In case you missed it, avocado is the new “it” food.
Known by many in the Caribbean as “pear,” these days, it is widely celebrated—on social media platforms, in women’s magazines, and by celebrities like Beyoncé.
And there’s a reason for that.
Experts say avocado boosts heart health, contains good fats, is high in essential vitamins, and maintains healthy cholesterol levels.
It is so plentiful here in Barbados, I’ve been able to include it in my lineup of weekly meals. Here are some of the tasty and healthy meals, recipes and combinations I’ve been discovering.
Avocado is an awesome creamy addition to breakfast smoothies. I use it as a replacement for milk and yogurt, and the result is a deliciously silky texture.
Avocados make smoothies extra creamy.
2. Vegetable Salads
To make a super salad, combine avocado with your favorite veggies. I like tossing it in with tomato, cucumber, red onion, bell peppers, and a leafy green (lettuce/spinach/arugula), and finishing with one of my favorite dressings. It’s divine.
3. Fruit Salads
I once tried an avocado mango salad at a Thai restaurant. What a sweet surprise it was! At home, I concoct my own version for a fruit snack. Cubed mango or pineapple, or strawberry halves and avocado are a match made in heaven—and way healthier than some ice creams and traditional desserts.
4. Paired with Cucumber, as a Snack
One of my absolute favorite snacks is avocado paired with cucumber. Amp up this combo with cracked black pepper and serve with crackers for a crunch, and create an impressive entertaining snack.
Avocado and cucumber slices make a great snack.
5. Sides for your Seafood
I’ve found that avocado is a great side for seafood meals. I plate it with a meal of grilled or baked fish, usually with a serving of veggies or salad. It is delightful in fish sandwiches, too. Although I don’t eat meat or poultry, I’ve heard from my meat-eating friends that avocado pairs well with bacon, chicken and turkey as well.
6. Pickled Avocado
In the Caribbean, I grew up eating pickled avocado and it’s still one of my favorites today. I mix cubed avocado with lime juice, cilantro, onions, scotch bonnet pepper, and salt to taste, and leave it to sit for about an hour before serving. Sometimes, I throw in tomato or cucumber for more variety.
7. Avocado Toast
Avocado toast is perfect for busybodies; it’s quick and easy. Just smash the avocado and spread it a wholegrain bread for tasty breakfast or lunchtime bites. For extra flavor and fun, dress up your toast. Tomato, feta, corn, basil, and eggs are some of my favorite toppers.
Avocado toast with tomato and crumbled feta cheese.
Love avocados but having trouble choosing them and storing them? Here are some quick tips.
How to tell if it’s ripe: Gently squeeze the bottom of the avocado. If it avocado yields to pressure—even the slightest bit—it’s ready to be eaten.
How to ripen: To ripen, store avocado in a brown bag (or newspaper) in a cool cupboard, and check on it daily to see if it’s ripened. Some people say storing with a banana or apple accelerates ripening.
How to store after cutting: To store a ripened avocado, cut avocado, coat with fresh lemon juice, wrap tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an air-tight container before refrigerating.