By Kendall Lou Schmidt
You know what you need a little more of in your life? Avocados! The rich texture and buttery flavor of avocados makes them a delicious addition to a variety of recipes. The overwhelming health benefits make them an obvious choice for your well-being. Packed with nutrients, avocados can contribute a powerful dose of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy fats to your daily diet2. Avocados and stocked full of the monounsaturated fat oleic acid. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of this fatty acid works wonders in preventing and improving the symptoms of several serious health conditions such as: hypertension5, poor kidney function5, hypercholesterolemia8, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease8, atherosclerosis8, metabolic dysfunction8, osteoarthritis 1,3, and cancer6… that’s right, I said cancer. Still not sold on the idea? Avocados are rich in the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein levels in the brain are directly related to cognitive health. Incorporating it into your diet can improve your memory, focus, and problem solving skills7. Together both lutein and zeaxanthin protect eye health and maintain your sight as you age, lowering your risk of macular degeneration and cataracts4. Daily functions of your body will perform better when you fuel it with nutritionally dense avocados. A single avocado has more potassium than a banana and more fiber than bran flakes, yet none of the blood sugar spiking carbohydrates. It’s truly a win-win-win-win-win situation. A delicious food that is good for your entire body. What more could you possibly ask for? Well, how about some amazing avocado recipes that are quick, incredibly easy and perfectly balanced for you fit lifestyle? Look no further. Here are three of my favorite avocado recipes that can be whipped up in minutes by even the most novice chef. Enjoy!
SERVES 1 / PREP TIME: 3 MINUTES
The perfect balance of protein, fat and carbs to fuel your workout. Creamy, sweet, and super healthy, this smoothie is certain to send you into the gym with your best foot forward.
Ice as needed
- In a blender, blend the whey protein, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, lime juice, avocado, spinach, frozen pineapple and ice until smooth.
- Pour into a glass and enjoy.
Per Serving (1 shake): Calories 259 / Carbohydrates 18g / Fat 10g / Protein 26g
MAKES 4 / PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 5 MINUTES / TOTAL TIME: 10 MINUTES
All the great ingredients of guacamole right in the palm of your hand… or on a plate. A great appetizer or snack, enjoy the amazing benefits of avocado straight out of its skin.
- 2 avocados, halved, deseeded, and scored
- 2 limes
- 8 tablespoons pico de gallo
- 4 tablespoons queso fresco, crumbled
- Chili powder to taste
- Salt to taste
- Score each avocado half by slicing lines in a cross hatch pattern. Be careful not to break through the avocado skin.
- Sprinkle chili powder and salt over each to your preferred taste.
- Top each avocado half with 2 tablespoons pico de gallo, 1 tablespoon queso fresco, and the juice from ½ a lime.
- Place them on a cookie sheet and broil on low for four to five minutes, until the queso fresco is slightly browned.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving plate. Enjoy alone or with your favorite tortilla chips. Tortilla chips are not included in the nutritional information listed below.
Per Serving: Calories 156 / Carbohydrates 11g / Fat 12.5g / Protein 3.3g
Shrimp and Avocado Lettuce Wraps
with Peanut Sauce
MAKES 5 WRAPS / PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES / COOK TIME: 4 MINUTES / ASSEMBLY TIME: 5 MINUTES
Sweet shrimp and buttery avocado wrapped in the crunch of fresh veggies and drizzled with a delicious peanut sauce. These wraps are a fresh spin on some of your favorite flavors.
For the peanut sauce
- 2 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
For the wrap
- 1 head butter lettuce
- 1 large avocado, cube
- 2 or 3 limes, sliced into wedges
- 1 cup carrot, shredded
- 1 cup cucumber, shredded
- ½ cup cilantro
For the shrimp
- 25 large shrimp, peeled, cooked, tail off
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
Ingredient tip: If you require a gluten-free option, sub out the standard soy sauce for a gluten-free brand or liquid aminos. If you don’t have rice vinegar on hand, apple cider vinegar makes a fine substitute. Shrimp can be purchased fresh or cooked. If you use frozen shrimp, thaw them completely before cooking. If shrimp are raw, be sure to add a few minute to the cook time, ensuring they are opaque and fully cooked.
To prepare the peanut sauce
- In a small bowl combine the peanut butter, water, rice vinegar, honey, soy sauce, and ginger. Still until smooth, and set aside.
To prepare the shrimp
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over high heat.
- Clean the shrimp and pat dry. Dust with paprika, salt and pepper to taste.
- Place the shrimp in the skillet and fry about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove from heat.
To assemble the wraps
- Place one or two large lettuce leaves together on the serving plate to form each wrap.
- Place approximately ⅕ of the shredded carrot, shredded cucumber, avocado and cilantro on to each of the 5 wraps.
- Place 5 shrimp on to each wrap.
- Drizzle the peanut sauce evenly over each wrap.
- Garnish with lime wedges.
Per Serving (1 wrap): Calories 233 / Carbohydrates 14.6g / Fat 13.8g / Protein 15g
Recipes provided by Kendall Lou Schmidt
Recipe photos and text are the intellectual property of Kendall Lou Schmidt.
Nutrition label provided by the California Avocado Commision https://www.californiaavocado.com/nutrition/nutrients
- Al-Afify et. al. Avocado soybean unsaponifiables ameliorates cartilage and subchondral bone degeneration in mono-iodoacetate-induced knee osteoarthritis in rats.Tissue Cell. 2018 Jun;52:108-115. Accessed web on 7.21.18 at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29857819
- Dreher, Mark L. and Davenport, Adrienne J. Hass Avocado Composition and Potential Health Effects.Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013 May; 53(7): 738–750. Accessed web on 7.20.18 at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3664913/
- Ernst, E. Avocado-soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) for osteoarthritis - a systematic review.Clin Rheumatol. 2003 Oct;22(4-5):285-8. Accessed web on 7.20.18 at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14576991
- Gale CR, Hall NF, Phillips DI, Martyn CN. Lutein and zeaxanthin status and risk of age-related macular degeneration.Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2003 Jun;44(6):2461-5. Accessed web on 7.21.18 at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12766044
- Márquez-Ramírez CA et. al. Comparative effects of avocado oil and losartan on blood pressure, renal vascular function, and mitochondrial oxidative stress in hypertensive rats. Nutrition. 2018 Mar 20;54:60-67. Accessed web on 7.21.18 at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29753173
- Menendez JA, Lupu R. Mediterranean dietary traditions for the molecular treatment of human cancer: anti-oncogenic actions of the main olive oil's monounsaturated fatty acid oleic acid (18:1n-9). Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2006 Dec;7(6):495-502. Accessed web on 7.20.18 at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17168666
- Scott TM, Rasmussen HM, Chen O, Johnson EJ. Avocado Consumption Increases Macular Pigment Density in Older Adults: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. Nutrients. 2017 Aug 23;9(9). Accessed web on 7.21.18 at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28832514
- Tan CX, Chong GH, Hamzah H, Ghazali HM. Effect of virgin avocado oil on diet-induced hypercholesterolemia in rats via 1 H NMR-based metabolomics approach.Phytother Res. 2018 July 27. Accessed web on 7.20.18 at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30051518