Give me some guacamole – or some avocado diced into a salad – and I’m a happy gal.
“But aren’t avocados really fattening?”
Well, the answer to that is both Yes and No.
I wrote a whole post about ‘low-fat’ diets and all that jazz, which you can find HERE. In the meantime, though….
Avocados do contain a fair amount of mono and polyunsaturated fat (the ‘good’ kinds of fat) – but they are also extremely nutrient dense. That means that you get a LOT of nutritional bang along with your healthy fat. After all, avocados are a whole food (which we like).
Oil, on the other hand – even ‘healthy’ olive oil – is not a whole food.
An olive is whole.
Olive OIL is an extract. Processed, dare I say.
Oil provides 100% of its calories from FAT, with very little nutritional benefit whatsoever. Talk about a poor return on a dietary investment.
When it comes to eating fat – which is an important macronutrient that we DO need – I would pick avocados, nuts, and seeds over oils any day of the week.
Does this mean eating 2 avocados a day, every day? Probably not. But you need not fear the fat that comes in whole, unprocessed, plant-based foods. It’s doing good things for you!
Speaking of avocados…..
Take It Away, Chef Scott…..
As a kid, I always pictured my life turning out like an 80’s “I Love New York” commercial or a Diet Coke ad featuring the Manhattan Transfer. You know, hopping from club to cab to restaurant to club with your glamorous friends in a metallic neon pink bubble skirt. Well, I wasn’t wearing the bubble skirt. Okay…maybe I was. That’s not the point. These two commercials, as manufactured and manipulated as they may be, created in me an extremely specific idea of sophistication and elegance. A goal to achieve. A way of life.
I now refer to it as “feeling famous.”
“Feeling famous” is that certain moment when the stars align and you are in the perfect location, with the perfect people, having the perfect conversation, and you are looking really goooooood. It can be elusive, but it is attainable.
Two summers ago, I was in the Big Apple to make my Diet Coke dreams a reality. My Valentine, Jerre, and I, on his night off, went to see Fela, at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre. (If you saw it, you know that Sahr Ngaujah is a crazy-talented alien from the planet, Afrobeat. Amazing. If you missed out…you missed out.) Dizzy and invigorated by the show, we met up with friends at Toloache, a wonderfully high tone Mexican restaurant offering up the best guacamole on the planet and cricket quesadillas, for a tony late night supper. We sat in a high-backed, circular banquette, funky ambient restaurant music playing, and enjoyed food and each other…all with fabulous lighting.
Much to my surprise, my Diet Coke reality involved neither clubs nor cabs. It happened surrounded by good friends on 50th St. between Broadway and 8th wearing flip flops and a linen jacket…which felt remarkably like a neon pink bubble skirt.
J’s Improvised Fruta Guacamole
This is fantastic as a dip or as the glue for delicious Caribbean Black Bean tacos!
3 large ripe avocados
½ Vidalia onion, finely chopped
½ cup finely chopped green apple
½ cup finely chopped mango
½ cup finely chopped strawberries
2 Serrano chilies, chopped and seeded
Juice of 2 limes (zest of 1 lime)
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large mixing bowl, scoop out avocados and mash with the back of a fork. Add onions, fruit, peppers, zest and juice. Stir to combine. Salt and pepper to taste.