Avocados are equally delicious and nutritious. According to Authority Nutrition, a serving of avocado contains more potassium than a banana, as well as 26% of your recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of your vitamin K, 20% of your folate RDA, 17% of your vitamin C, and 10% of your vitamin E. It also boasts 7 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein. The majority of the 15 grams of fat are from oleic acid, one of the heart-healthy monounsaturated fats associated with decreased LDL (bad) cholesterol. Most importantly, though, the fat in the avocado helps your body absorb fat-soluble nutrients like vitamins K, A, E, and D, with studies showing that avocado and avocado oil can increase antioxidant absorption up to 15 times more.
So, clearly, you should be eating more avocados! Plan ahead when buying these green fruits, because unlike almost every other fruit and vegetable out there, avocados don’t start ripening until they’re off the tree. This is why they’re always rock hard in the grocery store. To speed ripening at home, toss them in a paper bag with a banana. The banana will produce a significant amount of ethylene, which is the gas associated with ripening, and the paper bag will not retain moisture. When planning your avocado consumption, don’t limit yourself to guacamole! Try these 8 recipes to expand your avocado repertoire.
1. Avocado Fries
These avocado fries from Sunset Magazine via MyRecipes are shallow-fried with panko breadcrumbs for the ultimate crispy-crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside snack. Since they only need 30 to 60 seconds in the oil, the time from whole avocado to delicious fries is almost nothing!
- Canola oil for frying
- ¼ cup flour
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs, beaten to blend
- 1¼ cups panko
- 2 firm-ripe medium avocados, pitted, peeled, and sliced into ½-inch wedges
Directions: Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and heat 1½ inches of oil in a medium saucepan to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Meanwhile, set up your 3-step breading station. Mix flour and salt in a shallow plate. Put the eggs in another plate, and the panko on yet another plate. With one hand to keep the other clean, dredge the avocado in flour, shake off excess. Dip in egg wash. Bread with panko. Move to a plate for staging. Continue with the rest of the avocado, arranging in a single layer.
Fry a quarter of avocado slices at a time until deep golden, 30 to 60 seconds. Transfer slices to a plate lined with paper towels. Keep warm in oven while cooking remaining avocados. Sprinkle with salt to taste.
2. Zucchini and Avocado Soup with Cucumber Salsa
Cucumbers aren’t the only things that are cool. This creamy green soup from Oxmoor House via MyRecipes is a two-stage affair: You’ll cook the green onions and zucchini to sweeten and soften them, removing their bitterness, and then you’ll blend it up with raw avocado and lime juice to retain all of their cool creaminess and zesty tang. The cucumber salsa provides a lovely contrasting crunch.
- 3 cups chopped zucchini
- ½ cup thinly sliced green onions, divided
- One 14-ounce can vegetable broth
- 1¼ cups diced seeded peeled cucumber
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
- ½ teaspoon salt, divided
- ¾ cup diced peeled avocado
- ¾ cup low-fat buttermilk
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
Directions: Combine zucchini, ¼ cup green onions, and broth in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 to 7 minutes or until zucchini is tender. Remove from heat; cool 30 minutes.
While zucchini mixture cools, combine remaining ¼ cup green onions, cucumber, cilantro, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a small bowl; toss well. Cover and chill.
Place remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, zucchini mixture, avocado, buttermilk, and cumin in a blender, and process until mixture is smooth. Cover and chill at least 2 hours. Pour soup into bowls, and top with cucumber salsa. Serve chilled.
3. Smashed Chickpea and Avocado Salad Sandwich
This sandwich is a vegan’s divine answer to chicken, egg, or ham salad, but it’s amazing regardless of your stance on meat. The addition of arugula to the sandwich really provides nice contrast to the mellow creaminess of the chickpea salad. Ashley from Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen also recommends tomato and sprouts to round it out.
- 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas
- 1 large ripe avocado
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
- Juice from 1 lime
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Bread of your choice
- Arugula, lettuce, or spinach
- Tomato slices
Directions: Rinse and drain the chickpeas.
In a medium bowl, using a fork or potato masher smash the chickpeas and avocado together. Add in cilantro, green onion, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Spread salad on bread and top with your favorite sandwich toppings.
4. Salmon and Avocado Rice Balls
Could you possibly pack in more omega fatty acids? And all the vitamin E! So much nutritional goodness here in these rice balls from Taste Australia. These rice balls are a phenomenal way to get a sushi fix at home without all the careful rolling and cutting. You’ll definitely get your hands dirty here, making it a fun experience for kids or friends.
