It's hard not to be tempted by avocados when you're in the produce section of the grocery store. They might not look like much on the outside, but you know that inside they're full of rich, creamy deliciousness. But aside from slathering mashed avocado on a sandwich or whipping up a quick guacamole, how else can you incorporate this superfood into your diet? Have a look at these three recipes and decide for yourself how you'd like to eat them.
1. Avocado tuna salad
Traditional tuna salad is a yummy addition to salads, wraps and sandwiches, but you can do better when you replace the mayo with avocado. For a step above the usual tuna salad, Simply Recipes suggests you'll need:
- 1 (5-ounce) can tuna, drained
- 1/2 ripe avocado, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup celery, minced
- 1/4 cup red onion, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper.
It's as easy as mixing all of these ingredients together in a bowl: Just use a fork so the avocado gets mashed and the chunks of tuna are separated. Serve on a bed of greens, your favorite bread or try making lettuce wraps for a fun twist on lunch.
2. Avocado and spinach pasta
Creamy sauces make for particularly decadent pastas, but a lot of those cream-based recipes come with a surprising number of calories. Save yourself some guilt and load up on the healthy kind of fat by using avocado to thicken up your pasta sauce. To feed four people, you'll need to get:
- 10 ounces spaghetti or fettuccine
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 avocado
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 1/4 cup basil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3/4 cup pasta water
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Cook the pasta as you normally would until it's al dente. While it's cooking, pop the other ingredients into a blender and pulse until smooth. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water before you drain the pasta, and add 3/4 cup to the mixture in the blender. If you need more to get a thinner consistency, add the rest of the water slowly. Toss the pasta in the sauce and serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top.
3. Avocado brownies
It may sound downright crazy, but believe it or not, avocados make a nice addition to a batch of chocolaty brownies. As a replacement for oil and butter, avocados help make these desserts a little more nutritious without sacrificing taste. The Healthy Maven recommends using:
- 1 avocado
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda.
Start by setting the oven to 350 degrees. Add the avocado, applesauce, maple syrup and vanilla to a blender and pulse until smooth. Pour into a large bowl and stir in the eggs, then add the coconut flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda. Use coconut oil to grease your baking dish, then slowly pour in the brownie batter. Bake for 25 minutes and let cool 20 minutes before cutting and serving.