Avocado: A Cholesterol-Blasting Fat

April 5, 2010 Updated: April 6, 2010
DECONSTRUCTED GUACAMOLE PASTA: This is great for satisfying that avocado craving without over doing it on the chips.  (Grace Wu/The Epoch Times)
DECONSTRUCTED GUACAMOLE PASTA: This is great for satisfying that avocado craving without over doing it on the chips. (Grace Wu/The Epoch Times)

Avocados are embraced by the nutrition community for their ability to lower blood cholesterol. Also known as the alligator pear, this buttery fruit originated from southern Mexico and is rich in monounsaturated fat and beta-sitosterol, a phytosterol that is thought to be beneficial to health.

Dietitians encourage incorporating avocados into our diets to boost the intake of monounsaturated fat and beta-sitosterol—two nutrients associated with substantially lowering levels of LDL cholesterol. Unfortunately, the avocado is a versatile ingredient that is often underrated and underused. Instead of only using it to make guacamole, try substituting mashed or sliced avocado for butter, cream cheese, or mayo on your favorite breads or sandwiches.

Below are two unique recipes to help inspire creative ways of adding avocados to your diet.

Deconstructed Guacamole Pasta

Sometimes I crave guacamole, but I don’t necessary want to get carried away with snacking on chips. This healthier alternative satisfies the guacamole craving in the form of a well-balanced meal. If you love the refreshing flavors of lime and cilantro, give this recipe a try.

Ingredients:
1 ripe avocado, diced
1 cup of heirloom tomatoes, quartered
1 shallot, diced
½ lime, juiced
Handful of cilantro, chopped
2 cups cooked whole-wheat pasta

Directions:
1. In a small bowl, marinate the diced avocados in lime juice, set aside
2. Sautee shallots in a tablespoon of oil on medium heat till transparent
3. Add in quartered tomatoes to the shallots, shimmer till tomatoes become soft
4. Turn off the heat and combine with the avocado-lime mixture
5. Top with chopped cilantro; salt and pepper to taste
6. Mix the deconstructed guacamole with pasta and serve hot

Chocolate Mousse

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE: This creamy mouse is dairy free, raw, and delicious!  (Grace Wu/The Epoch Times)
CHOCOLATE MOUSSE: This creamy mouse is dairy free, raw, and delicious! (Grace Wu/The Epoch Times)
Although avocados are fruit, they are rarely eaten as a sweet. This chocolate mousse recipe omits all dairy products and heating, making this treat vegan and raw food friendly. Agave nectar is used instead of granulated sugar for a smoother texture and subtle sweetness. A pinch of sea salt at the end will help accentuate the complexity of the cocoa flavors.

If you don’t tell anyone, no one will ever guess that the main ingredient is avocado. This thick mousse also makes a great frosting for making cookie sandwiches or decorating a cake.

Ingredients:
2 ripe avocados
½ cup of agave nectar (can be substituted by maple syrup)
½ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
A pinch of sea salt (optional)

Directions:
Place all ingredients into a food processor. Blend until evenly textured.