- 2 cups sushi rice, rinsed
- 5 tablespoons sushi seasoning
- ½ small avocado, peeled, stone removed
- ½ small lemon, juiced
- ½ carrot, finely chopped
- ¼ cucumber, finely chopped
- 2 ounces sliced smoked salmon, chopped
- ¾ cup sesame seeds, toasted
- Soy sauce, to serve
Directions: Place rice and 2 cups of cold water in a medium saucepan. Bring to the boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until rice is just tender. Remove pan from the heat. Set aside, covered, for 10 minutes.
Add sushi seasoning to rice. Using a fork, gently fold through rice. Spread rice mixture over a large tray lined with baking paper. Set aside for 1 hour or until rice has cooled.
Mash avocado and lemon juice together in a bowl. Using damp hands, divide rice into 16 equal portions. Place on a large board lined with baking paper. Using fingertips, press each rice portion into a ½-inch-thick round.
Spoon 1 teaspoon of avocado mixture in the centre of each round. Divide carrot, cucumber and salmon between rounds. Fold rice mixture around filling to form a ball. Roll balls in sesame seeds. Place on a large tray. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve with soy sauce.
5. Avocado and Egg Breakfast Pizza
This one verges on guacamole territory, but it’s really more like avocado toast. While that still might be cheating, this breakfast pizza from The Jungalow is too good to pass up; it’s an absurdly easy way to get a nutritious, filling start to the day.
- Pocketless pita or naan
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice plus more to taste
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 egg
- Sea salt, pepper, red chili flakes, and cumin to taste
- Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Directions: Fry up an egg to your liking. While that’s cooking, toast pita until crisp. once toasted, mash up the avocado on the pita and drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Top with cooked egg. Sprinkle with spices to taste.
6. Prosciutto-wrapped Avocado Slices
Are prosciutto-wrapped melon slices too sweet for you? Are you sad about out-of-season melons? These savory avocado wedges are the answer to all your cold-weather woes. They balance the creaminess of the avocado with the tang of goat cheese and the saltiness of the cured ham and the mild kick of chili powder. This dish from Domestic Fits is an all-around winner.
- 4 avocados peeled, pitted and halved
- 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
- 2 ounces goat cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 ounce prosciutto, sliced lengthwise into thirds
Directions: Cut each avocado half into 4 to 6 slices. Place in a medium bowl and gently toss with lemon juice.
Press a ½ teaspoon of goat cheese into the cavity of the avocado wedge. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and chili powder.
Wrap the wedges with prosciutto and serve.
7. Kale Noodle Bowl With Avocado Miso Dressing
There are two ways to prepare the kale for this vitamin-packed noodle bowl. If you like the chew of raw kale, go ahead and prepare as this recipe from A House in the Hill suggests. If you are particularly averse to raw kale, blanch it in the pasta water for the last 30 seconds to 1 minute of cooking your soba noodles. The avocado dressing is indulgently creamy without the saturated fat of dairy.
- 1 small bunch dino kale
- 1 (8 ounce) package buckwheat soba noodles
- 1 ripe, medium avocado
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons white miso
- ½ lime
- Sesame seeds to garnish
Directions: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook according to package instructions.
While noodles are cooking, de-stem kale and cut into ribbons. This goes more quickly if you stack the leaves on top of each other, roll into a long, thin tube, and use a sharp knife to cut the ribbons.
In a blender or food processor, combine avocado, garlic, miso, olive oil, juice from the lime and blend. Slowly stream in ¾ cup water to reach your desired consistency.
Combine kale, noodles, and avocado dressing in a large bowl and garnish with sesame seeds. This can be served hot or cold.
8. Avocado With Lemony Crab Salad
Hosting a lunch party? Looking for a chic lunch or light dinner for two? Avocado halves make a stunning presentation device, which crab salad really needs help with. Together, this dish from Woman’s Day is killing it! Serve with grilled flatbread for more substance.
- 5 firm, ripe avocados
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 pound lump crab meat
- ½ cup diced radishes
- ¼ cup light mayonnaise
- ½ cup shredded fresh basil
Directions: Cut 4 of the avocados in half and remove the pits. Peel and chop the remaining avocado in ½-inch dice. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice over the avocados.
In a bowl, combine diced avocado, lemon zest, the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice, crab meat, radishes, mayonnaise, and basil, tossing lightly. Spoon mixture into the cut halves of avocado. Serve with grilled pita bread or naan.