There's much more to make with avocados than guacamole and avocado toast! Though this creamy fruit can put butter to shame on toast, it can also transform the flavor and texture of hundreds of healthy recipes. Here are a few recommendations on how to make the most of your avocados…
Making a salad into a meal is easy with avocados. Whether you're slicing them to go on top of the salad or dicing them to mix into your greens, avocados are the easy way to add a little healthy weight to your salad.
Stuffed avocados can be served warm or cold, for breakfast or lunch, for vegetarians or for meat eaters — stuffed avocados are a hearty dish that can be served as a side or as a meal.
Avocado and Eggs
Avocados and eggs go together like peanut butter and jelly — and they can be served any time of day for a satisfying meal. Hardboiled with the yolks mixed with avo, you have avo deviled eggs. Mash avocados instead of mayo to mix with chopped hardboiled eggs and you have a healthy take on egg salad. There are many ways to make eggs with avocado and you can find them on Yummly.
Avocado and Chicken
Chicken and avocado go so well together because they can both take on an assortment of flavors. A chicken and avocado wrap can be mild and hearty with a couple of slices of bacon, or you can turn up the heat with chili lime or jerk sauce. The combo is also good for special diets — together you can make a paleo or keto chicken salad. It's also dairy-free and gluten-free! But there are other dishes that use the combination for healthy bites.
It's almost as if toast was specially made for avocados. It spreads like butter and can be topped with just about anything -- smoked salmon, bacon, radishes -- whatever you're in the mood for! And Yummly has the recipes to inspire you.
The avocado is a special fruit and there are few that can get as creamy as avocado. That means it does well as a sauce, in a smoothe, even as a dessert! There are many recipes that take advantage of creamy avocado.
Avocado and Tomato
Tomato with avocado is a complementary combination. Tomato and avocado salsa, roasted tomato and avocado toast, or tomato and avocado gazpacho are just a few of the recipes to choose from.
Diced tomatoes, onions, and jalapeños can only be improved with diced avocados, but even that recipe can vary. Black beans, mango, corn, strawberries — you can find thousands of unique ways to serve your avocado salsa.
How to Buy Avocados
Avocados can be a frustrating fruit to buy. In the produce bin, they're either rock hard or so soft they need to be eaten immediately. That means you have to strategize when you're planning meals around recipes like stuffed avocados or a creamy avocado sauce to go with chicken or eggs. There are many varieties of avocados that come in different shades of green, various skin textures, and assorted sizes, but the best indicator for whether it's ready to be eaten is how it feels in your hand when you gently press it. It should have some give, but it should not collapse. You can also check the knob where it was attached to the stem on the narrow part of the avocado. If you can take that little bit out without effort, you have a ripe avocado that's ready to eat.
How to Ripen Avocados
If you happen to buy rock-hard avocados with the intention of eating them in the future, it could take a while. One of the reasons avocados are great fruit for shipping is because they don't start to ripen until after they're picked. So the time it takes for your avocados to get soft enough to eat will vary. You can speed up the process by putting your avocados in a brown paper with another fruit that emits ethylene like an apple or banana. The extra ethylene hastens ripening. Companies actually use ethylene to accelerate ripening with other fruit before they're put on display at grocery stores. If you don't know when you're going to use your avocado, you should store it in the refrigerator to slow down ripening to a pace that suits you.
Browning occurs in two different ways. One instance is brown spots in the flesh when the avocado is very ripe. It's OK to eat but eat it quickly as the browning is a sign it's soon going to be overripe soon. The other instance you might encounter browning is after the avocado is cut. Like apples or potatoes, as soon as avocado flesh is exposed, it starts to brown because of oxidation. It's aesthetically unappealing but it's OK to eat. To reduce browning, you can spray it or mix it with lemon juice, but it's just going to slow the browning, so you still have to eat it fairly quickly.
If you're new to cutting avocados, it can be almost as confusing as buying them because there's a giant pit in the middle. But before you do anything with the knife, wash your avocado. Even though you don't eat the peel, when you cut the avocado, whatever is on the skin is transferred from the knife to the flesh -- including dangerous bacteria.
Once your avocado is clean, to cut it right, you have to do it carefully. It's best to do it with a large knife like a chef's knife. First, you gently cut through the skin and flesh until you can feel the knife hit the pit. Then you keep slicing around the pit by moving the avocado rather than the knife, using the pit as a guide, until you've cut all the way around it. You then remove the knife and twist the two halves apart. You'll then have one half with a pit still intact. To remove it, hold the avocado half in one hand and with the chef's knife, forcefully tap the pit with the blade of the knife so that the knife grabs onto the pit. Holding the avocado half steady, twist the knife to loosen the pit from the flesh. You should then have two perfect avocado halves.
Avocado Breakfast & Snack Recipes
Most breakfast sandwiches can be improved with mashed avocado but mixed with berries, chia seeds, and sugar, you have a sweet start to the day. Need it in the form of a drink? Blend it into a creamy avocado smoothie. If you're watching your carbs, stuffed avocados eggs make a filling keto breakfast that's low-carb. Need a snack? Avocado salsa with a squeeze of lemon juice with tortilla chips is a quick snack with Mexican flare. Blend it with chickpeas and you have avocado hummus to go with pita bread.
Avocado Lunch & Dinner Recipes
For lunch or dinner avocado salad pairs well with grilled chicken, but if you want a meal with more texture, you can stir chicken salad and avocado chunks into a quinoa bowl for a one-pot meal. If you already have an entree planned, top a Greek salad with sliced avocados for a side dish. But if salad as a main dish is what you're after, a classic American cobb salad showcases avocado for a filling meal. If you want to put together you're own salad, it can be whirred into a creamy avocado sauce lightly seasoned with red pepper flakes and lime juice that can double as a sauce to dress up a turkey sandwich.
Avocado Dessert Recipes
Avocado dessert might sound weird, but once you whip it into a chocolate avocado pudding, it will totally make sense. Mixed with blackberries or raspberries, they make an unforgettable frozen treat. Not convinced? Try rolling them with cacao powder to make vegan, gluten-free chocolate truffle. They even make a moist chocolate cake!
The avocado is a versatile and nutritious fruit. There's no shortage of ways you can work them into a meal -- breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert! Discover new ways to cook with avocados on Yummly.