Healthy Recipes Series
After many requests, we have decided to come back to our Healthy Recipes Series with an eternal hit! Fries! Yes, you have read well, we have a healthy alternative to the common french fry. The main ingredient is… avocado!!!
Fries are traditionally a side to many standard American dishes. Now, we know the standard American diet is not something we want to use as an example or staple for our healthy diet. We can, however, pick up some ideas, get creative, and come up with our own versions of those foods. That can also be the truth for fries. The “normal” fries are made with not very nutritious potatoes and fried in harmful vegetable oils. Our Avocado Fries are made with super nutrient-dense avocados, of course, and instead of frying, we use the food dehydrator, to maintain the nutrients and preserve the enzymes in food, while still giving it the crunch! Avocado Fries can be used as a side dish or creamy crunchy snack
The main ingredient is avocado, but this recipe, contrary to the standard fries, also adds other healthy ingredients, namely the flax seeds and the garlic powder. Read on so you can get to know the benefits of these foods before you move to prepare your fries 😊
Avocados were also the star ingredient in the Guacamole recipe, which you can find here. This fatty and creamy fruit is very rich in nutrients, including 20 different vitamins and minerals.
Nutritional Profile and Health Benefits of Avocado1,2
- Source of several vitamins: A, C, E, K, folate (B-9), pyridoxine (B-6), niacin (B-3), pantothenic acid (B-5), riboflavin (B-2), choline and phytosterols.
- Rich in flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants beneficial for health, such as cryptoxanthin, lutein/zeaxanthin, and beta and alpha carotenes. The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin are very important for eye health. Lutein helps control oxidative/inflammatory stress.
- Good source of minerals, like potassium, magnesium, and small amounts of manganese, copper, iron, zinc, and phosphorous. The high potassium content may help promote normal blood pressure.
- Excellent source of mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) like oleic and palmitoleic acids as well as omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid and linoleic acid.
- Avocado oil consists of 71% monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), 13% polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), and 16% saturated fatty acids (SFA).
- The balanced fat profile of avocados helps to promote healthy blood lipid profiles and to enhance the bioavailability of fat-soluble vitamins and phytochemicals from the avocado itself or other fruits and vegetables. Avocado consumption contributes to reducing total cholesterol and blood triglycerides, lowering LDL, and increasing HDL.
- Contains significant levels of dietary fiber, consisting of 30% soluble fiber and 70% insoluble fiber.
Flax seeds are a rich source of many nutrients, omega-3 fatty acids, essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fiber.
Nutritional Profile and Health Benefits of Flaxseeds3,4
- Rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) such as oleic acid. Is also one of the best plant sources of omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are highly anti-inflammatory. One spoonful of flaxseed oil provides about 8 g of omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed oil consists of approximately 55% ALA (α -linolenic acid).
- Helps regulate lipid profiles, by contributing to increase HDL (“good cholesterol”) and decrease LDL (“bad cholesterol”) levels in the blood.
- Contain lignans, a class of phytoestrogens considered to have antioxidant and cancer-preventing properties.
- Excellent source of vitamin-E, especially rich in gamma-tocopherol (around 20 grams per 100 grams of flaxseed; 133% RDA). Vitamin-E is a powerful antioxidant, required for maintaining the integrity of mucosa and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen-free radicals.
- Vitamins from the B-complex, such thiamin (B-1), riboflavin (B-2), niacin (B-3), pantothenic acid (B-5), pyridoxine (B-6), and folate (B-9), are also present in good amounts.
- Good source of minerals such as manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.
- High caloric density (about 534 calories per 100 grams of seeds)
Garlic, whose scientific name is Allium sativum, is considered one of the oldest plants cultivated for its dietary and medicinal values5. Garlic belongs to the genus Allium of vegetables, and Allium is, interestingly, the Latin word for “garlic.” The Allium genus includes garlic, onions, shallots, leeks, and chives. All of these plants offer powerful antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and unique phytonutrients with incredible health benefits. To date, 16 species of the genus Allium “have proved potential anticancer properties due to the accumulation of various sulfur and organic compounds like S-allyl mercaptocysteine, quercetin, flavonoids, and ajoene6.”
Quercetin is known for its antioxidant activity and radical scavenging and anti-allergic properties characterized by stimulation of immune system, antiviral activity, inhibition of histamine release, decrease in pro-inflammatory cytokines, leukotrienes creation, and suppression of interleukin IL-4 production.
Garlic, onions, leeks, and chives contain other flavonoids that promote the production of glutathione, the powerful antioxidant mentioned earlier. Flavonoids may inhibit cancer cell proliferation and angiogenesis as well as killing off cancer stem cells.
Nutritional Profile and Health Benefits of Garlic5,7,8,9,10
- Excellent source of vitamins such as B-complex vitamins pyridoxine (B-6; 95% RDA), thiamin (B-1; 17% RDA), pantothenic acid (B-5; 12% RDA) and also Vitamin C (52% RDA), a very powerful antioxidant vitamin, that helps to reduce inflammation and free radical damage.
- Amazing source of minerals, with RDAs of 73% of manganese, 33% of copper, 26% selenium, 22% phosphorus, 21% of iron, and 18% of calcium. Many of these minerals, like manganese and selenium, are essential for antioxidant enzymes.
- Contains several compounds with antioxidant effects, such as vitamin C, β – carotene, and zeaxanthin.
- Research indicates that garlic possesses many health benefits, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, immunomodulatory, cardiovascular protective, anticancer, hepatoprotective, digestive system protective, anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, neuroprotective, renal protective, antiarthritic, antithrombotic, antitumor, hypoglycemic, and hypolipidemic activities5, 9.
