I’m really excited to introduce a new feature on the blog: Ingredient of the Week! (I say week, talk about setting myself an unmanageable task!)
Anyway, what better ingredient to start with than an avocado; full of good fats, dietary fibre, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, and vitamins K, B6, E and C. Avocados have a low sugar content, are a good source of energy, and great for your hair and skin, so if you didn’t have a reason to love them before, here you go.
However, we all know the struggles of finding the perfect avocado. You buy a couple, leave them for a day or two, and somehow you miss the moment they are perfect and instead find them black on the inside! There are many myths about avocados, but I’ve been told that putting them in the microwave can help soften them. I know growing up we used to put them in the hot press to speed up the process! If you have any tips on avocados, let me know!
Below you’ll find some delicious ways to use avocados. I put them in almost every salad I make, and they are definitely a necessity at every brunch, but I decided not to include the standard avocado recipes, (except for guac, that is a must!). Most of these recipes are geared towards those of you with a sweet tooth who are looking for a healthier substitute, and all of them are super-simple, so you’ve no excuse not to give them a go!
One of my favourite ways to eat avocado is to make my favourite guacamole. Although sometimes if I’m too lazy to make guacamole, (I’d hate to admit how often this happens) I’ll mash an avocado with sweet chilli sauce. It’s so simple and delicious on crackers or as a substitute for guacamole, depending on what you pair it with.
What you need:
- Ripe Avocados x3
- Red Onion
- Red Chilli
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Olive Oil
To start, peel the onion and deseed the chilli, then roughly chop both together. Scoop the flesh of the three avocados onto the board and chop all three. Add a few cherry tomatoes and a handful of coriander leaves and continue to chop until everything is well combined. Mix in a tablespoon of olive oil and the juice of a lime, then season with sea salt, black pepper and more lime juice, depending on how you like it. To serve, put some more coriander on top.
Variances: I use the entire red onion as I like the guacamole to have a good kick, but feel free to only use half, it is completely up to you! You can also add more chilli. I like my guacamole to be chunky, so I don’t chop all of the ingredients as finely as others may do. Again, it just depends on how you like it!
These pancakes are just divine, and as far as I’m concerned, you don’t need the excuse of Pancake Tuesday to make them. They are so easy to make up, really its just lots of mashing! I love them plain with maple syrup, or if my sweet tooth is taking charge, I add in dark chocolate chunks, for an extra gluttonous treat!
What you need:
- 3/4 cup Flour (can use cream, self-raising, almond or coconut)
- Ripe Avocado
- 1/2 cup Milk (I use Almond Milk)
- 1/4 Orange Juice (I use freshly squeezed)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Coconut oil or Butter for frying
Mash up the banana, avocado and orange juice. Mix in the egg and milk, and while adding in the flour and sugar continue to mash and mix until you have a good batter consistency. Heat the oil in the frying pan, and once hot add some batter and cook for two minutes on each side. They can burn quite easily so they need to be carefully watched. I had chocolate sauce leftover (see below) so drizzled some over the chocolate pancakes; divine!
Chocolate Avocado Brownies
These are richer and even more decadent than regular brownies, but far healthier! You only need a quarter cup of flour, and it can be cream, almond or coconut flour depending on what is in the cupboard.
What you need:
- Extra Ripe Avocados x2
- 1 Egg & 1 Egg White
- 1/2 cup of Cocoa Powder (Cacao can also be used)
- 1/2 cup of Brown Sugar (I use dark muscavado)
- 1/4 cup Flour (can be cream, almond or coconut)
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Pinch of Sea Salt
- Dark Chocolate Chunks (As many as you like!)
- Coconut Oil
- 8×8 Baking Tin
- Greaseproof Paper
- Food Processor or Blender (I use a nutribullet)
Preheat the oven to 180C, but as I always say, know your oven. (I set mine to 170C.) Line the baking tin with greaseproof paper. Blend the avocados, sugar and vanilla extract in a food processor until there are no chunks of avocado left. Then mix in the cacao, egg white, egg and salt. Blend until smooth and creamy. Mix in the flour and blend again. Stir in the chunks of chocolate. Pour the mixture into the tin and spread it evenly. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the brownies are set. While they bake, melt some dark chocolate with a teaspoon of coconut oil, and once the brownies are cooling on a rack, drizzle the sauce over them. These brownies keep well for a couple of days, if they last that long!
What you need:
- 2 tablespoons Maple Syrup
- 2 tablespoons Cacao or cocoa powder
- Extras: chocolate chips, toasted almonds, coconut chips, or whatever tickles your fancy!
For prep, freeze the banana and avocado (both peeled) in a sandwich bag for four hours. Put all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend until the correct consistency is reached. (Be patient, this will take a few minutes!) As a chocaholic, I always add in chocolate chips, but be sure to add in whatever extras you’d like! If there is leftover chocolate sauce from the brownies, be sure to pour it over the ice-cream for added chocolatey-ness.
Be sure to let me know if you try any of these out, or if you have other avocado recipes! 🙂