Fun with Avocados

June 15, 2017

Avocados are a delicious, nutritious superfood. Traditionally used in Mexican dishes and salads, avocados are most often eaten raw. But there are a host of other creative ways to use avocado. 

They can be cooked, pureed, turned into sandwich spreads and even used to replace butter or other fats in baking.

When is avocado ripe?

Avocados are best left out at room temperature, and you need to check them daily; they can go from under-ripe to over-ripe quickly. Ripening will take about four or five days, but many store bought avocados can ripen much quicker.

If the only avocados available are under-ripe and hard, you can speed up the ripening process by popping them in a paper bag with an apple or a banana overnight. Ripe avocados are still slightly firm but will yield to gentle pressure.

To keep a cut avocado from turning brown, remove the pit and cover it tightly with plastic wrap.

Best way to remove avocado pit

Getting the pit out of the avocado has always been a bit like trying to catch a greased pig. The easiest way is to slice an avocado in half, running your knife all around the pit. Pull it apart with a twisting motion, and the pit will remain inside one half. Use a sharp knife and carefully whack the blade into the centre of pit just enough to catch it, then twist and lift it out.

New things to do with avocado

Baking an avocado is a nice change from the ordinary. Combining the warm rich creaminess of an avocado with eggs is also a tasty way to change up breakfast. Making baked eggs in avocado ‘cups' is easy and I love sitting down to these on a Sunday morning. These are also great for people on low carb or paleo diets (just skip the cheese)

Baked Eggs in Avocado Cupsavocado 1 egg

Ingredients
1 Avocado
2 medium eggs
Sea salt & pepper
chives
goat cheese
crumbled cooked bacon

Directions
- Cut a ripe avocado in half, and remove the pit. If necessary scoop out some extra avocado to make room for an egg.
- Crack eggs into a bowl. Place yolk and as much egg white as you can scoop with a spoon into the avocado cup.
- Sprinkle with goat cheese and chives, then bake in a hundred 425° oven for 13-15 minutes.
- Sprinkle with crumbled bacon and serve warm.

Avocado egg salad

A nice way to jazz up a basic egg salad sandwich is with avocado. Mash up half an avocado, then mix it into your egg salad. Not only does it add creamy richness, you can even use it to replace the mayonnaise altogether for a healthier option. The bold green colour looks pretty striking too!

Avocado toasts
avocado 1 toast
Avocado toasts have been all the rage in cooking circles for the last few years, and while chefs all over are fancying them up, they’re easy to make at home and nutritious too.

There’s nothing complicated about them, either; mash or smash some avocado; add salt, pepper and perhaps a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, then pile it on hot buttered (or olive oiled) toast. (Bonus points for a grainy seedy loaf.) From there you can top your toasts with an array of options; sprouts, seasoned cooked chicken or turkey breast, cheeses, or things like sliced cucumber, sweet onion or tomato.

Avocado pasta sauce

Pasta night can feel dull with the same old colours and flavours. Want to kick things up? Try making an avocado pasta sauce for your linguini.

This recipe from blogger The Londoner is so thick and creamy and packed with herby flavour and you’ll think it was loaded with butter and cream. Instead its secret is that it’s actually really heathy; it’s just avocados, herbs, and olive oil. 

Dark chocolate avocado cookies

We can’t forget the sweet stuff.  However you’re probably thinking avocados and dessert don’t mix.  How wrong you’d be!

In the same way avocado can replace fats like butter and oils in meals, it can replace butter in baked goods while at the same time keeping baking rich and moist and gooey.

It turns out avocados and chocolate are a natural pair, as these fudge chewy cookies prove. Still think avocado and sweets seems wrong together? Consider this recipe this month’s “triple dog dare” challenge. Commit to making a batch of these cookies and report back in comments below.

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