Friday, June 19, 2009
Creamy Vegan Avocado Dill Dressing
There’s nothing richer than a ripe avocado and they are plentiful and reasonably priced this time of year. Although some may avoid them because of their high fat content, most of the fats are healthy, monounsaturated fatty acids that include oleic acid. Oleic acid, the same fatty acid found in olive oil, has been shown to be a key contributor to the healthy Mediterranean diet and the prevention of breast cancer.
Adding avocado to a salad increases the body’s ability to absorb healthy carotenoids (like lycopene and beta-carotene) from spinach, lettuce, tomatoes and carrots. Lycopene is a very powerful antioxidant and has been associated with the reduction of cancer and heart disease. Avocados themselves are a good source of the phytochemical lutein, necessary for good vision. Lutein may lower your risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration.
Several studies that received a lot of attention showed that cooking food can significantly increase the bioavailability of some carotenoids in vegetables. Lycopene cooked in olive oil was shown to increase blood levels of this phytochemical. Since adding avocado may accomplish the same thing, perhaps it is the oleic acid in the olive oil, not the cooking, that increases the bioavailability. This is important for raw foodists who may be able to achieve this benefit without cooking the food and destroying other heat sensitive vitamins and phytochemicals.
Avocados are high in fiber and a good source of important vitamins and minerals like vitamin K, potassium, folate, B6, vitamin C and copper.
This creamy salad dressing is very versatile and can be used in many types of cuisine. It makes a wonderful vegan salad dressing and can also be used as the “hollandaise” sauce in my “Healthy Veggie Eggs Benedict” which I will post in a few days. It also makes a delicious sauce that can be served with baked or grilled salmon. For a “raw vegan” creamy avocado dill sauce, substitute the soymilk with raw nut milk.
Creamy Vegan Avocado Dill Dressing [makes 1 cup or 16 tablespoons]
1/2 cup avocado (about 1/2 of a large avocado)
1/2 cup organic, unsweetened soy milk (or raw nut milk)
1 small clove garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan or sea salt
1/8 teaspoon dried or 1/4 teaspoon fresh dill
2 grinds black pepper
2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
Per tablespoon: 15 calories, 1.2 g fat, .2 g saturated fat, 0 g cholesterol, .4 g protein, .8 g carbohydrates and .5 g of fiber.