Avocados seem to be all the rave the last few years and for good reason.  They are a nutrient-dense stone fruit.  Most fruits are primarily carbohydrates while avocados are rich in healthy fats – particularly monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), which promote heart health and basic body functions.  Avocados are known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties in the body.  

They contain a variety of essential nutrients, minerals and important phytonutrients.  They also contain more potassium than a banana.  One third of an avocado (5o g) has:

  • fiber – 3 g
  • folate/folic acid – 45 mcg
  • iron – .3 mg
  • magnesium – 15 mg
  • potassium – 250 mg
  • niacin (vit b3) – 1 mg
  • riboflavin (vit b2) – .1 mg
  • pantothentic acid (vit b5) – .7 mg
  • pyridoxine (vit b6) – .1 mg
  • thiamin (vit b1) – .04 mg
  • vitamin e – 1 mg
  • vitamin c – 4 mg
  • vitamin k – 11 mcg 
  • calcium – 10 mg
  • copper – 10 mg
  • phosphorous – 20 mg
  • zinc – .3 mg

Here’s another way to add this healthy fat into your diet. Surprisingly, the avocado doesn’t oxidize/brown when heated and it comes together in no time.  

Baked Avocado Fries w/Sriracha Lime Mayo
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 avocado
  2. 1 1/2 cups Aleia's Panko GF bread crumbs
  3. Himalayan pink salt
  4. fresh cracked pepper
  5. 1 tsp garlic powder
  6. avocado oil (for drizzling)
  7. 1 lime
  8. SRIRACHA LIME MAYO
  9. 1/4 cup mayo
  10. 1 tsp sriracha (or more according to your taste)
  11. 1 smidgen of finely fresh grated garlic
  12. zest of 1 lime
  13. juice from 1/2 of lime
Instructions
  1. Directions for mayo: Mix together and serve with avocado fries.
  2. Directions for Avocado Fries: Preheat oven to 450 F (convection if you have). Line a baking sheet with parchment or non-stick foil. Set aside.
  3. Score the entire avocado lengthwise around the pit with a large chef knife. Turn with two hands to separate. Remove pit by hacking the pit with the knife and turn, it should come right out. Scoop avocado with a large rounded spoon to keep in tact. Slice avocados lengthwise. I find it easier to scoop first rather than slice in it's shell for the fries.
  4. Mix together the breadcrumbs with the pink salt, pepper & garlic powder in a wide bowl. Coat thoroughly with the panko gf crumbs all over avocado slice. Line on the baking sheet without touching.
  5. Drizzle with avocado oil lightly.
  6. Bake for approximately 10 minutes (depending on oven might need more) on top rack until lightly browned. Turn and continue baking until lightly browned on the other side.
  7. Cool for about ten minutes. Squeeze lime over fries before serving (if desired) and serve with sriracha lime mayo. Enjoy!
Stacey DiVerde https://staceydiverde.com/

Surprisingly, cinnamon is a lot more than just a spice you bake or cook with.  Although when you do, the aroma is quite warm and comforting, isn’t it?   It is considered a “warm” spice that can literally warm you up when you ingest it.  Not only do I love the aroma, I love the numerous health benefits it brings.  Cinnamon is considered an ancient superfood, has been prized for it’s medicinal properties and is one of the oldest known spices.  It has been used for thousands of years according to Ayurveda medicine (one of the world’s oldest holistic (“whole-body”) healing systems).  In Ayurveda medicine, it is considered a “fire” element due to its warming properties and may be used to stimulate and/or balance where appropriate. 

Quality Counts:

The type you use does make a difference!  After some research, Saigon cinnamon which I use has high levels of coumarin.  Coumarin is actually toxic to your liver when consumed in high amounts.  Yikes!  Ceylon cinnamon has low levels of coumarin and is the one to use!  Ceylon is the best/true source of cinnamon.  Mexico is the biggest importer of Ceylon cinnamon but is native to Sri Lanka (90%), India, Madagascar, Brazil and the Caribbean.  Saigon cinnamon comes from Vietnam and is a bit more spicy than Ceylon which is mild and sweet.  The most common here in U.S is Cassia cinnamon which also has high levels of coumarin.  If you are using cinnamon to boost your health or even using it in baking be sure to check which type you are using.  I know I’m now switching over to Ceylon cinnamon pronto! 

How it’s Made:

Cinnamon is made by cutting the stems of the cinnamomum tree. The inner bark is then extracted and the woody parts removed from it. When it dries, it forms strips that curl into rolls, called cinnamon sticks. The sticks can be ground to form cinnamon powder.

The distinct smell and flavor of cinnamon is due to the oily part, which is very high in a compound called cinnamaldehyde (2).  Cinnamonaldehyde, an essential oil within the bark, is what gives cinnamon its unique aroma and flavor.  Cinnamaldehyde is also an effective insecticide.

Benefits:

It’s commonly used for matters of the immune system, and to help the body fight off bacteria or viruses that is constantly in our environment.  Naturally has antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties!   The oil can also be useful for cleaning, air quality, and mood support believe it or not.   Studies show that it supports blood sugar balance along with proper diet.  You can use cinnamon as a powder, cinnamon sticks or an essential oil.  One or two drops is more than enough as it’s very potent. 

Cinnamon is loaded with powerful antioxidants, such as polyphenols.  Polyphenols are phytochemicals, meaning compounds found abundantly in natural plant food sources that have antioxidant properties.  Polyphenols play an important role in maintaining your health and wellness.

It is this compound that is responsible for most of cinnamon’s powerful effects on health and wellness.

How to use doTERRA Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil:

  • During your nightly routine, add one drop of Cinnamon to two ounces of water and gargle for an effective mouth rinse
  • Place two to three drops in a spray bottle with water for a quick and effective cleaning spray
  • During the winter months, dilute Cinnamon with Fractionated Coconut Oil and create a warming massage for cold, achy joints
  • Place two to three drops in a doTERRA Veggie Cap to maintain a healthy immune system*
  • Place one drop of Cinnamon essential oil in hot water or tea and drink slowly to soothe your throat*
  • Add to your favorite recipes in place of ground cinnamon for a delightfully spicy flavor
  • Supports healthy metabolic function*
  • Naturally repels insects
  • May promote healthy circulatory function

Risks of Using Cinnamon

While cinnamon can support your health, too much is not good. Ingesting high levels of coumarin (a natural chemical) found in Cassia & Saigon cinnamon can cause toxicity to your liver. Ingesting high amounts of dry cinnamon powder is dangerous! Not too long ago, teenagers were trying to do the “cinnamon challenge” from ingesting dry cinnamon powder. It caused numerous hospitalizations across the country as well as some deaths due to lung complications!  

If you are taking statin drugs which also has side affects of liver damage, you should be careful, as well as anyone taking blood thinners.  Always check with your doctor for any medications you are currently taking that may have complications with any supplements, herbs or anything else you might be taking. According to drugs.com, adverse reactions to cinnamon have not been reported in doses up to 6 grams daily.

The Take Home Message:

Cinnamon is delicious and one of the healthiest spices on the planet!   It has impressive health benefits ~ just be sure to get Ceylon cinnamon and/or use a pure essential oil such as doTERRA Cinnamon Bark essential oil.  doTERRA essential oils are pure and are natively sourced which is extremely important.  Plus there are no synthetic additives.  

As always, quality counts in food and supplements! 

 
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
 
 
Sources for this article:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23297571
 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22518078
 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22518078
 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25331834
 
https://www.drugs.com/npc/cinnamon.html
 
http://www.rxlist.com/cassia_cinnamon-page3/supplements.htm