I love avocado. REALLY love it!
It seems to be pretty popular, whether sliced on a sandwich, mashed and spread onto toast or mixed into a fine guacamole. It’s tasty, especially with a touch of lime juice and sea salt, but its most prevalent feature is its creamy, dreamy texture.
The high fat content gives us what we crave, that creamy feel in our mouth.
When you’re watching your weight or monitoring your fat intake, sometimes we feel guilty eating the almighty avocado….until now!
One of the tricks I’ve learned over the years is to add healthy greens or vegetables to dishes where I normally wouldn’t. You’d be surprised how easy it is to get in that extra nutrition once you know this trick.
For instance, like many people, I could LIVE on mashed avocado (with some lime juice and sea salt) on toast. When I crave the big, green fatty-but-awesome fruit, I mash in some extra nutrition by finely chopping whatever greens I have on hand. I use kale, spinach or arugula usually. Greens like romaine would probably be a bit too moist, but they might work.
The trick is to finely chop the greens so they blend in smoothly with the avocado. I just use the old-fashioned knife and cutting board to chop the greens, but I suppose the greens and the avocado together could be put in a food processor? Haven’t tried that.
If not on toast, I might spread my green goodness on some healthy corn chips (made with no oil!). Sometimes I’ll have both (toast and chips). Like I said, I just LOVE avocado.
If I’m in a hurry, and I just don’t have time to chop up my greens, I might throw those greens right on top of my avocado spread. Works on the run.
When making my fave toast, I sometimes don’t stop at the extra greens; I might throw on a few tomato or cucumber slices or some onion.
There are tons of other ways to add in greens or veggies to your snacks or meals. When you do this for yourself, you’re adding oodles of extra phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. I say, “Why not get those nutrients in my body while I’m getting this other stuff in?”
Here are some tried and true ways to get more nutrients into your body:
Guacamole or Dips: add those greens! Finely chop greens into guac or hummus or your own unique bean spread.
Mashed potatoes: can add in finely chopped greens, green onions, or mashed cauliflower. Try one of these and play around with how much you add to the potatoes until you find the right balance that works for your taste buds.
Pasta: add your favourite veggies to your pasta to get in some more of the good stuff. I buy frozen, chopped kale, which is perfect for a last-minute add-in to any pasta dish. Any veggie will do. Sometimes, I just chop up whatever leftovers are hanging around in the fridge and throw them into the pasta. Have little nuggets of goodness around to add, such as capers or sun-dried tomatoes. Add them in. If you get good at this, you can start trying to make your meals more veggie-heavy and less pasta-heavy.
Soups: add almost anything goes here: fresh or frozen veggies, rice or other whole grains, greens etc. If you’re making a nice squash soup, add in some chopped red peppers or even some greens. If you’re making a broth-based soup, try adding barely; it really makes a soup hearty (and healthy too!).
Smoothies: it’s really easy to sneak in goodness in a smoothie. Many people focus on the fruit part of a smoothie. Some parents worry their kids won’t eat a healthier green smoothie. Give it a try, you sneaky cook. Add greens into your smoothies; chances are no one will even notice. You can start with a few spinach leaves, for example, and build up over time. Other things I slip into smoothies that don’t change the taste: turmeric, chia seeds, and ground flax seeds.
Oatmeal: don’t just have plain old oatmeal; load it up with fresh or thawed, frozen fruit, nuts, seeds, cinnamon, ginger etc.
So, before you serve or chow down on your next snack or meal, look around and ask yourself, “What healthy bits can I add to this?”
Wishing you health and success on your journey,