Avocados are good for more than guacamole

These luscious fruits are a tasty addition to smoothies, salads and toast as well as chocolatey desserts

Avocados may seem like a trendy treat — think avocado toast— but while they have gained popularity in recent years, these fruits have been around for a long time.

In part, that’s because avocados have many health benefits. Avocados are nutritious, containing 20 different vitamins and minerals, are high in healthy fats, low in carbohydrates and high in fiber.

From a dietary standpoint, think of avocados as a healthy fat. They contain mono-unsaturated fat, which is some of the healthiest fat you can eat.

They are rich in vitamins A, E and K, as well as magnesium and potassium. As a matter of fact, they have twice the amount of potassium as a banana.

When shopping for avocados, avoid those with sunken in dark spots or cracks.

More often than not, avocados will still be hard, which is fine because they will continue to ripen once you get them home.

To check an avocado, hold it in your palm and press gently against its surface with your thumb. A ripe avocado will yield to the pressure without feeling squishy.

You could also lift the stem to check its color. If it is a vibrant green, that’s good. If it’s brown, leave it at the store.

Store avocados on the counter in a cool, dry place. A hard avocado will usually ripen within a few days.

If you aren’t ready for them, place them in the fridge. If  you need them to ripen faster, place them in a paper bag for a few days — if you add an apple, it will ripen even faster.
After you cut an avocado, squeeze a citrus juice over the surface to slow the oxidation process and keep it from turning brown.

Following are a few avocado recipes from insanelygoodrecipes.com.

 

insanelygoodrecipes.com

 

Avocado Bruschette With Balsamic Reduction

 

1 baguette, thinly sliced

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced

Kosher salt

1/4 cup basil leaves, chiffonade

 

Place baguette slices onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with two tablespoons olive oil. Bake in a 350-degree oven for eight to 10 minutes, until golden brown.

Combine balsamic vinegar and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a slight boil and cook six to eight minutes, until reduce by half. Set aside and let cool.

In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, avocado, remaining olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Top each baguette slice with tomato mixture, then garnish with basil.

Serve immediately, drizzled with balsamic reduction.

Makes four servings.

 

 

10 Minute Healthy Crispy Chicken and Avocado Wraps

 

2 cups cooked chicken shredded, sliced or diced

1/2 cup cheddar or mozzarella cheese

1 ripe avocado, diced

1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

4 large tortillas

1 tablespoon oil

 

Mix shredded chicken, avocado, sour cream and cilantro.

Lay a tortilla flat on a plate and sprinkle with cheese. Top with a quarter of the mixture and roll. Repeat the process with the remaining tortillas.

Pour one tablespoon oil into a heated pan or griddle. Place all four tortillas on the pan and cook two minutes on medium-high heat. Flip and cook another minute, until burritos are golden. Serve warm.

Burritos can be frozen cooked or uncooked for as long as three weeks.

 

 

 

Avocado Brownies

 

1 large avocado, peeled and pitted

2 large eggs, room temperature

1/3 cup coconut sugar or light brown sugar

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup blanched almond flour

1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup dark or semisweet chocolate chips

 

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, place avocado, eggs, coconut sugar, maple syrup, butter and vanilla. Process until completely smooth and combined, scraping down the bowl a few times so no chunks of avocado remain.

Add cocoa powder, almond flour, espresso powder, baking soda and salt and process until smooth. Add 1/4 cup chocolate chips and pulse a few times.

Scrape batter into an eight-inch square baking pan lined with parchment paper that hangs over the side and coated with cooking spray. Smooth the top. Sprinkle with the remaining chocolate chips.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is set and a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownies comes out mostly clean. Place pan on a wire cooling rack and let the brownies cool for 30 minutes.

With the parchment paper handles, lift the brownies from the pan and place them on the rack to cool completely. If time allows, refrigerate at least four hours or overnight.

Store leftovers in the refrigerator for as long as one week or wrap tightly and freeze in a zipper-lock bag for four months.

The almond flour can be swapped with hazelnut or cashew flour. It cannot be substituted with coconut flour, wheat-based flour, or any other flour.

 

 

 

Chocolate Avocado Overnight Oats

 

2 cups rolled oats

2 cups milk

1 cup Greek yogurt

1 ripe avocado

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoons chia seeds

Pistachios, shredded coconut and chocolate chips, for garnish

 

Mash avocado, then mix with all ingredients together except the garnishes.

Divide among four jars and top with pistachios, shredded coconut and chocolate chips. Let sit at least two hours before serving.

 

 

Avocado Ranch Dressing

 

Plain Greek yogurt

Avocado

Fresh lime juice

Garlic

Fresh parsley, dill and chives

Onion powder

Salt

Pepper

Milk

 

Place all ingredients except the milk in a food processor. Pulse until creamy and combined.

Add milk to thin as needed.

 

 

 

Guacamole Salad

 

4 avocados, thinly sliced

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

1 red onion, thinly sliced

Large handful fresh parsley/coriander

1 red chili, finely chopped, optional

Juice of 1 lime

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt

Pepper

 

Place sliced avocado, cherry tomatoes and red onion on a large platter or bowl and scatter with the herbs and chili.

Mix parsley, chili, lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour over salad and serve immediately.

 

 

 

 

Roasted Chickpea Avocado Toast

 

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Salt to taste

4 large slices sourdough bread

2 large avocados

Micro greens or sprouts

Red pepper flakes, optional

 

Place chickpeas, olive oil, garlic powder and paprika on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and toss to combine. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes, shaking the pan halfway though.

Remove chickpeas from the oven and sprinkle with salt.

Toast bread and spread one-quarter of an avocado on each slice of bread. Add micro greens to each slice, followed by chickpeas. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and serve.

If you have leftover chickpeas, store them in an airtight container in the fridge and use within three days.

 

 

Avocado Corn Salad

 

1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered

3 ears of corn, cooked, shucked and cut off the cob

2 avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 to 3 tablespoons lime juice

2 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced

1 teaspoon sea salt or 3/4 teaspoon table salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

 

In a large salad bowl, combine sliced tomatoes, corn kernels, sliced avocado, thinly sliced red onion, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro and pressed garlic cloves.

Drizzle the top with extra virgin olive oil, lime juice. Add sea salt and black pepper, or season to taste. Toss gently, just until combined, and serve.

 

 

Baked Eggs in Avocado With Bacon on Toast

 

1 avocado

2 small eggs

2 slices bacon, cooked, then crumbled

2 slices toast

Sea salt

Fresh cracked black pepper

Hot sauce, optional

Fresh chopped tomatoes, optional

 

Crack eggs into individual bowls, being careful to not puncture the yolks. Set aside.

Cut avocado in half and carefully remove seed. The hole in the avocado should be big enough for one small egg, but if it looks too small, scoop out a little.

Make aluminum foil rings to hold the avocados level.

In medium baking dish, lay foil rings and rest avocado halves on top so the avocado doesn’t tilt over. Press down on foil if needed to align the avocado.

Carefully place eggs into the seed cavities.  Season egg with salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Place the baking dish in a 425-degree oven and bake 15 to 30 minutes, until the eggs are cooked to your preference.

Sprinkle crumbled bacon on top. Spread the avocado/egg onto toast. Add additional salt and pepper, if needed, chopped tomatoes and hot sauce, if desired.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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