As with all fruits and vegetables, wash avocados before cutting. Check out our tips for how to choose and use California Avocados

Have you ever felt like the food police? 

You know what I mean, right? 

Labeling foods as “good versus bad” and banning those that don’t fit into a societal mold of what we’re “told to eat”. 

Well my friends, don’t surrender! I’m here to tell you that as a registered dietitian nutritionist, you can certainly incorporate all the foods you love in a balanced and variety-filled meal plan without feeling any shame or guilt. 

One way I help people who may have a hard time realizing that they can still enjoy, say, a delicious creamy salad dressing or for heaven’s sake a chocolate brownie, is by showing them different ways they can boost the nutritional quality of a dish without sacrificing flavor or satiety (the feeling of satisfaction after eating). I like to think of this philosophy as bridging the healthy with happy when it comes to nourishing the body.

For instance, Fresh California Avocados provide a great alternative to swap into your favorite recipes that increase the overall nutrition of the dish. In just 1/3 of a medium avocado (50 g), there are 80 calories with nearly 20 vitamins and minerals. Plus, California Avocados are naturally sodium-, cholesterol-, and trans fat-free. 

Since avocados are a heart-healthy* superfood that provide “good fats” to one’s diet, swapping them in place of butter in your baked goods provides less saturated fat per serving. For reference, 1/3 of a medium avocado (3 tablespoons) can be swapped in place of 2 tablespoons of butter in baked goods to lower the saturated fat by 15 g. You also reduce calories by 140 and cholesterol by 60 mg (butter has 200 calories and 60 mg of cholesterol, avocado has 80 calories and 0 cholesterol).

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But, California Avocados’ versatility doesn’t stop with baked goods. Replace the mayo in a traditional egg salad recipe with California Avocado Mayo to increase the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients like vitamin A, D, K and E! 

And, what’s more, Fresh California Avocados are vegan, and totally dairy-, nut- and gluten-free. They are a creamy, nutty, satisfying ingredient that boosts flavor for people with special dietary needs and restrictions, and can be swapped in recipes for a variety of foods. Here’s a good example of one of my newest simple swaps in which I replace the nutty flavor of tahini paste (ground sesame seeds) traditionally used in Mediterranean cooking with California Avocado.  

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My recipe for Mediterranean Falafel Salad shows how versatile California Avocados can be by using them in a fresh and unexpected way. The recipe calls for avocado in both the falafel mix and salad. Whip these up for a summer picnic or quick weeknight meal for the entire family to enjoy, worry free and flavor full! 

Curious on how you can get more creative in your kitchen with avocados? Be sure to check out the comparison charts here for more great ideas on how to swap Fresh California Avocados into your recipes! 

 *While many factors affect heart disease, diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Elizabeth Shaw

Liz is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Personal Trainer in San Diego, California. She owns a nutrition consulting business in which she works with brands to help disseminate key health messaging to practitioners and consumers at large via national speaking, TV segments, and through her strong social media presence. Liz also runs a maternal health private practice in which she specializes in fertility nutrition. She is an author of the Fertility Foods Cookbook published last fall and a blogger at both Shaw’s Simple Swaps and Bumps to Baby. Liz is a freelance writer and serves as a nutrition expert for many national publications, such as Shape, Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Muscle and Performance, Fit Pregnancy, Parents and others. Her current position has led her to what she loves most, educating the public at large about the importance of nutrition and health in daily life while connecting individually with those struggling to build their families. Helping to empower others through nutrition is truly what brings Liz joy!

Liz is a registered dietitian nutritionist for the California Avocado Commission. Their content on the California Avocado Commission website and/or blog are part of their partnership with our organization.

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