Naturopathic Kitchen: Avocado

An avocado sliced in half.

Avocados (Persea americana) are native to Mexico, where they were cultivated as early as 500 BC. The avocado was introduced to the United States in 1871 and has since become a staple in many households. 1  Avocados have a mild flavor and naturally creamy texture, making them a great addition to many different types of recipes. There’s more to avocados than just guacamole and avo toast! These fruits are incredibly versatile and packed with nutrients.

Health Benefits of Avocado

Monounsaturated Fatty Acids

Avocados are high in fat, which may make some people want to avoid them, but avocados contain many fats that are beneficial to our health. They are an excellent source of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid that is known for its health benefits. Oleic acid has been shown to reduce inflammation, promote heart health, and potentially prevent cancer. 2 3 4 

Potassium

Avocados contain a large amount of potassium — even more than bananas, which are often what come to mind when thinking of a high-potassium food. Potassium is an essential mineral that helps to reduce blood pressure and prevent serious health conditions including stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure. 5

Fiber

Avocados contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Both types of fiber are beneficial to health, but insoluble fiber is especially important for maintaining a healthy gastrointestinal tract. 6  Studies show that consuming foods high in fiber can reduce blood sugar spikes, help with weight management, and reduce the risk of heart disease. 7 8  9 

Avocado Cream with Blackberry Coulis

An easy, quick recipe that takes advantage of the natural creaminess of avocado, this flavorful dessert combines avocados with sweet, antioxidant-rich, and brain-boosting blackberries.

The recipe comes from Bastyr herbal sciences students Argyle Baukol and Tais Martins Douet. It was created for the Herbs and Food class taught by Alexis Durham.

Recipe courtesy of Bastyr University.

Ingredients

  • 3 medium avocados, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 6 tbsp coconut cream
  • 5 tbsp lime juice
  • 4 tbsp raw cane sugar (or substitute your favorite sweetener)
  • 5 tbsp steamed fresh stinging nettle (Steam for 5 minutes)
  • 3 tbsp nettle steaming water
  • 1 pinch coconut flakes (for garnish)
  • 3 1⁄2 cup blackberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1 cup skullcap tea (Scutellaria lateriflora)

Instructions

For the cream:

In a blender, combine the chopped avocados, coconut cream, lime juice, sugar, nettles and nettle tea. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour cream into a bowl and refrigerate.

For the coulis:

In a small pan, combine blackberries, molasses and skullcap tea. Cook until reduced to a jam-like consistency.

This dessert can be served in individual portions or as one large dish. Layer avocado cream on the bottom of the serving dish. Spread the coulis over the cream, garnish with coconut flakes, and serve.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in the healing capacity of food and other natural health practices, naturopathic medicine may be a good fit for you.

 

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