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An Ode to Avocados

An Ode to Avocados An Ode to Avocados

I’ve been preparing, eating, reading and writing about avocados for more than a decade. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that avocados would rise to their current heights in the culinary world. Avocados are like the child you have who goes from sitting quietly in the back of the classroom making a “C” at best, to becoming the high school valedictorian with a fullride college scholarship to Harvard. Avocados are considered a fruit. They are one of the few fruits or vegetables that contain fat, but the fat is unsaturated and heart healthy. That healthy fat also is why avocados have such a creamy, delicious mouthfeel.

California avocados are in season from spring to fall, which means they will be easier to find, better quality and more affordable during that time. Avocados are one of the produce items with the least number of pesticides, so there is no reason to buy organic. Avocados are loaded with nutrients such as dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, folate and 60% more potassium per ounce than bananas. They’re also cholesteroland sodium-free. Two tablespoons of mashed avocado (about 1 ounce) or one-fifth of a medium avocado provides about 55 calories.

To choose an avocado, squeeze it gently. It should be firm but give to slight pressure. Hard avocados are not yet ripe, but can ripen in a few days. Place the unripe avocado in a brown paper bag for two to five days. Apples or bananas can be added to the bag to shorten the process, because the gas they give off helps ripen the avocados. Ripe avocados can be stored in the refrigerator for two to three days.

Always wash avocados before eating to remove any dirt or bacteria. Cut lengthwise and rotate the halves to separate. Use a spoon to remove the seed and scoop out the meat or peel the skin away from the fruit. Lemon juice, lime juice or white vinegar can help prevent discoloring. You can also press plastic wrap directly on the surface and then wrap to store in the refrigerator for a few days. If the surface turns brown, just cut off the top layer and eat the rest.

Avocados can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, including mashed and spread on a sandwich in place of mayonnaise, or blending it with oil and vinegar to make a salad dressing. This recipe for Avocado Flatbread is yet another way to enjoy healthy, delicious avocados.

AVOCADO FLATBREAD This Avocado Flatbread is soft, delicious and vegan. It is an easy-tomake, simple bread recipe that can be prepared in less than 30 minutes. Sprinkle the finished flatbreads with pre-packaged Everything Bagel seasoning mix for additional flavor and texture, if desired. 1 large avocado, or 2 to 3 small avocados, ripe, peeled and pitted 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 teaspoon curry powder or garam masala powder 1 teaspoon onion powder 1 teaspoon garlic powder 3 tablespoons cilantro or parsley leaves, finely chopped 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour Water, as needed to moisten dough 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (to cook flatbread) 1. Using a large bowl and a fork, potato masher or a food processor, mash the avocado until smooth. Add the lemon juice, salt, pepper, curry or garam masala powder, onion powder, garlic powder, cilantro or parsley leaves, and mix well.

2. Add 1/3 cup of flour at a time to the avocado mixture and mix or process well after each addition. Lightly dust the counter or cutting board, and a rolling pin with flour. Knead the mixture on the counter or cutting board to form a soft, smooth dough. If the dough is too loose, add another 1/3 cup of flour. If the dough is too dry, add a tablespoon of water.

3. Cover the dough with a dish towel or plastic wrap, set aside for 15-30 minutes. Divide dough into 8 equal portions. Roll each portion into a circle or oval shape of even thickness (about 2 inches).

4. Place a heavybottom skillet or a griddle over medium-high heat until hot. Place one of the flatbread pieces in the dry skillet or a griddle. Press flatbread lightly with a spatula. After 5 to 7 seconds, when bubbles form on top of the flatbread and the bottom is light brown, spread a teaspoon of oil on top of the flatbread. Flip it over, cook it for another 5-7 seconds, then apply oil to the top of the flatbread, flip again, cook for the last 5-7 seconds. Transfer to a serving plate, cover to keep warm. Repeat process with remaining flatbread.

5. Freeze or store in an airtight container. Serves 8.

Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and the author of seven cookbooks. Her new cookbook is “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” Her website is www.divapro. com. To see how-to videos, recipes and much, much more, Like Angela Shelf Medearis, The Kitchen Diva! on Facebook. Recipes may not be reprinted without permission from Angela Shelf Medearis. (c) 2021 King Features Synd., Inc., and Angela Shelf Medearis

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