• Theresa Gentile

Updated: Jun 18, 2019

Shallots, sunflower seeds and pomegranate molasses add variety to traditional avocado toast. A quick and simple way to add heart healthy fats and fiber to breakfast that will awaken your taste buds.



Avocado Toast with pomegranate molasses, sunflower seeds and carmelized shallots

I’m all about open faced sandwiches and hacks to cut back on white carbs. This avocado toast is no exception! I think of breakfast like insurance. Start the day off in a healthy way and the chances of ending it the same way are higher. (This is an article that associates a high protein breakfast to eating less fat and carbs during the day and less sugar in the evening. https://academic.oup.com/cdn/article/2/11/nzy074/5085354)


Are avocados fattening?


This is a common question. A medium avocado does contain about 30% of its calories from fat. But you’re not likely eating a whole avocado in one sitting. And it’s good fat - monounsaturated fat. The kind that helps to lower your bad cholesterol (ie, LDL cholesterol – remember, the L is for lousy. HDL is the good kind of cholesterol. That’s the kind you want. High (get it? – “H” for high). A whole, medium, avocado contains about 230 calories, 21g total fat, 13g monounsaturated fat, and 9 g of fiber. Yep, fiber. I bet you didn’t think avocados had fiber!


Avocados also have vitamins and minerals. Now, when you’re only eating ¼ of an avocado at a time, you’re not consuming a substantial amount of vitamins, but it contributes to your daily total. Avocados contain vitamins K, C, folate, E, riboflavin, ad niacin. Avocado also contain magnesium copper, manganese, magnesium and potassium (which helps to lower blood pressure).


Are avocados good for diabetics or blood sugar control?


Absolutely! The fiber in avocados helps moderate blood sugar, especially when replaced for other starchy foods in the diet. They also have a low glycemic index (which means avocados give a slow rise to blood sugar levels.) They are great for those with high blood sugar, diabetics, or the keto crew.


What’s the best way to ripen avocados?


You know the feeling…when you need an avocado for dinner tonight, but you didn’t pick one up until a few hours ago…ugh! You’re out of luck. Avocados take a bit of advanced planning. (Unless you have frozen, sliced avocados around: see where I mention them here.) They do not ripen on the tree, but after they’ve been harvested. So, that means you’re either purchasing them once they’re already soft to the touch (which I’m sometimes able to find at my local fruit stand) or you’re ripening via the standard brown paper bag method. Place avocados in a brown paper bag with a banana or apple for 2-3 days until soft to the touch. (That ethylene gas that the apple or banana emits helps to ripen the avocado.)


Ok, so now what is pomegranate molasses?


Pomegranate Molasses

Popular in Middle Eastern cuisines, it’s simply pomegranate juice reduced down, with or without sugar, to a thick syrup. I first heard of it when I was chatting with a physician at work about the this new superfood, pomegranates, (when it was “new”) and he came in the next day with a bottle for me to try.


Pomegranate molasses is a great marinade to meats and topping for hummus (as well as ingredient in other Middle Eastern cuisine), and I really like it on avocado. The sweet acidic taste of the pomegranate molasses pairs nicely with mellow avocado.


In the event you went out and bought a bottle of pomegranate molasses and don't know what to do with the rest, The Food Network has some nice ideas on ways to use it.

https://www.foodnetwork.com/fn-dish/recipes/2011/09/how-to-use-pomegranate-molasses


So, to make this avocado toast, I mashed up ¼ avocado in a bowl with a little sea salt and pepper and spread it on some nice bakery whole wheat bread. Then I caramelized a shallot and placed it on top. Finally, I drizzled a little pomegranate molasses and sprinkled sunflower seeds for nutty crunch and a little protein.


What a great, easy way to start your day. What’s your favorite avocado toast recipe?



Avocado Toast with pomegranate molasses, sunflower seeds and carmelized shallots


How to Make Avocado Toast with Shallots, sunflower seeds and Pomegranate Molasses

Mash ripened avocado in a bowl with some sea salt and pepper.

