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20 Easy and Delicious Recipes with Avocado

20 Easy and Delicious Recipes with Avocado

Avocados are a near perfect food. They are creamy, versatile, nutritious and, dare I say, decadent (a rare adjective to apply to something so healthy). That said, a common complaint among the dieter set is that these green wonders are just too fatty to be eaten daily and in large quantities. While it is true that, by vegetable standards, avocados are quite fatty, it is important to note that not all fats are created equal. Avocados are an excellent source of monounsaturated fat, which has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, decrease the risk of heart attack and improve brain function. In addition, avocados contain Vitamins E (an antioxidant) and B6 (which promotes healthy skin).

Here are 20 easy and delicious ways to prepare meals using avocados:

Breakfast

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    The Egg-o-cado

    Halve an avocado and remove the pit. Pour a raw egg into the indent left by the pit and bake until the egg is cooked through. Serve with salsa.

    Avocado on Toast 

    Replace the butter or cream cheese that you would normally slather on your morning toast with avocado and sprinkle with sea salt.

    Avocado Pancakes

    Take your favorite pancake recipe (and, no, we are not talking about the just add water mixes) and replace all but a tablespoon or two of the oil or butter with avocado puree, simultaneously reducing saturated fat and adding some vitamins.

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    Kiwi Avocado Green Smoothie

    Make a creamy and delicious superfood smoothie with avocado, kiwi, lime, a handful of kale and a drizzle of honey.

    Breakfast Pizza

    Throw together a simple breakfast pizza in a hurry by layering together a tortilla, some mashed avocado (or guacamole) and a fried egg. Top it off with some hot sauce or a squeeze of lime.

    Lunch

    AvocadoTunaSalad-025

      Green Egg Salad

      Replace the majority of the mayo in typical egg salad with pureed avocado for a nutritious and filling take on an old favorite.

      Smashed Chick Peas and Avocado

      For a completely animal-free alternative to egg salad, blend chick peas and avocado in a food processor with some lime juice and cilantro. Serve as the filing of a sandwich.

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      Grilled Chicken and Avocado Salad

      Toss some grilled chicken and avocado slices into a salad of baby spinach. Serve with the chopped up fruit of your choice and a vinaigrette salad dressing.

      Tuna and Avocado 

      You may be noticing a pattern here. Avocado is an excellent replacement for other, less healthy fats. Try replacing all the mayonnaise in traditional tuna salad with mashed avocado. Add a pinch of sugar for some added sweetness.

      Zucchini and Avocado Soup

      In a food processor, puree cooked zucchini and green onion with avocado and vegetable broth. Season with cilantro and lime juice.

      Dinner

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        Cilantro Lime Shrimp Tacos

        Combine grilled shrimp, black beans, fresh cilantro, avocado and lime juice into tacos. Serve with some salsa verde.

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        Pasta with Green “Alfredo”

        Make a creamy pasta sauce without the cheese by mixing pureed avocado with lemon juice, basil, garlic and olive oil. Serve over spaghetti.

        Avocado Lime Salmon

        Prepare a rough chopped salsa of avocado, red onion, hot peppers, lime juice and olive oil. Dollop on top of baked salmon. Serve on a bed of brown rice.

        Avocado Mac n’ Cheese

        Blend together in a food processor, avocados, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Mix into cooked elbow macaroni and add butter and grated Parmesan cheese until you reach the desired taste and consistency.

        Grilled Shrimp, Mango and Avocado Skewers

        Put shrimp, large chunks of mango and avocado on wooden skewers. Brush with terriyaki sauce and grill until cooked through. Serve with rice.

        Dessert

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        avocado-mousse

          Avocado Ice Cream

          Freeze a couple of peeled avocado slices and blend them with honey or simple syrup to make an ice cream.

          Chocolate Avocado Pudding

          Combine coconut milk, melted chocolate and pureed avocados to make this delicious pudding.

          Avocado Whip

          Whip together in a food processor avocado, sugar, milk and vanilla extract. Chill and serve.

          Fudgey Brownies

          These brownies replace the egg with pureed avocado.

          Guacamole Cream Pie

          What happens when you cross a banana cream pie with a popular green Mexican condiment? It sounds gross but it tastes great.

          Featured photo credit: Avocado/Liz West via flickr.com

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          Last Updated on November 11, 2019

          How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

          How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

          Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

          To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

          Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

          1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

          Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

          Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

          To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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          2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

          Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

          If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

          Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

          3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

          Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

          Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

          4. Feed Your Brain

          Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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          This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

          Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

          Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

          5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

          According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

          Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

          Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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          6. Write it Down

          If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

          It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

          You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

          7. Listen to Music

          Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

          8. Visual Concepts

          In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

          Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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          Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

          9. Teach Someone Else

          Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

          Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

          10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

          Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

          So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

          Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

          More About Boosting Memory

          Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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