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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!

Have You Tried an Avocado Lately?

Lately, I have been on an avocado kick. I've discovered that this fruit (yes it is a fruit!) is well more than the star of guacamole. It has lifted my sometimes boring salads, salsas and sandwiches to a level of tasty goodness I would never have expected. If you and your family haven't explored all the options the avocado can give, you're missing out!

First of all, while avocados may have quite a bit of calories (just one fifth of a medium avocado has 50 calories), it's not without reason. Avocados are a good source of monounsaturated fats, and these are the good fats that may help decrease cholesterol levels. Avocados also provide numerous vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals making it a healthy addition to anyone's diet.

Even infants, toddlers and kids tend to love the taste of avocado. Their smooth, creamy consistency makes them especially appealing to babies. But of course, we adults love them, too. Avocados can be blended into a smoothie, scrambled into eggs, or spread on top of a whole grain bagel or slice of toast for a serving of fruit for breakfast. Try them on your favorite sandwich, burger or salad for lunch. And add them to pasta or puree them into a dip for shrimp or chicken wings for the perfect dinner meal. Plus, you can replace half the fat in your favorite baked dessert with equal amounts of fresh avocado to increase your fruit intake, while providing a healthier source of fats.

Like apples, avocados are susceptible to oxidation and turn brown when sliced and exposed to air. To prevent this, place avocado in an airtight container or wrap tightly with plastic wrap after sprinkling on a small amount of lemon juice or ascorbic acid (Fruit Fresh®). Avocados will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.


Guacamole with Homemade Tortilla Chips


8 (6-inch) corn or flour tortillas

Cooking spray

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon chili powder or other seasonings (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Lightly coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray. Cut each tortilla with a pizza cutter into wedges and arrange on baking sheet.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and seasonings and lightly spray with cooking spray.
  4. Bake at 375°F for 10-12 minutes or until wedges are crisp and lightly browned.
  5. Cool 10 minutes and store in an airtight container.


3 tomatillos, peeled, cored and finely chopped

2 Roma tomatoes, cored and finely chopped

1/3 cup onion, chopped

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped

2 ripe avocados, peeled, seeded and coarsely mashed

3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon minced garlic

½ teaspoon salt

  1. Combine all ingredients and stir.
  2. Serve guacamole with homemade tortilla chips.

Makes 16 servings: 2 tablespoons guacamole and 4 chips


Nutritional analysis per serving: 57 calories, 2.6 grams of fat, 1.2 grams of protein, 0 cholesterol and 189 mgs of sodium.

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