May 20, 2014
To continue our “Which is healthier” series, I present: sour cream and avocado. Both can add some rich, cool creaminess to your sandwich, soup, chili, or dip. Now, you may be thinking, “of course avocado is healthier,” but have you ever looked at the numbers? It’s pretty intriguing and I always think it’s a good idea to compare them. Also, it’s on my mind since I was lucky enough to attend an avocado farm tour a couple of weeks ago in Temecula, California.
Calories and Fat
Avocado and sour cream contain similar amounts of calories and fat, but keep looking and you’ll see important differences.
Choose avocados, your heart will thank you.
If you’re at all aware of the nutrition of avocados, you probably have heard they are high in “healthy fats.” You’re right. Unlike sour cream, avocados have very little saturated fat and instead are high in monounsaturated fats, which are oh-so heart healthy. They can actually lower your LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and risk of heart disease, especially when you replace saturated fats with them.
Another nod to the heart is the fiber that avocados provide. Just 2 tablespoons (or 2-3 thin slices) provide 2 grams of fiber. Fiber also helps keep you feeling full and satisfied.
Avocados also supply some potassium, vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate.
Bottom line: It’s worth swapping your sour cream for avocado!
So avocados are a clear nutritional winner and tasty too. Here are some fun facts I learned about avocados on the farm tour that the California Avocado Commission hosted.
All Hass avocados originate from one tree! Avocados are grown by grafting, which means the tissues of two different plants are connected and grow together. This way, a variety with a strong root system can be paired with a variety that has optimal fruit—the best of both worlds!
Avocados are one of the few plants that have two sets of fruit at one time, the small “bee bees” and the more mature fruit.
Avocados never ripen on the tree. They ripen once picked. They are picked by hand using one of these nifty poles.
Avocado packing plants have cutting edge technology and carefully handle avocados so they arrive at the store in good condition and at the correct ripeness.
Avocado dressing is delicious! Many of the vitamins and minerals in avocados are concentrated next to the skin. So scoop thoroughly.
Butter Milk Avocado Dressing
- 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1 ripe Fresh California avocado, seeded and peeled
- 8 oz. low-fat mayonnaise
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1/16 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- 1/16 teaspoon dry thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Add buttermilk, California avocado, mayonnaise, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, thyme and Worcestershire sauce to a blender and blend until smooth.
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