July 3, 2021

Avocados have received a lot of attention in the past few years, and are a hot topic in the health space. From avocados in brownies, to avocado ice cream, to avocado chips, to avocado toast, this light, green fruit seems to be everywhere and in everything. So what’s all the hype about? And is it worth it?

California avocados provide many health benefits. You may have heard that avocados offer healthy fats – this is a commonly highlighted benefit, and it is correct; more than 75% of the fat in avocados is unsaturated fat and promotes heart health. But healthy fats are far from the only thing that avocados bring to the table. They also offer more than 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. To name just a few, they have vitamin K, riboflavin, potassium, niacin, vitamin B6, manganese and iron. California avocados are also a source of antioxidants, which can help protect cells from free radical damage. Some examples of antioxidants found in avocados include beta-carotene (promotes eye health), lutein (promotes eye health), lycopene (can help protect against cancer), selenium (important for heart health), vitamin A (promotes eye health), vitamin C (boosts immunity) and vitamin E (beneficial for skin and hair). Furthermore, consuming California avocados as part of a balanced diet can help manage blood sugar levels; consider pairing avocados with sources of carbohydrates, such as potatoes, to help slow down the digestion of the carbs.

Selection, preparation and storage of avocados does not have to be a challenge. When selecting a California avocado, aim for a texture that feels similar to a baked potato. To ripen a California avocado, place the fruit in a paper bag with an apple, banana or kiwi for two to five days at room temperature (these fruits accelerate the process by giving off ethylene, a natural hormone that promotes ripening.) When the avocados yield to gentle pressure, they are ready. Be sure to wash avocados before cutting into them. Peeling instead of scooping an avocado will help get the most out of it, and will help you access the darkest green part closest to the skin — which has the most nutritional value.

Enjoy California avocados in this simple yet tasty appetizer or side dish below!

Stuffed Avocados
Serves 8

All You Need:
4 tbsp + 4 tsp Hy-Vee Select olive oil, divided
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp Hy-Vee honey
½ tsp Hy-Vee Dijon mustard
¼ tsp Hy-Vee salt
1/8 tsp cayenne
4 cups shredded lettuce
1 cup shredded carrots
1 (15-oz) can Hy-Vee black beans, drained and rinsed
1 c. Hy-Vee chunky salsa
1 tsp ground cumin
¾ cup fresh or frozen corn
4 medium fresh California avocados, halved and seeded
4 tbsp Hy-Vee traditional feta crumbles

All you do:

  1. Preheat grill for direct cooking to medium-high heat.
  2. For salad, whisk together 4 tablespoons olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, honey, mustard, salt and cayenne. Toss in lettuce and carrots; set aside.
  3. In medium cast iron skillet, combine beans, salsa and cumin. Place skillet over heat; cook on uncovered grill until mixture bubbles, about 5 minutes. Stir in corn; cook until heated through and no excess liquid remains.
  4. Meanwhile, brush cut sides of each avocado half with ½ teaspoon olive oil; place cut side down on grill; grill for 2-3 minutes or until grill marks appear.
  5. Fill avocado halves with black bean mixture and top with feta. Serve with prepared salad.

Nutrition Facts: 340 calories per serving, Total Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol 25mg, Sodium 550mg, Total Carbs: 26g, Dietary Fiber 12g, Total Sugars: 6g, Protein: 6g.Recipe Source: www.Hy-Vee.com. The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.