If you’ve seen my top 10 foods for runners list, you know avocados are on it. For good reason… We runners need healthy fats in our diets and avo’s are a great source.
To get all technical, the type of fat found in avocados is monounsaturated fat – specifically omega 9 oleic acid (this is the same kind of fat found in olive oil and you know how much hype olive oil has received!).
They’re also packed full of vitamins and minerals too – in fact, a half an avocado contains just as much potassium as is found in one banana. And they’re a source of iron (1mg in a half — recommended intake for athletes is 18-23mg per day). Avocados also contain vitamins C, E and lutein (member of the vitamin A family), antioxidants which help to reduce inflammation. And they’re a good source of the B-vitamins (specifically, folate, B5 and B6 – the stress fighters).
Oh, and fibre – avocados are also high in fibre (between 11 to 17 grams in one avocado alone).
But how to actually use them? Here’s 5 awesome ways to eat avocados you will love.
1. Salad Toppers
Before you roll your eyes at this one (like, obviously they go well on salads, ha) – I want to introduce you to a salad that avocados taste absolutely phenomenal on top of (drumroll please)… Hearty Rice Salad (click here for the recipe) – it’s a must-try with sliced avo atop it!
But yes, they go fabulously on any salad. In fact, you can even turn them into the salad dressing! Click here for the Creamy Avocado Salad Dressing recipe.
Mmmm, chips dipped in guac… That’s baked organic tortillas of course 😉
But really, guacamole can be used as a garnish for just about anything. You might top the aforementioned salads with guac, use it in your sandwiches or wraps, on toast or in fajitas.
How to make guacamole? Mash an avocado with a dash each of sea salt, pepper and garlic powder, and then mix in a teaspoon of fresh lime juice, a handful of chopped cilantro, 2-3 cherry chopped cherry tomatoes, a tablespoon of finely diced onion and some finely diced hot chili pepper, if desired. Eat. Enjoy.
You don’t have to turn avocados into guacamole to use them in sandwiches and wraps. Cut one open and slice half of it into your sandwich or wrap. (To save the other half and help it stay fresh and prevent browning, leave the pit in the half you’ll save, drizzle a touch of lemon juice over the exposed flesh and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.)
Or, try this (best emergency meal ever – and it’s actually a popular breakfast): put sliced or mashed avocado on a piece of toast, sprinkle with some sea salt and top with a poached or fried egg – and maybe a bit of salsa if desired. Yum. Yum. Yum.
I wouldn’t put avocado into a recovery shake (fat hinders quick absorption post-run). However, if you have smoothies for breakfast – try tossing in avocado – it’ll make the shake creamier!
5. Dessert Puddings
Yep, every blog post deserves a sweet ending. Or something like that. Anyhow, I may be lucky my hubby flat out doesn’t like puddings of any kind. Otherwise I might eat too much chocolate avocado pudding cause it’d be in the house all the time, ha. Try this recipe (makes 4 servings):
- 2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and quartered
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 almond milk or coconut milk
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender, magic bullet or food processor and process on high until smooth. Refrigerate for an hour and then serve topped with fresh fruit.
Have I missed any methods of indulging in avos? How do you eat your avocados? Let me know in the comments below.
Happy running 🙂
Sarah J Cuff, RHN