Americans’ snacking is on the rise, with snacks making up about half of all eating occasions, according to a recent report from the Hartman Group. The good news is that snacking can be part of a healthy eating plan, as snacks can provide energy between meals and supply essential nutrients.
Nutrient-dense California avocados, which are only in season from spring to fall, are delicious, good for you and can be an excellent ingredient in just about any snack. The fruit is a naturally nutritious super-food, and contributes nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, along with “good” monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, to one’s diet. Additionally, avocados add a creamy and delicious flavor to snacks or mini-meals without adding sodium or cholesterol.
Registered Dietitian Katie Ferraro, MPH, RD, CDE, loves incorporating California avocados into meals and snacks for their nutritional benefits. She has partnered with the California Avocado Commission to create some easy snack recipes featuring the fruit.
“Every year, I look forward to California avocado season, because they lend themselves to so many different preparations—especially when it comes to snacks,” says Ferraro.
She’s come up with some easy snack recipes featuring the fruit. Each recipe has less than 100 calories per serving and can be great for on-the-go snacking.
For other recipes that feature fresh California avocados, including additional snacking recipes developed by Katie Ferraro, visit the California Avocado Commission website at CaliforniaAvocado.com.
California Avocado Cucumber Cups
1 English cucumber
½ ripe, fresh California avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
¼ cup diced red bell pepper
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. diced cilantro
½ tsp. cumin
¼ tsp. salt
1. Chop off ends of cucumber and discard. Cut cucumber into 12 equal-sized round slices (approximately 1” width slices). Using a melon baller, scoop out center of cucumber slices, leaving enough cucumber on the bottom for the base. Set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, mash avocado and add bell pepper, lime juice, cilantro, cumin and salt. Stir to combine.
3. Place avocado mixture in a small, sandwich-sized plastic bag. Snip off one bottom corner of bag and squeeze avocado mixture into hollowed-out cucumber slices.
Power Hour Pick-Me-Up Smoothie
¼ ripe, fresh California avocado, seeded, peeled and diced
1 Tbsp. minced ginger
½ cup frozen mango cubes
⅓ cup plain, nonfat yogurt
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Cayenne pepper, to taste
1 cup water
1 cup ice cubes
1. Combine all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth.
2. Serve immediately.
*Article and images courtesy of NAPS.*