(NAPSI)—Whether you’re enjoying a picnic at the park, grilling up dinner for the family or entertaining friends at a backyard get-together, California avocados can be an excellent ingredient for any meal.
Currently in the peak of their season, California avocados add creamy texture and exceptional flavor to your salads, burgers and favorite dishes while contributing nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients to your diet.
Avocados also are one of the few fruits that deliver “good” monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, providing 3 grams of monounsaturated fats and 0.5 grams of polyunsaturated fats per 1 oz. serving.
In fact, Janice Newell Bissex M.S., R.D. and Liz Weiss, M.S., R.D., two leading nutrition experts known as “The Meal Makeover Moms,” recommend substituting avocados for things like mayonnaise, butter and sour cream in traditional get-together dishes to improve their fat profile.
“Dishes like summer pasta salads are often loaded with mayonnaise,” explains Bissex. “Our recipe for California Avocado Macaroni Summer Salad features a dressing made with velvety avocados. It’s a delicious update on a classic dish that everyone loves—perfect for picnics and barbecues.”
This can be a great time to take advantage of beautiful, seasonal produce like California-grown avocados to create dazzling dishes with lots of fresh flavors and beneficial nutrients.
Here’s a tip: When you’re preparing the avocados for this recipe, simply nick and peel the skin from the avocado to get to the dark green nutrient-rich fruit directly under the peel.1
For more tips like these and delicious summertime recipes, visit CaliforniaAvocado.com.
California Avocado Macaroni Summer Salad
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
3 cups dried whole wheat blend macaroni
3 ripe, fresh California avocados, halved, peeled and seeded
1/2 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup fresh basil, packed
1/4 cup fresh mint, packed
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. lemon juice, divided
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 small clove garlic
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup fresh corn kernels (or frozen and thawed)
Basil and mint, chopped (garnish)
1. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
2. While the pasta is cooking, place an avocado half in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Add the yogurt, basil, mint, olive oil, two-thirds of the lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, salt and pepper and process until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
3. Drain the pasta and place in a large bowl. Cool completely. Stir the dressing into the pasta until well combined. Meanwhile, cut the remaining avocados into ¾-inch dice. Gently stir into the pasta with the tomatoes, corn and the remaining lemon juice.
4. Season with salt and pepper to taste, garnish with additional chopped herbs, and serve.
Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 370; Total Fat 19 g (Sat 3 g, Trans 0 g, Poly 2 g, Mono 13 g); Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 140 mg; Potassium 670 mg; Dietary Fiber 10 g; Protein 10 g