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    Reasons to love avocados in your meals, on your face and in your hair

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    The versatility of avocados is what seems to drive avo lovers nuts!

    They go well with almost everything; soup, dipping sauces, salads, drinks and even ice cream!

    Strange that something so bland carries a multitude of benefits.

    Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat, which helps to raise levels of HDL cholesterol, the good cholesterol.

    They are also beneficial for blood pressure since they are naturally free of sodium, which can raise the risk of high blood pressure if ingested in excess and also helps to maintain normal blood pressure due to its potassium content.

    Research has shown that the lutein in avocados, coupled with monounsaturated fats, fibre and other bioactive substances, make this creamy fruit very appealing for a healthy brain which is necessary for all the women who are required to multitask!

    Consuming an avocado while pregnant is highly recommended.

    Because of its high vitamin content, avocados are a crucial component of a balanced diet for both mom and her developing child. Furthermore it may even help prevent birth defects and support proper nervous system development in babies.

    According to studies, the monounsaturated fats in avocados promote a quicker sense of fullness, which lowers overeating and snacking.

    And don’t forget the healthy-looking skin and hair! A B vitamin called biotin, which is abundant in avocados, helps to maintain healthy skin and hair.

    Avocado Sushi Salad

    Image credits: The South African Avocado Growers’ Association

    This recipe, inspired by a California roll, is deconstructed, and makes a delicious salad for entertaining with all the familiar sushi flavours. Tinned tuna, cooked prawns, smoked salmon or sushi grade fresh salmon may all be included.

    Serves 6- 8

    Preparation time: 20 minutes

    Cooking time: 30 minutes

    Ingredients:

    · 330 g (11/2) cups sushi rice

    · 180 g (1 cup) quinoa

    · 1/3 cup (80 ml) rice vinegar

    · 15 ml (1 tbsp) caster sugar

    · Big pinch of salt

    · 2 small avocados, peeled, stoned and sliced

    · 1 large carrot, grated or thinly sliced

    · 6 baby cucumbers, thinly sliced

    · 4 radishes, sliced

    · Pickled ginger, sliced

    · 60 ml (4 tbsp) Japanese mayonnaise

    · 10 ml (2 tsp) sesame seeds, toasted

    · 1/3 cup salt-reduced soya sauce

    · Wasabi & torn toasted seaweed, to serve

    Method:

    1. Cook the sushi rice according to instructions on the packet. Cook the quinoa according to instructions on the packet.

    2. While the rice is cooking make the rice seasoning by mixing together the rice vinegar, sugar and salt, set aside.

    3. Once the rice is cooked, drain and transfer to a baking tray, spread hot rice out evenly on the baking tray using a spatula. Sprinkle over the rice seasoning and allow to cool. Drain and cool the quinoa.

    4. Once cooled, toss the rice and quinoa together and arrange on a large flat platter. Top the rice mixture with the sliced avocado, grated carrot, cucumber, radishes and pickled ginger. Drizzle with the Japanese mayo and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

    5. Serve with soya sauce, wasabi and torn toasted seaweed.

    Read the latest issue of IOL Food digital magazine here.

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