AMAZING AVOCADO DELIGHTS | An interesting, nutri-rich power house of energy and more…!

    BY: Dr. Kaviraj Khialani – Celebrity Master Chef.

    Avocado, a superfood known for its numerous qualities and health benefits which provide the body with a complete balance of various essential nutrients and antioxidants. Having known for its domestication in America to Mexico and roots in Spain as well, the fruit has been used in a number of exotic delicacies across the globe and is a favourite of many of us. while avocados are as trendy and fashionable as ever, this represents merely a resurgence of this superfood’s popularity. In fact, the produce with the dark green, knobby skin, buttery texture and fresh, mild taste has a surprisingly rich & creamy heritage.

    Health Benefits of Avocado:

    • Aids in digestion & weight management.
    • Rich in anti-aging & antioxidant properties
    • Good for the eyes & brain.
    • Helps treat Vitamin- K deficiency.
    • Reduces inflammation in tissues, muscles & joints.
    • Good for the skin, helps keeping it glowing.
    • A compound called beta-sit sterol in avocado has been found helping cholesterol levels.
    • Helps detoxifying the body.
    • Good source of potassium & folate.
    • A great immunity boosting ingredient.

          How to Prepare an Avocado before being used?

    • Always prefer a firm avocado while purchasing it, do not go for the very soft and mushy ones.
    • Check for bruises or cuts on the skin or surface, avoid those.
    • Handle them with care and prepare them just close to use as far as possible to prevent their oxidation.
    • Ripe avocados can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days wrap them in kitchen towels/cling wrap.
    • peel them, remove the stone carefully and handle the flesh with care, sprinkle fresh lime juice on them do maintain their color and a dash of salt to keep up the bite in it.
    • Olive oil or even avocado oil goes well with avocado when it comes to salads or tossing them up in a dip or salsa.

         Uses of Avocado in the Kitchen:

    • Avocados are versatile as a fruit that are delicious in salads, sandwiches, tacos, soups, dips like the most popular guacamole!
    • Indian cuisine however has not found it being used in our local recipes but yes as a chef I have used it with chicken tikka on a canapé with a pesto chutney, with a chilled pasta salad adding it with a dash of chaat masala and tamarind chutney for the spike!

    Some popular dishes with Avocado also include:

    • Avocado & sun dried tomato bruschetta Italian concept.
    • Avocado & roast chicken salad with minted sour cream dressing.
    • Chilled avocado and basil soup with olives and flaxseeds.
    • Lime & Avocado hummus with burnt garlic toasties.
    • Baked Avocado mash with browned onions and sweet potatoes.
    • Avocado and assorted lettuce wraps with virgin olive oil and eggplant dip.
    • Avocado oil is also a good option to use in preparing healthy dips, dressing, spreads and marination for chicken or fish for grilling.

    Here are a few interesting and easy recipes using AVOCADOS:

         Recipe-1] CHICKEN AND AVOCADO SANDWICHES

    Ingredients

    Leftover wrappers/rotis/chapattis/sliced bread- 6-8 no

    For the spread:

    Butter/ cream cheese/ mayonnaise/pesto sauce etc- 2-3 tsp.

    For the filling:

    Avocado-1 ripe, peeled and sliced

    Boiled shredded chicken-1/2 cup

    Lime juice-2 tsp

    Salt and crushed black pepper to taste

    Sliced onions- 1 no

    Sliced tomato-1 no

    Fresh basil leaves- 5-6 no

    Grated cheese-2-3 tsp.

    Flax seeds/ sunflower seeds- 1-2 tsp

    Coriander/mint leaves-2 tbsp.

    Method:

    1. Prepare the outer wraps/bread slices etc and keep ready.

    2. Apply a combination of spreads as desired on the base of the sandwiches.

    3. Arrange the avocado and other ingredients on one part of the sandwich base and cover it and place it in a griller or on a non-stick tava on a low flame and warm it up on both sides. Cut and serve with dipping sauces or a bowl of tossed salad.

    4. Non-veg options like double fried egg, sliced boiled eggs, sliced sausages, salami, bacon etc can also be sautéed a little and placed along with avocado as a filling for the sandwich concept.

    5. Veg options: saute mushrooms, assorted bell peppers, grilled paneer or tofu slices, veg cutlets etc can also be placed as variation.

    Recipe-2] AVOCADO DELIGHT BOWL

    Ingredients:

    Avocado- 2 no ripe, peeled and cut into cubes

    Tomatoes- 2 med cut into cubes.

    Onion-1 med cut into cubes

    Cucumber- 1 no peeled and cubed

    Capsicum-1 no cut into cubes.

