Today’s guest blog post comes from Barbara Ruhs, MS, RDN, a registered dietitian, avocado health expert and consultant for Avocados from Mexico. Read more about Barbara and her work here

If you’re looking for delicious ways to boost your intake of fruits and vegetables, we’ve got a variety of creamy and delicious ideas using avocados to help you to increase your intake! ChooseMyPlate.gov recommend that Americans fill half their plate with fruits and vegetables as a general guide to meet dietary recommendations. If you want to calculate your specific needs, visit ChooseMyPlate.gov and review dietary intake goals based on your age and gender.

Big News! As of July 2016, the serving size of avocados was changed from one-fifth of a medium avocado to the new serving size of one-third of a medium avocado or 50 grams. One-third of a medium avocado (50 g) has 80 calories and contributes nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, making it a nutrient-rich choice. Avocados are virtually the only fruit with good fats and are a delicious way to help people meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans’ recommendations to shift from eating saturated fat to good fats.

These are some delicious ways to swap ingredients with avocados to boost your intake of this delicious, green fruit.

Try These Swaps for Butter:

  • Avocado Toast – Avocados contribute good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) to the diet. Discover “21 Energy-Boosting Breakfast Toast” recipes from Buzzfeed.
  • Avocado Mac n Cheese: Why naturally good fats? Because the body needs some dietary fat in moderation to help with absorption of nutrients. Good fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, do not raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels. In fact, good fats are recommended as a replacement for bad fats. Avocados contain 6 g of naturally good fat per 50 g serving, one-third of a medium avocado.

Try These Swaps for Mayonnaise:

  • Avocado Egg Salad Sandwiches: Creamy, ripe avocados are a great base for hearty salads, including chicken, egg and tuna fish salad. Avocados contain 6% of the daily value of vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects body tissue from damage and helps keep the immune system strong against viruses and bacteria.
  • Deviled Eggs: If you’re running short on time, buy a package of hard-boiled eggs, slice them open and carefully scoop out the yolk. Using freshly mashed avocado with lime juice, fill each egg half with a heaping spoonful of mashed avocado (or substitute guacamole).
  • Mediterranean Avocado Pasta Salad: A colorful pasta salad is a festive side dish or appetizer any time of the year. Load up pasta salad with avocados, tomatoes, corn, peppers, onions and any other of your favorite vegetables.

Try These Swaps for Sour Cream:

  • Guacamole Dip: There’s nothing easier than a classic avocado guacamole as a dip for your favorite chips. Combine ripe avocados, mashed, with a squirt of lime juice and diced onions, tomatoes and jalapenos.
  • Baked Potato Topping: A dollop of mashed avocado is a good source of fiber per 50 g serving (one-third of a medium avocado). Diets rich in foods containing fiber, such as some vegetables and fruits, may reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Avocados are a good source of fiber (3 g per 50 g serving) and are a great fresh fruit option to help boost fiber intake.

Try These Swaps for Smoothies & Dessert

  • Start Baking with Avocados! Substituting half the amount of butter in a baking recipe with mashed avocado works well with cookies and quick breads. Using avocado creates a softer, moister baked good, and is perfect if you want to omit the dairy. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans emphasize making small dietary shifts to achieve an overall healthy eating pattern, such as replacing foods higher in saturated fats with foods containing good fats, like avocados.
  • Smoothies: Looking for a dairy-free alternative to make smoothies? Try avocado as a substitute. Virtually the only fresh fruit with good fats, avocados can play a dual role in the diet to help people meet fruit and good fat recommendations. Try this dairy-free mango avocado smoothie!

Visit avocadosfrommexico.com for more recipe inspiration.