6 Terrific Recipes Making Healthy Dessert a Reality With Avocados
Avocado is popping up everywhere these days. Whether it’s smeared and salted on toast, chopped onto a salad, or sliced in a burger, people are putting the fruit in anything and everything. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, it’s no wonder people don’t worry about overdosing on avocado, especially when it’s in the form of guacamole.
But while avocado most typically stars in savory dishes, it can be hidden in sweet treats, too, lending a creamy texture that is unbeatable. The thought of avocado brownies might not be the most appealing — however, you’d be surprised by how much better certain desserts taste when avocado is enlisted in the mix. Today, we’re highlighting six sweet recipes to prove it.
1. Avocado Brownies
Speaking of avocado brownies, here’s a recipe for the decadent sweet treats from Shared Appetite. They’re dense, they’re fudgey, and they’re gluten free — plus, they call for one ripe avocado. No one has to know this rich, chocolate dessert is hiding a little green.
- 1 ripe Haas avocado
- ¼ cup (½ of one stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 egg
- 1½ cups coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¼ cup gluten-free flour
- ⅓ cup (approximately) dark chocolate chunks or chips
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang over the sides of the pan, and spray foil lightly with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, mash avocado very well with a fork. Add the melted butter, egg, coconut sugar, water, and vanilla, and stir well to combine. Add cocoa powder and stir until fully incorporated and free of any large lumps. Stir in flour and salt until just combined, and then briefly incorporate dark chocolate chunks/chips.
Spread batter evenly in the aluminum foil-lined pan and bake for about 35 minutes, until the top has just set. Allow brownies to cool completely (about 1 hour) in the pan on a cooling rack. Once completely cool, lift entire brownie out of pan using the foil overhangs. Remove foil from brownies and slice into 9 to 12 squares.
2. Avocado Cookies
Avocado also can be a key ingredient in cookies, and this recipe for Vegan Chocolate Avocado Cookies from Two Peas and Their Pod proves it. Replacing some of the fat content that butter usually provides, ¼ cup of mashed avocado gets the job done in this recipe, along with the help of ¼ cup of coconut oil.
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅔ cup Dutch process cocoa
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup mashed avocado
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup almond milk
- ½ cup vegan chocolate chips
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large baking sheet with a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the coconut oil, avocado, and sugars until creamy and smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low, add half of the flour mixture. Add the milk and then add the remaining dry ingredients. Mix until the flour disappears. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Form cookie dough into tablespoon balls and place on prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Slightly flatten the cookies with the palm of your hand or a spatula. Bake cookies for 10 minutes, or until set around the edges, but still soft in the center. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.
3. Avocado Pudding
Avocado pudding is next, and Martha Stewart has the winning formula. Don’t let the title of this dessert turn you off — the pudding is rich, creamy and indulgent, and it’s all thanks to the avocado’s healthy fats. You only need four ingredients to make this pudding happen, and then it’s time to dig in.
- 3 avocados
- 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
- ¼ cup raw honey
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Sea salt
Directions: Purée avocados, cocoa powder, honey, and vanilla in a food processor until smooth. Sprinkle pudding with salt before serving.
4. Avocado Ice Cream
Do you scream for avocado ice cream? If so, pull out your blender and take this formula for Double Chocolate Avocado Ice Cream from Hummusapien for a whirl. While most ice cream recipes call for an ice cream maker, this one only requires a blender or food processor.
- 1 large ripe avocado, peeled and chopped
- ½ cup canned light coconut milk
- ¼ cup honey or pure maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Dash of salt
- 3 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
Directions: Place avocado and all ingredients in a blender or food processor. It should blend together and become smooth and creamy. Stir in chocolate chips. Once all the ingredients are well-blended, pour into a container and freeze, covered, for at least 4 to 6 hours, or until frozen solid. Once frozen, remove from freezer and let ice cream soften on the counter for a while before trying to scoop it.
5. Avocado Pound Cake
Coming in at the No. 5 spot is Avocado Pound Cake from the Joy the Baker Cookbook, highlighted by Epicurious. Butter is usually the star ingredient in the rich, indulgent treat that is pound cake, but in this formula, ripe mashed avocado does a lot of the hard work, and that makes this dessert just a tad healthier.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup yellow cornmeal
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons ripe mashed avocados
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup buttermilk
Directions: Place a rack in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add avocado and beat for another 2 minutes. Stop mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on medium speed for 1 minute after each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape down to make sure everything is thoroughly mixed. Beat in vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add half of the flour mixture. Beat until just incorporated. Add the buttermilk and the remaining flour mixture. Beat until just incorporated. Remove bowl from the stand mixer and finish incorporating the batter with a spatula.
Divide the batter between the pans and bake on alternating racks for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, rotate racks and bake for another 15 to 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 20 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
6. Avocado Smoothie
Last but not least, a recipe that tastes like a treat but actually is quite healthy. Enter the avocado smoothie from Chocolate Covered Katie. This is the best way to squash your cravings without devastating your diet — Katie promises this smoothie tastes identical to a vanilla milkshake.
- ½ large avocado
- 1½ cups cold milk of choice
- Scant 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch pure Stevia, 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, or sugar of choice
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 4 ice cubes, optional
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender until completely smooth, then serve.