    For the dressing:

    Olive oil/ salad oil- 2 tbsp.

    Salt and crushed black pepper to taste

    Mustard paste- 1 tsp

    Sunflower seeds/ melon seeds- 2 tsp

    Mint leaves- 2 tbsp.

    Coriander leaves- 2 tbsp. chopped

    Chili flakes-1/2 tsp

    Mixed herbs-1/2 tsp

    Lime juice-2 tbsp.

    Honey-2 tsp

    Ginger juice-2 tsp

    To garnish: micro-greens/black olives/ green olives/ gherkins/ jalapenos etc.

    Method:

    1. Prepare all the ingredients for the avocado toss bowl, keep chilled.

    2. In a mixing jar or a bowl combine together the ingredients for the dressing and mix/shake well and keep chilled.

    3. Just before serving add in the avocado and other ingredients into the dressing and garnish with seeds/ nuts/ greens as desired and serve immediately.

    Recipe-3] AVOCADOS AND TOMATOES ON TOAST

    Ingredients:

    Avocado-1 ripe, peeled and mashed.

    Cherry tomatoes- 10-15 no cut 1 x 2

    Olive oil-2 tsp

    Garlic- 1 tsp chopped

    Green chilies-1 tsp chopped

    Onion-1/2 no chopped

    Lime juice-2 tsp

    Assorted nuts-2 tsp chopped, almonds/cashews etc.

    Mint and coriander leaves-2 tbsp. chopped

    Salt and pepper to taste

    Mayonnaise/ hung curd/greek yogurt- 2-3 tsp.

    Salt and crushed black pepper

    Roasted crushed peanuts-2 tsp

    Micro-greens/ fresh herbs/assorted seeds for garnish-2 -3 tsp

    Sliced bread- 6-8 no- white/brown/multi-grain bread.

    Method:

    1. Assemble all the ingredients for the avocado and tomato toasts.

    2. Heat oil in a pan and saute the garlic, onions and chilies for 30 seconds and add in the tomatoes and avocado and give it a toss for 15-20 seconds, turn off the flame.

    3. Remove the mixture into a bowl and add in the lime juice, salt and pepper to taste along with all other nuts/seeds etc and mix.

    4. Now add in the mayonnaise/hung curd/green yogurt into the mixture and mix gently.

    5. Toast the bread of your choice and apply a light hand of butter or cream cheese if desired or else place the prepared avocado mixture on top and garnish with greens and serve.

    Recipe-4] HERBED AVOCADO DIP

    Ingredients

    Avocado- 2 ripe, peeled and sliced

    Blanched spinach-1/2 cup

    Boiled chickpeas-1/4 cup

    Mint leaves- 2- tbsp.

    Coriander leaves-1/4 cup

    Fresh basil- 6-8 no

    Olive oil/ salad oil-2 tbsp.

    Lime juice-2 tsp.

    Garlic-1 tsp chopped

    Salt and pepper to taste

    Hung curd/greek yogurt-1/4 cup

    Cashews/ almonds-2 tbsp.

    Sunflower seeds/ melon seeds- 2 tsp

    To serve with: assorted vegetable sticks/ crackers etc.

    Method:

    1. Assemble all the ingredients for the healthy avocado dip.

    2. Using a jar of a food processor combine all the ingredients and using olive oil and few drops of chilled water churn the mixture into a smooth dip.

    3. Remove the mixture into a bowl and check for salt and adjust accordingly. We have options of adding hung curd/ greek yogurt or even readymade veg mayonnaise can add a nice texture to it if needed, serve the dip chilled with assorted options.

    Recipe-5] HEALTHY AVOCADO SMOOTHIE

    Ingredients

    Avocado-1 ripe, peeled and sliced.

    Banana- 1 ripe, peeled and sliced

    Soy milk/ oats milk/ almond milk/ regular milk- 200 ml

    Curd/yogurt-2 tsp

    Honey-1 tsp

    Dates-2-3 chopped

    Flax seeds/ sunflower seeds- 1 tsp

    Mint leaves- 6-8 no

    Assorted nuts-2 tsp chopped

    Cinnamon powder-1 pinch

    Method:

    1. Assemble all the ingredients for the healthy avocado smoothie recipe.

    2. Using the jar of a food processor combine them all using the desired choice of milk and churn it all into a smooth texture.

    3. Check for flavor and taste and adjust accordingly and pour the shake into glasses/ shot glasses and garnish with a pinch of cinnamon powder/ assorted nuts/seeds/ berries can be added as well.

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