Looking to add some flavor to your summer dinners? Try cooking with avocados each day this week for some creative, nutritious meals.
This heart-healthy fruit, although sometimes considered a vegetable, is in season and is the perfect ingredient if you're looking to add some nutrients to your diet as well as some summer flavor.
Although avocados are higher in calories than most other fruits and veggies – about 250 calories in each one – most of the calories come from its monosaturated fat content. This type of fat is actually good for you, as it reduces your LDL – the "bad" type of cholesterol, which can decrease your risk for heart disease. This fruit is also a good source of fiber and vitamins B, E and K.
Avocados mix well in a variety of meals – from salads to sandwiches and pasta dishes – which are some of the recipes we chose for you this week. So instead of just using this fruit in guacamole, test out your cooking talents with these creative recipes below:
Monday: Avocado, lettuce and tomato sandwiches
This vegetarian and healthier take on the classic BLT is lightened up with fat-free mayo and whole grain bread. The avocado provides a creamy texture in this sandwich, which adds up to only 305 calories.
Per serving: 305 calories; 16g fat, 32g carbohydrates, 12g protein, 7g fiber
Tuesday: Shrimp ceviche
The avocados complement the shrimp in this dish, which is mixed with veggies and seasoned with lemon, lime and orange juice. One serving of this low-carb recipe comes in at less than 200 calories!
Per serving: 189 calories; 12g fat, 9g carbohydrates, 13g protein, 2g fiber
Wednesday: Falafel with avocado spread
This Latin take on the classic Middle Eastern sandwich is simple, yet flavorful. Ingredients include pinto beans, cheese, cilantro, tomato, and more. Enjoy this low-fat sandwich at just 281 calories.
Per serving: 281 calories; 9.5g fat, 37.4g carbohydrates, 12.2g protein, 5.9g fiber
Thursday: Grilled chicken salad with avocado and mango
Avocados are perfect for salads, and mix especially well with mangos in this recipe. This light dish is topped with mango-chutney and low-sodium soy sauce – a healthier option for dressing.
Per serving: 185 calories; 8g fat, 24g carbohydrates, 8g protein, 5g fiber
Friday: Roasted garlic avocado pasta
Aside from the avocado, this dish is full as other healthy ingredients such as zucchinis, bell peppers, and eggplant. This dish also boasts large amounts of protein from the chicken.
Per serving: 200 calories; 6g fat, 21g carbohydrates, 15g protein, 2g fiber