Warm a skillet with a touch of olive oil and add a thinly sliced shallot.

Toast a piece of bread.

Shmear avocado on toast, top with shallots.

Drizzle ~1/2 tablespoon pomegranate molasses on top along with ~2 teaspoons of sunflower seeds.

Enjoy with a cup of your favorite coffee

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  • Theresa Gentile

Updated: Jul 12, 2020

Bored of plain ol’ tuna and mayo? Jazz up your tuna sandwiches with these quick twists for a healthy lunch!



I won’t lie to you.


I. love. Canned. Tuna. Fish…With mayo. It’s one of those comfort foods from my childhood…canned tuna (with mayo) on warm toast. As a kid, I HATED when my mother would sneak icky celery, scallions or - heaven forbid - onion in it. I just wanted it plain. With mayo. Did I mention the mayo?


Well, I’ve since grown up to have a more mature palate (perhaps ;) and am aware that slathering mayo on toast probably isn’t the healthiest lunch. And I know the science behind all the heart healthy omega three fatty acids in tuna and why fatty fish should be added to your weekly routine at least twice. (Click here to read my easy guide to cooking fish) So, I’ve come up with a few quick and easy healthy canned tuna recipe ideas to integrate in my family’s routine.


Canned tuna is also a great backup pantry item. It’s always there, just waiting to be opened when you’ve run out of other ideas. If I don’t make a lunch for my husband, he buys lunch out every day. He works in an area with a great selection of restaurants, so I can’t blame him, but this can easily add up to $50.00 per week. Absurd. Even if I can whip up a couple quick lunches each week, it’ll save quite a bit of money. (In case you’re worried about mercury in tuna, read my article on how much fish you (and little kiddos) should, and can, eat safely.) Canned tuna (or other fish) has always made a healthy, quick lunch. (And still does.)


These 5 variations of a quick and healthy tuna salad recipe should keep the boredom down and the omega 3’s up!


Mix 1 or more cans of solid white tuna with a little mayo, or a little extra virgin olive oil, and enjoy experimenting!


Simple, Easy and Healthy Canned Tuna Recipes


1. Fresh, thyme, chopped celery, shredded carrots, chopped scallions

2. Black olives, capers, grated red onion, celery, garlic

3. Dijon mustard, halved cherry tomatoes, chopped cucumber

4. Italian tuna (packed in oil), fresh lemon juice, chopped fresh parsley

5. Chopped avocado + halved cherry tomatoes


What's your favorite healthy way to make tuna?

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  • Theresa Gentile

Whether you’re looking for a drink the whole family can enjoy or simply a quick, elegant non-alcoholic drink, this peach cobbler mock-tini is perfect!



 After 9 months of pregnancy…twice…and a year of breastfeeding…twice…I started to tweak drinks so I wouldn’t feel left out at alcohol-imbibing events. And to feel a tad more elegant than a messy, burp cloth-wearing mama.


Now I make a mocktail when I'd like to drink something fancy while my kids are still awake and I know they’ll ask for a sip. It also shows them that you can still have fun without having alcohol.



For this drink, I muddled a few canned peaches, but you could very easily use peach nectar. (You may want to add a little simple syrup if you're just using canned peaches for a little extra sweetness.) I also used crushed up graham crackers and cinnamon to rim the cocktail glass, but some crystallized brown sugar with cinnamon might be nice, too.


This peach cobbler drink is perfect for anyone looking for an easy drink without alcohol. It’s refreshing and elegant enough to serve on Mother’s Day. Which I plan on doing for my own mum who rocked a burp cloth better than anyone!



Ingredients:

3 ounces (90 milliliters) peach nectar

1 ¼ ounce (about 40 ml) orange seltzer

Rim: Graham Cracker Crumbs mixed with cinnamon

Garnish: peach slice


Directions:

Add peach nectar to a martini glass. Top with orange seltzer. Rim with graham cracker crumbs mixed with cinnamon and a peach slice. Enjoy!

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