(NAPSI)—Are you looking for ways to improve the healthfulness of your diet? The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 (DGA) recommends eating nutrient-dense foods and beverages such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, lean meats and poultry, eggs, beans, peas, nuts and seeds.
MyPlate is an easy to understand visual representation of the DGA and a helpful road map for building balanced meals made from the five food groups.
Make Half Your Plate Veggies and Fruits
MyPlate encourages consumers to fill half of their plates with a variety of vegetables and fruits because they contain a variety of essential nutrients, are associated with reduced risk of many chronic diseases and, when prepared without added fats or sugars, are relatively low in calories.
California avocados are a delicious nutrient-dense fruit. One-fifth of a medium avocado has 50 calories and contributes nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients including 8 percent of the Daily Value for dietary fiber and 4 percent of the Daily Value for potassium, nutrients of public health concern identified by the DGA.
“MyPlate inspires us to make half our plate veggies and fruits because doing so is critical to good health. Unfortunately, many Americans are not getting enough of these important foods,” notes Elizabeth Pivonka, PhD, RD, president and CEO of Produce for Better Health Foundation. “I feel good about recommending California avocados to consumers as a tasty way to help meet daily fruit needs. Everyone should take advantage of the nutrition package avocados offer.”
Fit in Your “Good” Fats
California avocados are one of the few fruits that deliver “good” monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that can have a beneficial effect on health, providing 3 grams of monounsaturated and 0.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat per 1 oz. serving. According to the American Heart Association, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, when consumed in moderation and eaten in place of saturated or trans fats, can help reduce blood cholesterol levels.
This refreshing, flavor-packed recipe will help you fill out your plate with produce.
Pan-Seared Scallops with Fennel Slaw and California Avocado-Papaya Relish
California Avocado-Papaya Relish
1 ripe, fresh California avocado, peeled, seeded, and cut into ¼-inch cubes
⅔ papaya, peeled, seeded, and cut into ¼-inch cubes
⅓ red bell pepper, cut into ¼-inch cubes
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
In a small bowl, combine avocado, papaya and bell pepper. Add lime juice and gently stir to coat; set aside.
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. white pepper
3 cups thinly sliced fennel
2 green onions, green part only, thinly sliced lengthwise
1. In a small bowl, combine lemon peel, lemon juice, vinegar, oil, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper; stir until well mixed. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine fennel and green onion. Top fennel mixture with dressing. Mix well, cover and set aside.
16 scallops, rinsed and patted dry
¼ tsp. salt
⅛ tsp. white pepper
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Fennel Slaw (see make-ahead recipe above)
California Avocado-Papaya Relish (see make-ahead recipe above)
1. Season scallops with salt and pepper.
2. Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat. Place scallops in skillet and cook for 2−3 minutes on each side.
3. Divide Fennel Slaw evenly among plates. Place equal servings of scallops on each plate. Spoon California Avocado-Papaya Relish over scallops.
For other recipe ideas that feature California avocados, visit the California Avocado Commission website at www.CaliforniaAvocado.com.
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate (NAPSI)