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Vitamin K: The Essential Vitamin You’ve Probably Never Heard of

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March 7, 2017

Vitamin K may not be as mainstream as some of its main-character counterparts, but it can have a positive impact on your overall health. That’s the kind of behind-the-scenes action we love to see.

 

What Is Vitamin K?

Vitamin K is a collection of molecules the body requires for essential processes, especially blood coagulation or clotting. There are two natural forms of Vitamin K — K1 and K2 — plus three more synthetic varieties. K1, or phylloquinone, is found in plants, especially leafy greens, because it plays a role in photosynthesis. After ingesting K1, the molecules can be converted into another form, called menaquinone, or K2.

Pro Tip: If you take supplements, be sure to swallow your multivitamin with a healthy breakfast including a bit of fat. We’re talking eggs with the yolk or avocado on toast. Try this Breakfast Guac Toast for a combo of both.

Luckily, you don’t have to look far to find dietary sources of Vitamin K. It is abundant in lots of easy-to-find, easy-to-grow, and easy-to-eat fruits and vegetables, such as chard, collards, kale, and spinach. The vitamin is also found in fruits, including prunes, kiwis, blackberries, blueberries, and — our personal favorite — always-good avocados! One serving of avocado contains 10% of your daily value of Vitamin K.

 

Oh, Baby!

In addition to Vitamin K, avocado has nearly 19 other vitamins and minerals that can help give a nutritional boost to infants and toddlers. Picky eaters manifest in your kitchen in a range of ages — from months old to middle-aged! Avocado is perfect as a first food for babies and an on-the-go, handheld snack for toddlers. (Hey, we never said it would be a clean break!) Learn more about how avocados benefit babies.

 

6 Vitamin K-Packed Avocado Recipes

1. Avocado and Kiwi Smoothie

Improve your morning with this sweet-smelling, great-tasting smoothie. Kiwis give this classic concoction its fruity taste (and some bonus Vitamin K), while blended avocado serves up a chilled, smooth texture.

2. Avocado and Spinach Stuffed Mushroom Bites

Spinach and avocado join forces for good in these mushroom-capped bites. These mini delicacies are a great addition to a charcuterie board.

3. Avo Broccoli Tots

These tots are deceptively good. Chopped broccoli and avocado merge for a snack — or weeknight side dish — that’s full of flavor. Oh, and they’re just plain fun!

4. Veggie Stuffed Avocado With Oregano Lime Cream

There’s never been a more delicious way to work in an array of vegetables into one dish. A velvety Mexican crema kicks it up a notch.

5. Kale Yeah! Guac

Kale? In … guacamole? Don’t knock it ‘til you try it! Roasted kale, garlic, and feta cheese flavorfully fold into a creamy, cool avocado base.

6. Avocado and Spinach Artichoke Bread Bowl

Believe it or not, this crowd-pleaser has two Vitamin K-rich foods in the mix: spinach and avocado. The cream cheese, Parmesan, and garlic whipped in are an awesome flavor wave, too. If you’re looking for a lighter version, swap the bread for a big ol’ bowl.

 

4 Avocado Salad Recipes With Vitamin K

Unlike most of the supplements in a standard daily multivitamin, Vitamin K is fat soluble, which means your body requires some kind of dietary fat in the mix in order to properly absorb it. This makes avocados a clear choice since they contain both good fat and vitamins, and are a good source of Vitamin K — one serving contains 10% of your daily value. Whip up a salad full of baby greens and kale, topped with avocado, for added impact.

1. Avocado and Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

Roasted, shaved Brussels sprouts create a hearty base for this dish, while white cheddar, cranberries, and balsamic pack an unforgettable, flavorful punch.

2. Avocado Green Salad

Leafy greens, chives, and thick slices of avocado: This salad could be the unofficial spokes-salad for Vitamin K. Add your favorite protein or eat is as is — there’s no wrong way!

 

3. Crispy Kale Salad With Lemon-Lime Dressing

This salad is all about texture. Crispy, crunchy greens against cool, soft avocado is a treat for your savory-seeking palate.

4. Superfood Green & Blue Avocado Salad

This super salad has all of Vitamin K’s greatest hits: kale, blueberries, and avocado! Experience a balance of flavors, ranging from sweet to savory with neutral avocado tossed in the mix.

 

Go for the Green

Hypothetically speaking, let’s say you have half of an avocado left over. (It sounds impossible, but these things happen.) Here are two storage methods to keep avocados always good — even after they’ve been cut:

  • Remove the pit. Coat the flesh with fresh lemon juice. Wrap the avocado half in plastic wrap. Set it in the fridge. Bada bing, bada boom.
  • Go skinny-dipping! Submerge the avocado — flesh side down — in a container with water. Refrigerate it for up to two days to keep the brown at bay.

For more recipes with delicious and nutritious avocados, check out our recipe hub.

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