The New York Times Bitten blog wants to know how to buy an avocado? More from Mark Bittman:
The other day I was talking to Nick Fox, the deputy editor of the Dining section, about avocados. (We have a lovely little avocado soup on the Minimalist schedule for a few weeks down the road.) And I said, “The odd thing is, whenever I buy semi-ripe or ripe avocados, they’re awful — banged up and overripe, and often mealy.” His response, which jived with my experience but I have never been quite savvy enough to verbalize, was simply “You should buy them rock hard.”Awesome! I buy four avocados a week; one semi-soft and the others I could use as weapons. Now, here’s a great avocado recipe:
And, avocados are a great substitute for butter. Dr. Fuhrman explains:
Avocado Currant Pudding
1 medium banana
4 cups (about 4 ounces) organic baby spinach
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
1/2 cup date sugar
1/2 cup currants or raisins
1 tablespoon unsweetened, shredded coconut, for garnish
Blend all ingredients, except currants and coconut, in a Vita-Mix or other powerful blender until smooth and creamy. Pour into bowl and stir in currants. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Stir and sprinkle with coconut. Serves 3.
Butter is loaded with a dangerous amount of saturated fat, but stick margarines have hydrogenated oils that contain trans fats that raise LDL, the bad cholesterol. Adjusting the type of fat consumed, researchers found that butter caused the highest cholesterol level and that varying amounts of margarines and oils had various harmful effects.1 The best answer is to use nothing, or buy whole-grain bread that tastes good without adding a greasy topping. If you love the flavor of butter, try Butter Buds or sparingly use a spread that contains no hydrogenated oil, such as Spectrum Essential Omega Spread, instead. Lots of my patients like no-salt tomato sauce on bread, or tomato-salsa blend, avocado, or stewed mushrooms. Of course, the best way to get out of the habit of eating those greasy toppings is not to eat bread at all.Need I remind you that I elected myself President of the Avocado Fan Club.
1. Lichtenstein, A. H., L.M. Ausman, S.M. Jalbert, and E.J. Schaefer. 1999. Effects of different forms of dietary hydrogenated fats on serum lipoprotein cholesterol levels. N. Eng. J. Med. 340: 1933-40.