5 Reasons Why You Should Eat Avocados

Avocado and Egg on Toast

Avocado and Egg on Toast

Avocados will make you healthier right now!!  And here’s 5 good reasons why…..

1.  They protect your eyes from disease.  Avocados have a very high content (more than any other fruit) of the carotenoid lutein, which protects agains cataracts and macular degeneration–a leading cause of blindness.

2.  They will lower your cholesterol.   Avocados are high in beta-sitosterol, a natural substance that has been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.  In one study, 45 people saw an average drop in cholesterol of 17% after eating avocados for just one week.

IMG_9087

3.  They help regulate and reduce blood pressure.   Avocados are a great source of potassium, containing even more than bananas.  Studies confirm that eating foods high in potassium (and low in sodium) can lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of stroke.

4.  They are a great source of vitamin E.  Avocados are the greatest fruit source of vitamin E,  an antioxidant that protects against many diseases and helps maintain overall health.

5.  They will moisturize your skin.  Avocado butter and oil, two deep-conditioning emollients, will soften skin, eliminate dry patches, and restore your skin’s elasticity.  Try some beauty products enriched with avocado butter and oil.

IMG_9088

Now to get you started on the road to eating more avocados, here is one of my favorite ways to eat them.  Most mornings I grab my coffee, a hard boiled egg and some fruit, or a nutrient dense muffin, but when I’ve got a few extra minutes, this is the breakfast I love.  It starts with whole grain or rye toast with mashed avocado spread on it.  That is topped with a runny egg, either fried or poached.    There’s something about the combination of crispy toast, creamy avocado, and runny egg that is so satisfying.  It doesn’t get any better than that, and it keeps me going all morning.

AVOCADO and EGG ON TOAST

Yield:   Serves one

Ingredients:

  • 1 slice of whole grain bread, toastedIMG_9085
  • 1 oz, mashed avocado ( about 1/4 small avocado)
  • splash, fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 1 large egg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  •  hot sauce, optional

Directions:

1.  Mash the avocado in a small bowl with a splash of lemon or lime juice and season with salt and pepper.

2.  Heat a small non-stick skillet, or egg poaching pan, over low heat.  Spray with cooking spray.  Crack the egg into the skillet or cup of poaching pan.  Cover and cook to your liking.

My old egg poaching pan still does the job!

My old egg poaching pan still does the job!

3.  Spread the avocado on the toast, top with the egg, and add a splash of hot sauce, if desired.

IMG_9087

Love this breakfast!

Love this breakfast!

SOURCE:   Health.com

Advertisements

Apple Oat Cinnamon Bread

Apple-Oat Cinnamon Bread

Apple-Oat Cinnamon Bread

Dear readers, I have a confession to make.   I am a bread snob!  I am mildly ashamed to admit it, but it’s true.  I am a person who loves bread, but not white bread, only artisanal or whole grain breads will do. For me, white bread is boring, bland, Blah!  Therefore I either buy my bread at a good bakery, or make my own.  That is what led me to make this wonderful bread that contains apple, oats and cinnamon.

The cloudless blue sky and brisk air this week has made me think of the kids gone back to school, and getting lunches ready. When I was in grade school I always brought my lunch, carefully packed by my mother.  One of my favorites was her homemade raisin bread with peanut butter and jelly or cream cheese and cherries.  I considered myself lucky to be one of the “brown baggers”, not one of those kids who purchased weekly lunch tickets, which entitled them to “hot lunches”.  No sir, the sloppy joes, canned corn, tuna noodle casserole, applesauce , and jello were not for me.  I much preferred Mom’s carefully handcrafted sandwiches, or sometimes hot soup in a thermos bottle.

So now when September rolls around, I remember those days and long for home baked bread.  After a summer of grilled chicken and Caesar salads, it’s time for my comfort food,  the sandwich.

