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Avocado season: Health benefits of avos and a deliciously nutritious recipe for autumn

Honey Roast Autumn Veg with Avocado Dressing. Picture: Supplied

Honey Roast Autumn Veg with Avocado Dressing. Picture: Supplied

Published Apr 22, 2022

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A plant-based diet means different things to different people. But for everyone, avocados are a health and happiness go-to!

Nutritious, versatile, and delicious, avocados have become a kitchen staple in many homes around the world.

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Whether you’re strictly vegan, a version of vegetarian or are simply trying to eat more plant than animal products, avocados add that element of richness, creaminess and a sense of luxury to meals.

Avocados are extremely popular in the health and wellness world because they’re highly nutritious and have been linked to several health benefits.

They’re rich in nutrients that are often lacking in many people’s diets, including magnesium, B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, and folate.

Studies have shown that eating a plant-based diet – and yes, that does mean avocados in your daily meal plan – can help reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancers and may even have a positive impact on emotional wellbeing. And here we were thinking it was just the delicious, satisfying flavour of avocados that made us smile!

It’s worth noting that avocados aren’t low-calorie with a whole one generally having between 200 and 300 calories, depending on size. But functional medicine experts don’t usually focus on calories alone.

Luckily the South African avocado season is now in full swing and will run up until November. Look out for green-skinned varieties of Fuerte, Edranol, Ryan, Reed and Pinkerton, which remain green when ripe – the stalks come away easily to indicate ripeness, so please don’t squeeze – then there are the dark-skinned Hass, Maluma Hass and Lamb Hass, which turn an amazing purple-black to show they are table and toast ready.

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Here's a heaty healthy meal you can try with Avo from South African Avocado Growers’ Association (SAAGA).

Honey Roast Autumn Veg with Avocado Dressing

Serves 4

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Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

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Avocado or olive oil to drizzle

1,5 kg autumn vegetables: such as carrots, butternut, sweet potato, baby turnips

2-3 stalks thyme, picked

15-30 ml (2 - 3 tbsp.) honey

Juice and zest of 1 orange

Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Avocado Salsa Verde dressing:

2 ripe avocados, peeled and stoned

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

15 g (½ punnet) flat leaf parsley plus a little extra for garnish

15 g (½ punnet) mint or basil, or a mix of both

30 ml (2 tbsp.) capers, drained and patted dry

2 anchovy fillets (optional)

30 ml (2 tbsp.) red wine vinegar

125 ml (½ cup) avocado or olive oil

30 ml (2 tbsp.) wholegrain mustard

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 200˚C and add a drizzle of the oil to a large baking tray. Place the vegetables on the baking tray and toss with the thyme, honey, orange juice and zest, and season well.

2. Roast until tender and slightly charred, about 25 - 30 minutes.

3. To make the Avocado Salsa Verde: combine one avocado with the remaining ingredients in a food processor and blend. Slice the other avocado to serve.

4. Serve the roast vegetables on a platter arranged with slices of avocado and drizzle with the Avocado Salsa Verde dressing and extra flat leaf parsley.

Related Topics:

FoodiesNutritionBaking

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