Hello Everyone! So once again, I’ve been feeling a little under the weather since towards the end of last week. I think it’s because I got rained (drizzled) on and just been feeling cold ever since. Started with an itchy throat, then a runny nose. I had a mild fever just two days ago but thank goodness I’m starting to feel a little better! Apologies in advance if this post contains a lot of typos or obvious grammatical errors – my brain is not fully functional at the moment.
But that aside, a new month can only mean one thing right? It’s time to experiment and play around with a new fruit on the blog! For the month of July, I’ll be featuring one of my favourite (well to be honest, almost everything is a favourite of mine *cheeky grin*) fruits of all time – Avocado! The last time I featured a month of avocado recipes was back in 2017 if not mistaken. You can click here to see what I got up to with avocados back then.
Avocados can be such an unpredictable b*tch at times – you can never win with them! If I knew I was going to cook/use the avocados on the same day I bought them, I would ask the lady who sells them if the ones I’ve picked are ripe and ready for that day. I still pick those that are slightly firm when gently squeezed. I never ever pick the soft ones! If I knew I was going to only use them the next day, she’d pick the ones that are a little less ripe for me – those that are still green, slightly browned. Here are some tips from Love One Today on how to check for the ripeness of avocados.
Besides being super unpredictable, avocados are known for several proven health benefits:
Avocados are Incredibly Nutritious
They contain a wide variety of nutrients, including 20 different vitamins and minerals. Here is a list of some of the most abundant nutrients found in a single 100-gram serving:
- Vitamin K: 26% of the daily value
- Folate: 20% of the daily value
- Vitamin C: 17% of the daily value
- Potassium: 14% of the daily value
- Vitamin B5: 14% of the daily value
- Vitamin B6: 13% of the daily value
- Vitamin E: 10% of the daily value
- Avocados also contain small amounts of magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorous, and vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), and B3 (niacin).
- Although avocados contain carbs, 78% of those are fibre. So basically only 22% are actually carbs, making this a low-carb friendly plant food.
- Avocados do not contain any cholesterol or sodium and are low in saturated fat.
Fat Content in Avocados may help you Absorb Nutrients from Plant Foods
When it comes to nutrients, your intake is not the only thing that matters. What’s also important is that you need to be able to absorb these nutrients into your body, where they can be used. Some nutrients are fat-soluble, meaning that they need to be combined with fat in order to be utilised.
So, not only are avocados highly nutritious, they can dramatically increase the nutrient value of other plant foods that you eat. This is all the more a very good reason to always include a healthy fat source, such as the avocado (or avocado oil), when you eat your veggies. Without it, a lot of the beneficial plant nutrients will go to waste.
Avocados are Loaded with Powerful Antioxidants that can Protect your Eyes
Not only do avocados increase antioxidant absorption from other foods, they are also high in antioxidants themselves, two of which, namely carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, as incredibly important for our long term eye health.
Eating Avocados may help you Lose Weight
Avocados are weight-loss friendly. They keep you full longer and may help you naturally eat fewer calories, making it easier for you to stick to healthy eating habits. As stated before, avocados are also high in fibre and very low in carbs, two attributes that should help promote healthy weight loss – if considering the context of a healthy, real-food-based diet.
And lastly for the #avocadohaters *cheeky grin*
Avocados are Delicious and Easy to Incorporate into your Diet!
Not only are they beneficial to our health, they’re also super delicious and go with many types of food. They have a creamy, rich, and fatty texture. You can easily add them to salads or pasta, spread them on toast, use as a dip for chips, or simply scoop them out with a spoon and eat them plain!
If you want to read up more on the many health benefits that avocados have to offer, you can head on over to Healthline.
But before you head on over to the recipe below, please check out the original recipe for Shrimp & Avocado Pasta by Kevin & Amanda.
PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 10-12 MINS | SERVES 4
For the avocado and Parmesan ‘sauce’
- 1 medium-sized ripe avocado
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the spicy garlic prawns
- 250g large tiger prawns, heads removed, deshelled, and deveined*
- 30g unsalted butter
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 stalks scallions, chopped
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp ground chilli, or more if you want it spicier
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 250g fettuccine pasta, uncooked**
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
- 1 small ripe avocado, diced
- Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)
*A quarter kilo gave us 4 large tiger prawns, plus 1 extra because the lady who sells them was nice enough to add one in when my Mom asked for it *cheeky grin*. Save the heads and shells to use as a base for soups, broths, or sauces. If not using immediately, place in a zip-lock bag and pop it into the freezer. Keeps frozen for up to 3 months.
**Or you can use any type of pasta – whatever you have readily available in your pantry!
- Avocado ‘Sauce’: Cut the medium-sized avocado in half, lengthwise. Remove the pit and discard – or if you have a green thumb, you’ll know what to do with it. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh from both halves of the avocado from its skin, and place in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Add the Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and olive oil. Smash and mix together until well combined. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water with a teaspoon of sea salt to a boil. Add the fettuccine pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente.
Tip: In cases like these, I like to undercook my pasta by 2 to 3 minutes. The reason being is that I will then add the cooked pasta to the frying pan of garlic prawns, which will continue to cook the pasta. If I had pushed it to the max when boiling, I’ll end up with super soft pasta.
- Spicy Garlic Prawns: While the pasta is cooking away, add the butter and olive oil to a medium-sized frying pan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds until golden brown and fragrant.
- Add the prawns and cook until they turn pink, about 2 minutes per side, then add the chopped scallions and ground chilli. Mix to combine.
- Quickly add the pasta from the pot of boiling water, to the garlic prawns, followed by the avocado sauce. Give it a good mix and then throw in the sliced sun-dried tomatoes.
- Turn the heat off and let it cook for a further minute before plating up.
- Sprinkle more Parmesan cheese on top and garnish with the diced avocados. Serve hot and enjoy!
Tip: The nutrients in avocado can oxidise and turn brown soon after cutting into it and exposing its flesh. The trick to slowing down the oxidation process and preventing them from browning quickly is to add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice.
Now, this may not be one of the prettiest dishes I’ve plated up for the year – I don’t know, I just don’t like how the colour of the diced avocados blended in with the colour of the pasta. The green didn’t quite pop out as much as I would’ve liked it to. Besides the prawns, everything else looked a bit monotonous in my opinion. Nonetheless, despite its look, it was a great tasting dish! I mean, you honestly can’t go wrong with the classic taste of garlicky and lemony prawns can you? What more when it’s paired with pasta and a creamy avocado and parmesan sauce? And that added kick of spice? BOOM!
– Ally xx