Avocados – The Perfect Healthy Fat For Dairy, Egg, Peanut and Nut Free Diets

One of my greatest concerns with my son’s enormous list of forbidden foods, was how to keep weight on him and ensure that his growth stayed on chart.  Because he couldn’t eat most of the foods children eat that contain fats, I was constantly stressed (I mean to the point that it consumed my sleeping hours) about his weight.  I was always comparing him to other kids and paranoid that his growth and development would be stunted because he couldn’t get adequate healthy fats into his diet. Being dairy, egg, peanut and treenut free wiped out a huge portion of the regular fats I served the kids.  And then….in my panic and middle of the night obsession, I re-discovered the avocado which up until that point, had just been a dunk tank for my tortilla chip and side-kick to my margaritas!

What I learned about avocados is that not only are they deliciously buttery and smooth, they are a fantastic source of healthy fats that have so many nutritional benefits that aren’t really talked about. In fact, avocados are the only fruit (yep, despite my kids arguing that they must be a vegetable because they are green, they are in fact a fruit) that provides a substantial dose of monounsaturated fats. Now without getting into a detailed discussion of the different types of fats, just know that monounsaturated fats help protect against heart disease, help prevent depression, and have even been found to be a factor in preventing certain types of cancer!  So  contrary to popular belief, fats are healthy and necessary, they just need to be the right ones!

In addition to healthy fats, avocados are very low in sugar (odd for a fruit!), contain a substantial amount of fiber and are a great source of many vitamins such as C, E, K (helps prevent Osteoporosis) and B-6.  They also contain healthy levels of riboflavin, niacin, folate (remember how important this is to pregnant women!) magnesium and potassium. Lutein, which is great for vision, beta-carotene and omega-3 fatty acids are also packed into an avocado! So go ahead and eat that vat of guacamole, it’s good for you! (o.k. maybe not the entire vat…;)

Yes, avocados can be a bit expensive.  Believe me, with 5 of us, I know how badly it can hurt to watch $10 worth of avocados disappear in an hour. So when they are in season in the summer, like now, I load up with bags from Costco and find any way I can to eat them. If you are afraid that they will go bad because you can’t eat them fast enough, don’t worry, I had the same problem! But guess what, you can freeze them!  Who knew! Here is a great article I found that details 4 different ways to freeze these gems:

FREEZING AVOCADOS

Soon after I began “motivating” Alex to eat avocados by way of guacamole, in copious and nauseating amounts, as you can imagine, they lost their appeal. So….I had to figure out different ways to incorporate them into his/our diet. After spending an embarassing amount of time devoted to searching for avocado based recipes, I have a pretty good file accumulated so i wanted to share some here with you. A great resource is also California Avocado . This site has some wonderful avocado recipes from appetizers to desserts and  main dishes.

We would love to know what you think of any of the recipes you try below.  And if you find or have a new one, please email us and we will include it on our blog!

SAVORY RECIPES

Crispy Baked Avocado Fries (with creamy chipotle dip) – Seriously? Fries that are actually healthy?! Take note that the chiptole dip might need to be adjusted here for your own food allergies. This recipe is from Gimme Delicious.

Vegan Avocado Mayonnaise

Use this as you would regular mayonnaise.  Great in chicken salad or as a spread on lettuce, add thin slices of meat and anything else!

Spinach and Avocado Pesto

This is our own recipe that we love on grilled chicken, toasted bread, tossed with hot pasta, or anything you would put regular pesto on. So flavorful and packed full of nutrition between the spinach and avocado!

 

Creamy Vegan Avocado Ranch Dressing

This delicious ranch from Karissa’s Vegan Kitchen is the base for my dressing.  I just add half of a ripe avocado!

 

DESSERT RECIPES (Yes, avocados can be used in desserts!)

Avocado Chocolate Mousse

This delicious recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie is wonderful!  And the chocolate does a wonderful job hiding the avocado!

Avocado Buttercream Frosting

This recipe from Crafty Cooking Mama is for both a chocolate cake and frosting but I have only used the frosting as the cake is not adapted to our food challenges.  MAKE SURE to allow the frosting to sit for a while before eating it so that the avocado flavor disappears into the chocolate.  If you do not wait, you will taste the avocado.

Chocolate Avocado Cookies

These are also Paleo too! I love fudgy cookies that taste like brownies:)  To replace the egg, simply use a chia egg!

 

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