Growing up in a Hispanic household, avocados have always been a staple in my life, my grandma made sure to include them in just about everything she made including soup!
It’s great to see that avocados are more popular than ever now, and the general public has moved on from just guacamole. Here are a few little known healthy facts about avocados according to WebMD: “Avocados are a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamins C,K, folate, and B6. Half an avocado has 160 calories, 15 grams of heart-healthy unsaturated fat, and only 2 grams saturated fat. One globe contains more than one-third daily value of vitamin C, and more than half the day’s requirements of vitamin K.”
There are still many myths and misconceptions about avocados including that they will cause weight gain. Chef Pati Jinich of PBS’ “Pati Mexican Table” joined me for an interview recently where she not only dished on the health benefits and myths and misconceptions about avocados, but she discussed how to pick the perfect avocado, and shared some of her favorite recipes including a delicious breakfast smoothie that I absolutely adore!
Candace Rose: I love avocados, they’re a staple in my house! Are they okay to eat every day, or is it true that avocados can cause you to gain weight?
Chef Pati Jinich: “Candi, I personally eat those every day, and I think it is a misconception and a myth that people think that avocados have a lot of fat. The truth is avocados have the fat that you want and your body needs, and you need to give that to your body because we all need fat to function and for your metabolism to function properly. In my view, what you want to do is try to get rid of the saturated fats and incorporate the good fats like avocado or olive oil or walnut oil, or some good kinds of fats.”
Chopped Egg and Avocado Sandwich
Candace Rose: Are there any other myths or misconceptions surrounding avocados?
Chef Pati Jinich: “I think more than misconceptions, I think people’s view on avocado is limited. People think ‘avocado’ and they think guacamole. And of course guacamole is a really fun dish to eat and to prepare, but just look at everything I have here (please see video above for details) I have avocados in smoothies, I have avocados in dishes like cheesy egg scramble tucked into a breakfast burrito; think about avocados in sandwiches. They’re such a nice contrast, both in flavor and in texture.
I made for Juju- if you see my shows, sometimes Juju peeks in there, he’s a big eater – and I just came up with these oatmeal agave syrup and avocado recipe for him. He loves it, he eats it with strawberries, and it (the avocado) makes the pancakes smooth and creamy and fluffy.
More and more people realize how good it is for you. I think it’s starting to incorporate into more kinds of dishes. And of course, it has close to 20 vitamins and minerals that you need, it has that good kind of fat that we were talking about. Three slices, which is a good general serving is 50 calories.”
Avocado, Oatmeal & Agave Pancakes
Candace Rose: What’s the secret to picking the perfect avocado?
Chef Pati Jinich: “The secret, Candi, is don’t be shy! When you go into the store, just walk straight to the avocado booth and grab the avocado. You need to touch it to know if it’s ripe. There’s two ways to tell the situation, and it’s very simple- you can judge an avocado by the color and the feel. You’re looking for the avocado with a thick pebbly skin. If it is green and you hold it it’s hard like a baseball, that means it’s green…it’s not ripe, you can bring it home.
If it’s already ripe, which means it’s soft when you hold it, but not mushy – you don’t want to bring home a mushy avocado. If it’s soft and the skin is black, then it’s ripe. Either case, you bring the avocado home. If it’s black and soft, it’s ready for you to eat. If it is green and hard, all you need to do is leave it on a plate or on the counter in a warm area of your kitchen. If you’re in a hurry to eat it, you wrap it (my mom wraps it in newspaper). My sisters and I usually wrap it in a brown paper bag, and then in two to three days it’ll be ripe and ready for you.
Once you cut into it, you can just cover it in plastic wrap and keep it in the refrigerator, it’ll be there waiting for you to keep on eating it for the next three to four days.”
Cheese Scramble & Breakfast Burrito:
Candace Rose: OR You can eat it all at one time, like I do!
Chef Pati Jinich: “You can! For me the avocado is such a staple. When I go grocery shopping every week, just like I buy onions and tomatoes and bananas, I always put the avocado in there. It’s not like I’m thinking ‘I’m going to make a guacamole this week so I’m going to take an avocado’. I always bring five to six avocados and I just use them in sandwiches and wraps and in oatmeal and in smoothies, it’s just an every day staple.”
Avocado, Mango and Berries Smoothie:
Candace Rose: I agree! Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share with us?
Chef Pati Jinich: “For more recipes- and I have lots of good recipes that will be on AvocadosFromMexico.com.” Try the avocado in a smoothie, it’s really an original and tasty thing.”
Chef Pati’s Enfrijoladas con aguacate (with avocado)!
Mango Guacamole with Grilled Tortilla Wedges (Guacamole de Mango):