Avocado

Avocado is a creamy, heart-healthy choice for salads, sandwiches and the ever-popular Mexican dip guacamole – but have you ever thought about having this luscious green fruit for dessert? Avocado’s natural smooth texture and mild taste makes it a perfect match for your meal’s final course. From smoothies to pudding and beyond, this fruit can be used to create incredible concoctions for dessert or a sweet afternoon snack any time of year.

Start each recipe with ripe avocados that give to the touch but are not mushy. Wash, peel and pit each one so that you’re only left with the yellow-green flesh from the inside before you proceed with each recipe. Don’t forget to buy organic avocados and other ingredients whenever you can.

Each recipe serves 1-2.

1. Avocado Juice – This is a popular afternoon treat in Southeast Asia during avocado season. Blend 1 avocado with a handful of cubed ice and 2 teaspoons of raw honey for a refreshing drink that works for dessert, breakfast or any time in-between.

2. Avocado Smoothie – A creamier version of avocado juice, you can create an avocado smoothie by combining 1 avocado with 1 cup whole or low-fat milk, ½ cup natural vanilla yogurt, 2 tablespoons raw honey and one handful of cubed ice. Blend on high until well mixed and smooth; top with a swirl of yogurt for a pretty presentation.

3. Chocolate Avocado Pudding – Smooth, sweet and savory, this rich pudding treat is easy to make. Mash up half of 1 avocado and stir in 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons raw honey, 1 teaspoon almond butter and a pinch of sea salt. For a creamier pudding, use your food processor to blend. Top with slivered roasted almonds and enjoy!

4. Tropical Avocado Mousse – Vegans will love this creamy, tropical treat. In a blender or food processor, combine 1 avocado with ¼ cup fresh lime juice, ¼ cup sugar (or equivalent sugar substitute) and the cream from 1 can of coconut milk (chill the can first and you can easily scoop off the cream). Top with ground roasted pistachios to offset the cream with crunch.

5. Avocado Crème Anglaise – This thick sauce is the perfect compliment to a range of desserts, from chocolate cake to fruit cobblers, cookies and ice cream. In a small saucepan over medium, combine 1 cup milk and ¼ cup sugar and bring to an easy boil. In a different bowl, whisk together 3 egg yolks at room temperature. Very slowly add your milk mixture to the yolks, stirring constantly. Return the new mix to the saucepan on low heat, and stir until it thickens – do not allow it to boil or simmer at all. In your blend or food processor, blend 1 avocado and then slowly add your hot cream. Puree until well blended, and then chill for 30 minutes before serving.

6. Coconut Avocado Ice Cream – Simple and simply delicious, this recipe requires an ice cream maker. In a blender or food processor, combine 2 avocados with ¼ cup sugar, 1 can (14-ounce) coconut milk and 1 can (14-ounce) condensed milk. When smooth, place into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Your coconut avocado ice cream will be ready in no time!

Image: j_silla