Apples and oats both team up happily with cinnamon, so why not put them all together in a soft, tasty loaf?  A touch of maple syrup sweetens the loaf, while walnuts add crunch.    A slice of this, toasted for breakfast is wonderful, and of course, sandwiched with peanut butter and jelly it can’t be beat.

APPLE OAT CINNAMON BREAD

YIELD:  16 – 18 slices

Ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flourIMG_5099
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1  1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2  1/2 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup nonfat milk powder
  • 2 Tbsp. potato flour, (optional, for softer texture)
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup finely diced peeled apple (about 1 medium apple)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts  (optional)

1.  In a large mixing bowl, or in the bucket of your bread machine, combine all of the ingredients, mixing and kneading to make a fairly smooth (though quite sticky), elastic dough.  I used my bread machine set to the “dough” cycle.  If you’re using a mixer, knead for about 7 minutes at medium speed;  the dough will never completely clear the sides of the bowl.

2.  Transfer the dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover it, and allow it to rise for 1 hour or until it’s quite puffy.

3.  After the first rise, gently deflate the dough, and shape it into a 9-inch log.  If using a bread machine, remove dough, deflate and shape as described.

After first rise form dough into a 9-inch log.

After first rise form dough into a 9-inch log.

Place dough into a lightly greased 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.  Cover the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap.  Allow the loaf to rise until it’s crested about 1 inch over the rim of the pan, about 1 hour.

Cover with greased plastic wrap and put in a warm place to raise again.

Cover with greased plastic wrap and put in a warm place to raise again.

What you see here is my loaf inside the microwave, on a heating pad set to “low”.  Close the door and keep it warm inside.  You’ll get a beautiful rise for all your yeast dough(s).

Mine rose really high!!

Mine rose really high!!

4.  Bake the bread in a preheated 350*F oven for 45 minutes, tenting with aluminum foil after about 20 minutes, to prevent over-browning.**  Remove bread from the oven when its internal temperature registers 190*F on an instant-read thermometer.  After about 5 minutes, turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool.

**A work of caution here:  When you tent the bread with foil, be sure the top has baked enough to hold itself up, else the weight of the foil may cause the loaf to collapse.  You can see in my pictures that is what happened to mine.  Prior to putting it into the oven it had risen beautifully, but because the dough is “airy”, it had not baked enough to hold itself up before I covered it with the foil.    The excess dough rolled to the sides and down over the edges of the pan, giving the bread a “flat-top”.   A lesson learned!  It still tasted fabulous, though.

Everything about this bread is so good;  color, flavor, texture.

Everything about this bread is so good; color, flavor, texture. (Except the “flat top”.) 😀

SOURCE:   King Arthur Flour

Toad-in-the-Hole

This is an unusual title for a cute idea for breakfast.  When my children were young, I used to make these for them and they liked them and thought they were fun to eat.  What it consists of is an egg cooked in a hole in a piece of toast.

Toad-in-the-Hole with Bacon

How it became named “Toad in the Hole” I don’t know but that’s what we always called this form of egg and toast.   I decided to make one for myself, so I could photograph it, and I must say I really enjoyed it.  Try this out on your children and see if they agree.  Maybe you’ll like it too.

WHAT TO GET READY:

  • spreadable butter
  • 4 slices multi-grain bread, lightly toasted
  • 4 eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • grated cheese, optional

WHAT TO DO:

1.  Cut a hole in the center of each slice of toast using a 3-inch cookie cutter, biscuit cutter, or even a glass will do.

2.  Butter both sides of the toast, including the circle you cut out.

3.  Arrange bread slices on a hot griddle, large skillet or other pan big enough.  Crack one egg into each hole.  Sprinkle each egg with salt and pepper.  Add the circle cutouts to the pan to brown and crisp each side.

4.  Keep heat at medium and cook until egg whites are firm.  At end of cooking sprinkle with grated cheese if using and plate up each toast slice with it’s “hat” perched over the egg.  Serve with bacon or other breakfast meat.

SERVINGS:  4