Beyond Guac: 5 healthy ways to enjoy fresh avocados

By Julie Upton, MS, RD of Appetite for Health

Guacamole may be your go-to way to enjoy fresh avocados, but the creamy fruit makes a healthy addition to many meals, snacks and even desserts. Avocados are nutritional all-stars, with more than 20 different vitamins and minerals. In fact, research shows that those who enjoy avocados have more nutritious diets, and are thinner with smaller waistlines. They may also be a diet ally as one recent study found that incorporating avocado into lunch helped diners feel fuller longer.
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Here are 5 healthy ways to enjoy the delicious fruit: 

AVOCADO TOAST: Mash fresh avocado with lemon juice, salt and pepper and spread onto a slice of toasted whole-grain bread. You can add additional toppings, like eggs or shredded cheese.

EGG AND AVO BREAKFAST SANDWICH: Stay fuller longer with a better-for-you breakfast sandwich that packs in protein, fiber and healthy fats. Use fried or scrambled eggs, sliced avocado and Canadian bacon on whole-grain bread.
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HEALTHIER BAKED GOODS: It’s true! You can replace up to half of the butter or vegetable oil called for in quick breads, muffins, brownies or cookies with avocado puree. They make moister, healthier baked goods – without anyone knowing you used avocado.

AVOCADO SMOOTHIES: Add creamy avocados to fruit- or veggie-based smoothies to make them more filling and to boost the absorption of some antioxidants. Try: A frozen banana (or 1 cup frozen fruit) with 1/2 cup milk (cow’s or a nondairy alternative) with 1/3 of an avocado. (Sweeten with honey or agave, if desired.) Blend until your desired consistency and add water or ice as needed.
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DICED IN SOUP: Try adding diced avocado to your tomato or vegetable soups just before serving. It adds creaminess but also acts as a nutrient-booster to help the body absorb more of the beneficial antioxidants present in veggies.