Avocados for Breakfast, They’re Just not for Guacamole Anymore

January 30, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Who knew? Avocados for breakfast? Yes, Ina Pinkney, the Breakfast Queen herself, made avocados work, in oh so many ways.  I was happily invited to her eponymous Ina’s, 1235 West Randolph St for a recent avocado breakfast [full disclosure I did not pay for the breakfast, but I would have said the same things either way]. Between a Guaca-Mary, avocado mango parfait, Irish Oats with Avocado/honey, Indian rice and lentil pancake with avocado chutney, yummy spicy rock shrimp and grits, shirred eggs in an avocado shell and her surprise, thick and creamy hot chocolate, yes, with avocado in it. I think my favorites of the morning was the green smoothie, the Guaca-Mary made with avocado, cucumber, green grapes, cilantro, jalapeno and lime.

I felt a little guilty thinking about writing and posting about avocados on a blog all about trying to eat as local as possible. Maybe I am considered a middle-vore. I try to source a lot of produce locally, yet not everything I eat is locally grown.  I eat coffee, ocean fish, etc. For people like me the goal, is to eat less of that far away stuff, but eat well and try to source as much local as I can. I put avocados in that mix. Rob Gardner, Editor of this site, and author of the Local Family, encouraged me to go for it.  He reminded me that “local is as far as you need to go to get what you need.”  I think he said something about stealing that phrase from a local farmer. That farmer and Rob knew that eating was no fun if you had to limit yourself to what you could find in your backyard.  In fact, Rob told me he loves avocados, and he encouraged this piece of avocadophilia.  Not do avocados taste good, they’re good for you, as I note below.

I had been meaning to go to Ina’s, not just for the avocados but because I admired Ina.  I heard her speak at a sustainable food conference several months ago, and she was one of the founders of The Green Restaurant Association in Chicago, www.Dinegreen.com.  On top of that, she is meticulous, obsessive, every adjective you can use about the source of the ingredients that she uses in all her foods. I left her restaurant knowing that I had put super, premium high-test fuel in my body after leaving her establishment.

Avocado mango parfaitSpicy Rock Shrimp and Grits

At my breakfast with Ina, I learned some pretty quick and easy ways to get more from avocados.  Ina put together avocado and honey for a pretty amazing combination that can be used in so many ways.  The avocado chutney with dill in it was a pretty tasty combo as well.

Avocados from Mexico are available year round but the highest quality are grown and distributed in January. The particular avocados Ina used, were Hass avocados. The Hass get their fruit from the tree to table in less than a week.

The health benefits of avocados are listed below, which I found on the website www.fitday.com:

Avocados contain good fats, help to keep your cholesterol in balance, and even provide fiber to your diet. ”Avocado is an excellent source of monounsaturated fats such as oleic and linoleic acid. These fats promote the health of your heart. They play a vital role in regulation of cholesterol. The fats help to lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and increase high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

Monounsaturated fats also help to speed up your basal metabolic rate (BMR). This is the rate at which calories are burned when you’re in a state of rest. The calories are used to sustain basic functions such as cell repair, maintain body internal temperature and pump blood. Regular consumption of avocados can help you boost your BMR, which facilitates weight loss endeavors.

Avocados contain the highest amount of beta-sitosterol amongst fruits. This is a plant-based fat that plays a vital role in the reduction of LDL cholesterol. It blocks absorption of LDL cholesterol from the intestines. This helps to improve the ratio of LDL and HDL cholesterol, which promotes cardiovascular health.

Omega-3 fatty acids, which are also present in avocados, are polyunsaturated fats that help to stabilize blood pressure. They also help to sustain a normal heartbeat. This promotes cardiovascular health and reduces the risk of stroke and coronary disease.” (Information sourced from www.Fitday.com)

Avocados may not be local, but they are part of a heart healthy diet and pretty darn tasty as well.  At the Local Beet, we don’t mind if you indulge…occasionally.