5 Healthy Holiday Dessert Recipes Using Avocado in Place of Fat
Whether your holidays are filled with cheer or stress (or a little bit of both), it can be challenging to resist going for that second (or third) helping of pie. But enjoying seasonal sweets doesn’t have to wreck your waistline. Rather than cooking up treats loaded with butter and bad fats, swap in this secret ingredient: avocado! That’s right; the little green fruit is a great choice to not only add delicious moisture to your desserts, but also tons of nutritional benefits. Avocados reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and overall mortality.
Plus they boost heart health, mood, energy, and weight-loss. And don’t worry, we promise your desserts won’t end up tasting like guacamole (although, would that really be the worst outcome?) For some healthy and creative ways to incorporate avocado into your holiday treats, here’s a list of delicious recipes, courtesy of Avocados from Mexico. When it comes to these sweets, you even have our full permission to go for seconds.
1. Avo-Choco Dippers
These cookies are super simple to make, and sure to be an instant holiday classic. The dark chocolate makes them especially delicious, and adds a healthy dose of antioxidants. Plus, you can easily make these totally vegan — just swap the single egg for flax instead.
Makes 30 cookies
- ¼ cup ripe avocado from Mexico, mashed, peeled, seeded and diced
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- zest of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
Directions: Place the coconut oil and avocado in the bowl of a stand up mixer. Beat at medium speed until completely smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until fluffy. Then add the egg, vanilla extract, lime zest, and lime juice. Continue beating until fully mixed.
In a small bowl, stir the flour, baking powder and salt. Reduce speed to low and add the dry ingredients to the dough. Mix well.
Flour your countertop as well as your hands. Gather the dough and shape it into a log about 1 inch wide. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate from 1 to 24 hours.
Set the racks on the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and unwrap. Using a sharp knife, slice it into slices. Place slices on the cookie sheets, about an inch apart. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow cookies to slightly cool.
Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a heat proof bowl over a sauce pan with simmering water on low heat. Occasionally stir until smooth. Remove from the heat. While the chocolate is still hot and melted, one by one, hold each cookie vertically and dip it halfway through into the chocolate glaze.
Place cookies on the parchment paper. Let the chocolate set for about an hour, and serve.
Upgrade your usual holiday ‘nog with this greener version. It’s a great way to boost your vitamins, minerals, and fiber while sipping on a festive (and boozy) fav. Since this drink recipe calls for coconut milk instead of heavy cream, it’s a lactose-free alternative that adds a bit of tropical flare — perfect for warming you up in wintery weather.
Makes 6 servings
- ¼ cup ripe avocados from Mexico, mashed
- 3 cups coconut milk
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 3- to 4-inch stick of Ceylon cinnamon or canela
- ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup sugar
- 6 large egg yolks
- ½ cup coconut rum (may be substituted for coconut tequila)
Directions: Combine milk, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract and baking soda in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to simmer, then reduce to low heat for 15 minutes. Strain mixture into a medium bowl.
In a small bowl, beat egg yolks and mix in sugar until the mixture has thickened. Slowly pour the mix into the coconut milk, then use a whisk to blend.
Return the mixture to a clean saucepan over low heat, occasionally stirring for 12-15 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat.
Cool slightly, pour into a blender along with the mashed avocado and coconut rum. Purée until completely smooth.
Enjoy warm or chilled over ice.
3. Avocado-Coconut Pie
Mix up your usual holiday pie recipe with this avocado-coconut version. Don’t be off-put by the bright green color – this lightened-up dessert is just as tasty as it is healthy. To cut even more calories, forget the whipped cream and coconut topping.
Makes 8 servings
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 (.25-ounce) envelop gelatin
- 3 avocados from Mexico, peeled and pitted
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- ½ teaspoon coconut extract
- 1 (8-inch) graham cracker pie crust
- 1 cup toasted sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup whipped cream or whipped topping (optional)
Directions: In small saucepan, heat coconut milk, sugar, and gelatin. Whisk until gelatin is melted; do not boil. Remove from heat; cool.
In food processor, purée avocados, coconut milk mixture, lime juice, and coconut extract until smooth. Pour avocado mixture into pie crust. Cover with plastic wrap placed directly onto surface of filling. Chill at least 4 hours.
Serve pie the same day, cut into 8 wedges; garnish each wedge with 2 tablespoons whipped cream and 2 tablespoons toasted cocoa.
4. Lime Meringue with Avocado Mascarpone Cream
Everyone loves a delicious fluffy meringue. Give your guests’ tastebuds a fun surprise with this zesty lime version, filled with decadent avocado and mascarpone cream. They may be a little concerned about the green concoction in the middle, but once your friends and family taste these sweet little treats, they’ll all be asking you for the recipe.
Makes 16 servings
- 7 large egg whites
- zest of one lime
- 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1¼ cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted
Whipped Cream Filling
- 1 ½ cups of heavy cream
- 8 ounces mascarpone or requesón cheese chilled
- 1 mashed avocado
- 3 tablespoons confectioners sugar
- 16 sliced strawberries (optional)
Directions: Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a standing mixer, whip the egg whites, lime zest, and lime juice on medium speed until frothy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Start adding the granulated sugar slowly, about 2 tablespoons at a time, until completely combined and mixture holds a stiff peak, 2 to 3 minutes more. The meringue should appear white and glossy.
Remove the bowl from the stand, sift the cornstarch over the meringue, and use a rubber spatula to gently fold and completely incorporate the cornstarch.Using a large soup spoon, drop generous scoops of meringue onto the prepared baking sheets; each one should be about 2 to 2 ½-inches around. As you drop them, you will be able to make some nice wavy shapes.
Bake for 30 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 175 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the meringue dry in the oven for another 4 to 5 hours. The outside should be crisp, and they should easily be removed from the parchment. Set aside to cool completely.
In the bowl of a standing mixer, with the whisk attachment, whip heavy cream and mascarpone cheese on low speed until very soft peaks form, only a couple minutes – be careful not to over whip the heavy cream or it will harden. Add the mashed avocado and confectioners’ sugar, and continue to beat until stiff peaks form, a minute or so more.
One by one, make meringue sandwiches. Place an individual round meringue with the top down, spoon on about 3 generous tablespoons of avocado whipped cream. If using strawberries, add a sliced strawberry before placing another individual round meringue, right side up, on top.
5. Avocado Coconut Pound Cake
This delicious take on classic pound cake is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Avocado keeps the cake perfectly moist, while adding tons of nutrients and healthy fats. To make this recipe even more diet-friendly, mix in additional avocado in place of sour cream and skip the frosting.
- 2 avocados
- 2 cups of white sugar
- 5 eggs
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- ½ cup sour cream
- 3 cups AP flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- zest of 1 lime reserve for glass
- 1 cup sweetened flake coconut for garnish
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Thoroughly spray standard size bundt pan with baking spray.
Sift together the flour and baking powder. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the avocado and sugar until thoroughly mixed. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla, lime juice, sour cream, lime zest, and coconut. Beat in the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour or until pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, then invert onto another plate. Combine glaze ingredients and drizzle on warm cake. Sprinkle with coconut.