So, just as I promised, here is the first post in a series of guest posts for this blog, featuring some of my favorite blog authors! We are kicking things off with a post from my good friend and longtime blog buddy Ben Herrera of What’s Cooking Mexico.

Ben and I started blogging around the same time, and I have always loved his unique and delicious recipes featuring REAL Mexican food. Just like many other food cultures, real Mexican food features fresh and local ingredients, and uses them to the fullest.

I have also really enjoyed watching his food photography and styling skills skyrocket over the years! Ben lives in Mexico City and offers insider peeks of all the delicious markets and fresh food that Mexico City has to offer. Today he shares a post about a staple food to Mexican cuisine- the delicious and nutritious Avocado, and shares his recipe for guacamole with an unexpected ingredient! So here is Ben! THANK YOU, BEN!

Who hasn’t tried guacamole at a Mexican restaurant or watching a football game with friends? Avocado is the main ingredient for that delicious dip that has become very popular in the US. I love avocados. I can eat them in many different ways, from slices in salads and tacos to sauces and as one of the ingredients for bread. Their buttery texture and flavor makes them what my dad calls nature’s butter.

But avocados are not only delicious. They’re also a great source of healthy nutrients.  Avocados promote heart health because they contain oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that may help to lower cholesterol. They are also a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure, and folate, a nutrient important for heart health.

Furthermore, they promote optimal health because they are a concentrated dietary source of the carotenoid lutein. It also contains measurable amounts of related carotenoids (zeaxanthin, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene) plus significant quantities of tocopherols (vitamin E). Avocados also increase your absorption of carotenoids from vegetables and recent studies show that they help to combat oral cancer, a form of cancer more deadly than breast, skin and cervical cancer.

Next time you’re at the grocery store look for this healthy fruit. I’m sure you’ll find a delicious way to eat them. If you have never bought avocados before you might want to keep in mind these simple tips:

  • A ripe and ready to eat avocado should be soft when you squeeze it, but it should not have dark sunken spots or cracks.
  • If you are not planning to eat avocados right away select the ones that are harder when you squeeze them. Avocados ripen in a few days outside the refrigerator, but if you are not planning to eat a ripe avocado, put it in the fridge and that will slow the ripening process.
  • The flesh of the avocado starts turning black the moment it comes in contact with air. Lime juice slows this process. If you are storing an open avocado wrap it in plastic to prevent contact with air.

Two of my favorite ways to eat avocados are in guacamole and salads. Making guacamole is very easy. However, I like to twist it a little bit adding mango. It gives the guacamole a very special and sweet flavor.This is how you prepare it:

The ingredients:

  • 2 large avocados
  • 1 mango
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste

The how-to:

  • Cut avocados and mango and put them in a bowl.
  • Smash with a fork and add the rest of the ingredients.
  • Mix well until they form a smooth salsa.
  • Enjoy!

To make a healthy avocado and tuna salad, just cut one avocado in half and dice it. Mix one can of tuna, one can of mixed vegetables, one TBSP of low fat mayonnaise and the avocado and serve. It’s easy enough for a quick lunch.

I hope you like these simple ideas to eat avocado, one of nature’s most delicious fruits.

Buen provecho!

Sources:

More avocado ideas from Ben’s blog – Avocado Corn Muffins