It’s raining avocados
Well, here we are. We've survived a hurricane sandwich, although Jerry pretty much fizzled. Still, it's nice to be on the other side.
I know we were all lucky (the Bahamas did give us perspective after all), but it's never easy losing your roof or going days without power. It's been nice to see such community love for Belco, though, and see everyone working together; it turns out Bermuda does rather well in a crisis. And then there's the other upside of the storms — avocados for days!
Bermuda avocados are a little different to the Hass avocados you see regularly in grocery stores. They tend to be bigger and have a more buttery, slightly more mild flavour.
If you get the ripening right, they are so, so good! But as catching them at the right moment is important, what do you do when you have so many of them ripen at once?
If you've been given more avocados than you can handle, then see below for two of my favourite dessert recipes. They're both delicious and the key lime pie freezes amazingly too. You can also chop and freeze avocado to add to your smoothies.
It will add a healthy dose of fats that will help keep you feeling more full and it provides a powerful punch when it comes to micronutrients too. Stick to about 2 tbs in a smoothie. Remember though, that fat is still fat; you do need to be careful how much you consume.
Some people can handle more than others before weight gain becomes a factor. Variables include your activity level, but your genetics play a role too. Some people thrive on fats, whereas others need to keep their diets pretty lean.
Either way, though, a little avocado added to your day (a small half) is fine for most people, especially if it takes the place of animal-based fats (eg cheese or sour cream). Avocado is rich in oleic acid which is a monounsaturated fat that helps to reduce inflammation. Studies also demonstrate a beneficial effect on genes that are linked to cancer.
Importantly, the fats in avocado are more resistant than many to heat-induced oxidation, so it's actually quite a good oil to cook with. But if you're simply eating it as it is, then you can feel good about a mega dose of vitamins E and C (heart healthy and immune boosting), as well as folic acid (heart healthy), potassium (more than bananas!), B5 (good for your hair) and B6 (good for energy).
If you've got other healthy avocado recipes, drop me a message online and I'll share them on Facebook. If you'd like to learn more about good fats and about nutrition in general, then I have room in the evening class of Nutrifit that starts next week.
We pushed the dates to accommodate the storms and, although the daytime spots have sold out, I'd love to see some of you for our evening programmes. All the details are at www.natural.bm. Have a great weekend!
Key Lime Pie
Makes one large pie (10-12in pan) or 14 individual pies in a muffin pan
2¾ cups walnuts (pecans would work well too)
25 Medjool dates, pitted
2 tbs extra virgin coconut oil
4 large, ripe avocados
¾ cup full-fat coconut milk (the solid part)
4-5 large juicy limes, juiced (and some zest)
1 cup maple syrup
Optional: you can use tiny key limes (Miles) for the zest.
Method: 1, Place your can of coconut milk in the fridge for a few hours before use so that the contents separate and harden. You want to use the part at the top of the can which will be hard and white.
2, Put all the base ingredients in a food processor and blend until they form a ball of dough around the blade. It might take a little while.
3, Press the base into your pan — either in one layer in the large pan or into the muffin moulds. If using the muffin pan, press the base into the bottom and up the sides too so that it forms a cup for the filling (it's easier to get them out of the pan this way). Try not to make the cup too thick. Pop these in the freezer to harden.
4, Wash your processor and then blend all the filling ingredients. Remove any brown bits from the avocados to maintain the colour of the filling. Start with four juicy limes and then taste. You might want to add the fifth if you want it extra fresh.
5, Add the filling to the base. Top with grated zest and pop in freezer. Once hardened, you can cover with foil. Freeze for an hour before serving. You can also keep this in the freezer for a while (cover to prevent freezer burn) and then defrost a little before serving.
6, If using the muffin pan, run a knife around the edge to help lift them out.
Avocado chocolate pudding
• 1 very ripe, large avocado, pitted and peeled
• ¼ cup cocoa powder
• ¼ cup brown rice syrup or maple syrup
• ¼ cup plain almond milk
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
Method: Chill the avocado and milk. Pop all ingredients in a blender and whizz until completely smooth. It's that easy.
• Catherine Burns is a qualified nutritional therapist. For more details: www.natural.bm, 236-7511 or Natural Nutrition Bermuda on Facebook