Experimenting with avocado

I should really thank my dad for finally getting me to at least experiment with avocados. I’ve always been intrigued by them given their nutritional properties but there was just something about avocados that didn’t appeal to me. Well my parents came to visit and my dad always asks me if I like avocados and the answer is always the same, me making a bleh face followed with a “no”. And then my dad responds in awe with “with all the other healthy crap you eat I’m surprised you don’t eat these”. Yes I have become that family member with the weird health habits lol I feel it’s my duty as a Registered Dietitian to not only be able to give recommendations on how to change eating habits but how to do so in the kitchen. I feel like knowing how to cook with healthy ingredients is as much my job as knowing what healthy ingredients are. But I digress. My parents left behind an avocado and I’ve known for quite some time that avocados can be used as a fat replacer in baking so I thought, is there anything I would like to “healthily” by replacing the butter with avocado? Let the experimentation begin!

So I started with my whole wheat quinoa cookie recipe (found here). Although this recipe already has sweet potato, Yogurt, whole wheat flour, oats, and quinoa; it also still has butter and sugar. I thought to myself, how can I replace the butter and sugar? Ultimately I decided to use dates in place of the sugar and I replaced the butter by using 1/2 of an avocado.

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These cookies came out pretty good and I’ve actually been eating them for breakfast (they still have chocolate so I limit myself to 2 at breakfast and then I’ll usually snack on another one later in the day). Nutrient wise, I’m pretty happy with the end product given what they are – a chocolate chip cookie. This batch made about 40 cookies and so Each cookie comes in at 94 calories, 2.5 g total fat (1.1 from saturated fat), 1.4 g fiber, 4 g sugar, and almost 3 G protein. So eating just two cookies gives you 3 g fiber and almost 6 G protein. They are also a good source of vitamin A and manganese.

I think next time I make them I will use a little more avocado as they came out a little chewier than I had hoped but that’s what experimenting is all about. Finding that happy medium between a nutrient dense product and a tasty end product. I think next time I’ll also leave out the chocolate chips as I’m trying to weed out excess sugar in my diet and instead make a cinnamon spice type cookie.

In addition to these cookies, I decided to experiment with avocado in a smoothie:

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I used 1/2 cup mango, 1 cup blueberries, 1 cup water, 1 tbsp lemon, 1 tbsp flax seed, 1/4 cup yogurt, and 1/4 avocado. The end product was really good! It made a decent sized amount (12 oz). Made for a nice, filling lunch! I still have 1/4th of the avocado left so i have just enough left to make 1 more smoothie!

So while I’ve found that I still dint like avocados by themselves, I do really like them for baking used and even in smoothies. I have heard that avocado makes a really delicious chocolate mousse so that may be my next experiment 😉

What’s the weirdest ingredient you’ve ever experimented with? Did you like it?

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