AHA opens avocado recipe contest

Staff report

DALLAS, Texas — The American Heart Association(AHA) and Fresh Avocados–Love One Today are kicking off February’s American Heart Month with a first-of-its-kind Take Avocado to Heart recipe contest.

Because avocados are a nutritious and versatile fruit that can be part of a heart-healthy diet, the two organizations are searching for easy, healthy and original avocado recipes to be judged in three different categories: Appetizer, Entrees and Desserts/Smoothies.

A $1,000 first-, $500 second- and $250 third-place winner will be awarded for each category for a total of nine prizes. Winners will also have their recipes published on the AHA’s new, online recipe hub and promoted through social media. A minimum of one avocado per recipe is required. Judging will be based on originality, ease of preparation and fit within the AHA’s nutrition criteria.

Fresh avocados are a heart-healthy fruit that provide naturally good fats and are cholesterol- and sodium-free. Good fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, do not raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and can also help with absorption of nutrients. In addition, replacing saturated fats with monounsaturated fats, like those found in fresh avocados, may help reduce the risk of heart disease. Avocados are one way to meet the AHA’s recommendation for daily fruit and vegetable consumption. The Take Avocado to Heart recipe contest is in support of the AHA’s Healthy For Good movement, helping to motivate, inspire and educate consumers to live healthier lives.

“Dietary fats are essential to heart health in that they give your body energy and help your body absorb key nutrients,“ said Chef Hamlet Garcia, AHA spokesperson. “Avocados, in moderation, are one of the best foods you can eat to maintain a healthy diet and help keep your risk for heart disease at bay.”

“American Heart Month is an ideal time to remind and inspire Americans that simple steps can transform diets and overall health,” said Emiliano Escobedo, executive director of the Hass Avocado Board. “The Take Avocado to Heart recipe contest encourages consumers to have some fun in the kitchen with avocados in an effort to do good for their heart and body.”

Participants must submit their recipes online at www.heart.org/avocadorecipecontest by Feb. 27. Participants must be 18 or older and U.S. residents. Only one recipe submission per person is allowed. Winners will be announced March 29 via email and social media.

Staff report