November 26, 2018

Dear avocados, is there anything you can’t do?

Avocados are healthy, delicious, trendy and, above all, versatile. These fruits can do a lot more than substitute for butter on the popular avocado toast, accompany salty tortilla chips in the form of a zesty guacamole, or be ground up with milk and a touch of sugar in a tasty smoothie. There are plenty of opportunities for Austin culinary students who appreciate avocados to use them in exciting new ways that will surprise and delight customers time and time again. 

Savory avocado dishes

Of all the things to make with avocados, we truly appreciate both the culinary and aesthetic value, as well as the simplicity, of this avocado-baked egg recipe from Nutritious Life. First you'll need a halved and pitted avocado. Scoop out some of the flesh on each side to make room for the egg (you can save this to use as a garnish over the egg). Bake the creation at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes, remove from the oven, season to your liking and voila! You've created an avocado breakfast dish that is not avocado toast. 

Another curious way to use avocado is to turn it into a soup. One option, courtesy of Heather Christo, is a spicy corn and avocado soup, made with chicken broth, yellow onions and corn sauteed in olive oil, chopped jalapenos and, of course, avocados. Feel free to season with salt, chives, cilantro and other herbs and spices. During the summer months, you can go with this avocado and fresh basil oil gazpacho from Bustle instead. 

Avocado French fries with a garlic dip? Why not! The Food Network recommends using a slightly less ripe avocado for this tasty side. Other interesting possibilities for savory and spicy avocado dishes include an avocado chimichurri sauce, avocado pesto, and avocado and cilantro dressing for salads (or to put on top of a stuffed pepper). We've barely skimmed the surface of possibilities for avocados.   

Halved avocados can be used as a vessel for baked eggs.Halved avocados can be used as a vessel for baked eggs.

Sweet avocado dishes

Avocado can be used for a surprising variety of sweet dishes and dessert items, including, of all things, chocolate mousse. Here's how it works, according to Food Network. You start by melting chocolate chips using the same pot-in-boiling-pot method you would use to make a fondue. Combine the melted chocolate chips with peeled and pitted avocados, agave, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt in a food processor. Mix it all up until it's smooth and creamy, then refrigerate it for a few hours. The final steps are to add a garnish of your choice, such as raspberries or ground nuts, and then serve. 

Another interesting avocado creation, this one courtesy of Yummy Healthy Easy, is the avocado chocolate truffle. These can be made by combining melted dark chocolate, mashed ripe avocados, vanilla extract and cinnamon (to taste) into a clump-free mixture. Refrigerate for about half an hour. Finally, roll the mixture into little bite-sized truffles, coat them in cocoa powder and serve.   

When life gives you avocados, why not turn them into ice cream? This Foolproof Living recipe for avocado and coconut milk ice cream requires mixing fresh, pureed avocados with heavy cream, coconut milk, sugar, rum, salt and lime juice in a food processor for about 20 seconds. Be sure to chill the mix well before putting it in your ice cream maker. You can get extra points for presentation if you serve it in half a coconut. 

Other dishes you can make with avocados as the base include brownies, chocolate peanut butter, chocolate banana pudding, avocado frosting and of course, the classic avocado smoothie.