Whenever I hear someone say “I can’t eat that, I’m on a low fat diet”, it makes me a little loco.  Thanks to the deluge of media that we see everyday, and the low fat craze that started in the 1970′s, there’s a fear of fat in our society.

Sure, if you want to have dry skin, dry hair, dry private parts (menopausal ladies, I’m talking to you, and you know exactly what I’m talking about!), be on a blood sugar and hormonal roller coaster everyday, and miss out on so many delicious foods that have the essential nutrients that your body needs, they knock yourself out on that low fat diet.

More recent research has shown that eating fat does not actually make you fat, and may be more driven by our sky-rocketing intake of refined carbohydrates, sugar, and high-fructose corn syrup more than anything else.  I highly recommend you read the book “Why We Get Fat:  And What To Do About It” by Gary Taubes, it’s fascinating (or hire me as your nutritionist, since I’ve already read it, and can give you actionable steps on how to lose that weight, get healthy, and love what you eat again!).

The fat-filled foods to put on your must eat list should include:  raw nuts and seeds, coconut oil, butter, and avocados!

I’m going to tell you a secret.  I used to HATE avocados.  Now let me clear one thing up,  I was convinced that I hated avocados before I even tried an avocado.  Lesson one in hating foods:  actually try the food first before you decide!  Then I tried a straight piece of avocado, and I still hated it.  Then I had it mashed up, with some Fleur de Sel and some aged balsamic vinegar, and I loved it!  It turns out, I don’t like eating avocado on it’s own, but if it’s in a salad, or as a dip … well holy guacamole!  Now I can’t get enough of them.  I put them in smoothies, eat them on tacos, and add them to my kick @ss quinoa salad below.

Avocados are a nutrition superfood, and here’s why:
- they have more potassium than bananas, with only a small percentage of the sugar.  Ask anyone where they can get potassium, and the first answer they say is bananas.  I’m starting an avocado crusade, down with bananas (well not really, just in the potassium argument!).  Know someone with high blood pressure?  An avocado a day will keep the doctor away
- they are a huge source of fiber.  One cup of avocado has almost 1/2 of your recommended daily intake!
- they are full of various B vitamins and vitamin C, helping to increase your immune system and your energy level throughout the day
- they help you absorb more of the disease fighting chemicals found in other foods, so that when you eat avocados together with other veggies, you get between 200-400% more nutrition!  Talk about killing two birds (or two tumours) with one stone.

So don’t delay, get your avocados today … and make this delicious recipe!  This quinoa salad is really ideal during the summer, when mint, cucumber, and tomatoes are all in season, but hey, I need a little pick-me-up right now, and what better way to get it than a colourful, light tasting, delicious, and nutritious salad!

Minty fresh quinoa salad

Cook time:  20 mins
Prep time:  15 mins
Serves:  4-6 as a main, or 6-8 as a side dish 

225 g uncooked quinoa (about 1 ¼ cups)
2 ½ cups water
4 inch piece cucumber
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
3-4 sprigs fresh mint
1 avocado
1 clove garlic
¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 large lemon
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1.  Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
2.  Rinse the quinoa under cold water for several minutes to remove the bitter film on it.
3.  Once water is boiling, add quinoa and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook for 20 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed, and the quinoa is light and fluffy.  Spread out onto a flat baking pan to cool.
4.  While the quinoa is cooking and cooling, prepare the rest of the ingredients as follows, and put them all into a big bowl:
5.  Quarter the cucumber lengthwise, slice into small chunks.
6.  Halve the tomatoes.
7.  Remove the mint leaves from the sprigs, and chop finely.
8.  Halve the avocado, remove the put, remove the soft flesh from the skin, and cut into ½ inch chunks.
9.  Remove the garlic from the skin, and mince finely.
10.  Once all ingredients are in a large bowl, add the pumpkin seeds and juice the lemon into the bowl, making sure that all the avocado pieces are covered with the juice so that they don’t turn brown.
11.  Add the olive oil, salt and pepper, and toss all the ingredients together, making sure they are all coated in the lemon juice and olive oil.
12.  Add the cooled quinoa to the rest of the ingredients, and toss together.
13.  Taste the salad, and add more salt and pepper if needed.
14.  Serve on it’s own for a snack or small lunch, or use as a side dish for lunch or dinner.

Reader question:  What’s your favourite way of eating avocados?  If you’ve never tried one, what’s stopping you?

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  1. How to get your food to love you back | lovewhatyoueat.ca
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