texture that compliments the meal perfectly.

To make your own Guacomole, you can simply mix ready made salsa with mashed, ripe avocado.  It's that easy, although Avocado purists may cringe at the cheating aspect of this short cut.  But for a quick and easy side dish to your Mexican meal, this is genius!  Jamie Oliver makes a green Guacomole by blitzing up chillis, lime juice, avocado and fresh coriander.  Some people add sour cream or diced red onion and tomato.  Sometimes garlic finds it way into the mix.  Chunky or smooth, anything goes. Guacomole is as personal and diverse as you want it to be!

For me, the recipe I use is this:

2 fresh green chillies deseeded and finely chopped
1 onion finely chopped
Handful of fresh coriander
3 ripe avocados mashed
1 ripe medium tomato diced
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper

Blitz the chilli and coriander into a paste.  Mash the avocado and stir in the paste. Mix in diced tomato and onion.  Add lime juice and season. Simple! Serve with tortilla chips.

 This is my entry into the Avocado Brotherhood competition!


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