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An appetite for avocados


 

 

I adore avocados! They’re a guilt-free creamy indulgence that works beautifully in everything from appetizers to desserts. Avocados are considered a fruit — one of the few fruits or vegetables that contain fat. The fat in avocados is unsaturated and is heart-healthy.

Did you know that per ounce, avocados have 60 percent more potassium than bananas? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, avocados are loaded with nutrients such as dietary fiber, vitamin B-6, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium and folate. They’re also cholesterol- and sodium-free. Two tablespoons of mashed avocado or one-fifth (about 1 ounce) of a medium avocado provides about 55 calories.

Hard avocados are not yet ripe, but can ripen in a few days. Place the unripe avocado in a brown paper bag for two to five days. Apples or bananas can be added to the bag to shorten the process because the gas they give off helps ripen the avocados. Ripe avocados can be stored in the refrigerator for two to three days.

AVOCADO MUFFINS

12 paper muffin cups (optional)
Butter-flavored cooking spray
1 cup canned pureed butternut
squash or 1 pound fresh — peeled
and cut in 1-inch cubes*
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour

3/4 cup all-purpose or almond
flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup granulated sugar or
stevia
2 eggs
1/2 ripe avocado, seeded,
peeled and mashed (about 1/4
cup)
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup almond milk
1/3 cup sliced almonds

1. Heat oven to 350 F. Prepare muffin tin with paper muffin cups — spray each cup with cooking spray. Set aside.

* If using fresh butternut squash, place cubes on a cookie sheet at 350 F for around 30 minutes or until fork tender. Cool; puree squash in food processor and set aside. If using canned pureed squash, proceed with the recipe below.

2. Spoon flours into dry measuring cups and level with a knife.

Whisk together cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium-size bowl. Set aside.

3. Combine sugar or stevia, eggs, avocado, yogurt and vanilla in a large bowl and beat with a hand mixer until well-combined.

4. Add almond milk and pureed butternut squash, beating at a low speed until blended together.

5. Add flour mixture to above mixture and beat at a low speed just until combined (don’t overmix).

6. Spoon batter into muffin cups and fill halfway. Sprinkle a few almonds evenly over each muffin.

7. Bake muffins for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let muffins cool in the pan for 4 to 5 minutes, then remove immediately to keep muffins from becoming dense. Serves 12. ©2018 King Features Synd. and Angela Shelf Medearis

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