- Allium vegetable consumption has been associated, in epidemiological studies, as protective against cancers, particularly cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, and the consumption of garlic has been indicated as providing strong protection against cancer risk5,10.
- Garlic contains diverse bioactive compounds, such as allicin, alliin, diallyl sulfide, diallyl disulfide, diallyl trisulfide, ajoene, and S-allyl-cysteine9. Many of these compounds, like diallyl trisulfide, allicin, diallyl disulfide, diallyl sulfide, and allyl mercaptan have been shown to have an anticancer action.
- Some of these compounds, like allicin antiviral, exhibit antibacterial, and anti-fungal activities.
- In terms of cancer, studies highlight the beneficial action of sulfur-containing compounds present in Allium vegetables, which may produce effects on “each stage of carcinogenesis and affect many physiological processes that modify cancer risk10.” These compounds act through several mechanisms, including “decreased bioactivation of carcinogens, antimicrobial activities, and redox modification10.”
- Studies published in 2021 and 2022, concluded that the “bioactive molecules in garlic were found to inhibit the various phases of cancer11” and that “Garlic extract, its phytocompounds and their nanoformulations have been shown to inhibit the different stages of cancer, including initiation, promotion, and progression5.”
- Garlic metabolites also have the potential to alter the peroxidation of lipids, the activity of nitric oxide synthetase, nuclear factor-kappa B, epidermal growth factor receptor, protein kinase C, and regulate cell cycle, and survival signaling5,11.
Other ingredients that you will need are cashews, nutritional yeast and salt. Remember, when using cashews, these are not a “true nut” and are much higher in sugar than all other nuts, so you can always replace them with other nuts, lower on sugar and equally creamy, such as macadamias or pine nuts.
This recipe is so simple and calls for a few ingredients that you probably even have at home, which means you can start preparing your Avocado Fries right away! 😊
Here is the full recipe for Avocado Fries – A Healthy Alternative to Traditional Fries!
- Makes: 4 servings Prep time: 20 minutes • Total time: 2-4 hours
- 2 medium avocados
- 1/3 cup flax seeds
- 1/3 cup cashews
- 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- Slice each avocado into ½-inch wedges. Place in a bowl and set aside.
- In a blender, grind flax seeds and cashews into crumbs. Mix in nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and salt. Pour this mixture over the avocados and toss to coat.
- Spread avocados into a mesh dehydrator sheet and dehydrate at 110 °F for 2-4 hours.
- United States Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central. Search Results. Avocados, raw, all commercial varieties. Published April 1, 2019. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171705/nutrients, accessed Feb 6, 2023.
- Nutrition and You. Avocados Nutrition Facts. https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/avocados.html, accessed Feb 6, 2023.
- United States Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central. Search Results. Seeds, flaxseed. Published April 1, 2019. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169414/nutrients, accessed Feb 6, 2023.
- Nutrition and You. Flax Seed Nutrition Facts. https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/flax-seed.html, accessed Feb 6, 2023.
- Mondal A, Banerjee S, Bose S, Mazumder S, Haber RA, Farzaei MH, Bishayee A. Garlic constituents for cancer prevention and therapy: From phytochemistry to novel formulations. Pharmacol Res. 2022 Jan;175:105837. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2021.105837. Epub 2021 Aug 24. PMID: 34450316.
- Asemani Y, Zamani N, Bayat M, Amirghofran Z. Allium vegetables for possible future of cancer treatment. Phytother Res. 2019 Dec;33(12):3019-3039. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6490. Epub 2019 Aug 29. PMID: 31464060.
- United States Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central. Search Results. Garlic, raw. Published April 1, 2019. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169230/nutrients, accessed Feb 8, 2023.
- Nutrition and You. Garlic Seed Nutrition Facts. https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/garlic.html, accessed Feb 8, 2023.
- Shang A, Cao SY, Xu XY, Gan RY, Tang GY, Corke H, Mavumengwana V, Li HB. Bioactive Compounds and Biological Functions of Garlic (Allium sativum L.). Foods. 2019 Jul 5;8(7):246. doi: 10.3390/foods8070246. PMID: 31284512; PMCID: PMC6678835.
- Nicastro HL, Ross SA, Milner JA. Garlic and onions: their cancer prevention properties. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2015 Mar;8(3):181-9. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-14-0172. Epub 2015 Jan 13. PMID: 25586902; PMCID: PMC4366009.
- Rauf A, Abu-Izneid T, Thiruvengadam M, Imran M, Olatunde A, Shariati MA, Bawazeer S, Naz S, Shirooie S, Sanches-Silva A, Farooq U, Kazhybayeva G. Garlic (Allium sativum L.): Its Chemistry, Nutritional Composition, Toxicity, and Anticancer Properties. Curr Top Med Chem. 2022;22(11):957-972. doi: 10.2174/1568026621666211105094939. PMID: 34749610.
Vanessa Pinto graduated with a degree in Biology and Masters in Ecology from Lisbon University. After graduating, she underwent a series of professional and personal growth experiences, including being an officer in the Portuguese Army, working in countries as diverse as Iceland and Costa Rica. Vanessa became certified as a Yoga and Meditation teacher in rural India.
Being a compassionate person by nature, Vanessa is able to bring her connectedness when working with others while enhancing the importance and practicality of a pragmatic evidence-based approach to facilitating lasting and permanent change. Vanessa is a certified health coach whose specialties are nutrition, exercise, and mind/ body connection. She works both in Portugal, Thailand and USA, where she develops her work closely with people diagnosed with cancer, mainly in the areas of nutrition, movement and health education.