Avocados are one of many people’s favorite healthy fat sources, not to mention one of the most nutritious at that. Avocados help satiate your appetite, promote good heart health by reducing bad cholesterol in the body, and even improve digestion and your skin. While they may be calorically dense, a small sliver of these healthy fruits will go miles in helping you become more healthy without even trying. Using avocados in your meals is also a great way to replace dairy and they are also easy to make a variety of sauces and dressings with, instead of using oil or cream. The best part is, they’re easy to find all year round and can be used in a variety of seasonal recipes.
Let’s start with using them in spring when avocados are especially ripe and in season, shall we?
Light and Fresh Salads
Spring is the perfect time to get yourself back on a salad routine, but don’t worry – that doesn’t mean boredom or deprivation. If you think salads are boring, add some avocado to yours and see if you still feel the same. Avocados are incredible salad toppers or salad dressing ingredients because they can substitute for both dressing and meat. You can either cut them into cubes and top your salad with them, use them in place of oil to make massaged kale salad (which gets your hands all nice and messy during the process but also softens them up!), or blend them with some herbs and spices instead of oil to make a salad dressing with. They make great meat replacements too, so ditch those chicken tenders or sliced turkey shreds and add 1/4 – 1/2 an avocado on top instead. Add flavors like lemon, lime, and even orange juice for a nice punch of flavor, then top with some cracked black pepper, maybe some oregano and basil, and lots of flavorful fruits like tomatoes, cucumbers and seasonal veggies like artichokes and snap peas.
As a Light and Tasty Dip
Instead of using heavy cream-based dips that rob your energy and mess with your digestion, implement avocado-based dips instead. Avocados have a special property that helps your brain feel full faster on less, and they’re a good source of soluble fiber that reduces cholesterol. Instead of the traditional guacamole, blend them with some fruit like pineapple or even grapefruit and watermelon, and season with some citrus juice like lemon or lime. This makes for a sweet, light and refreshing dip for everything from celery to raw zucchini slices. You can even serve the guacamole as a salad dressing, or just use it as a dip for some healthy chips and crackers.
Summer’s the perfect time to go a bit lighter when it comes to sandwiches and other main dishes. So for your next picnic, go with a wrap in place of bread. Wraps are often lighter on the digestive system and more nutritious if you choose a veggie-based wrap, sprouted grain wrap, collard wrap. or even a coconut meat wrap. You can stuff your wraps with veggies, greens, tomatoes or other fruit, and even chickpeas or another light source of protein for more sustenance and nutrition. Skip the mayo and spread some avocados on your next wrap instead!
What? Sorbet from avocados? Yes! Avocados are awesome to make raw vegan sorbet (or ice cream) with. Think of them just like you would frozen bananas – they have the exact same “performance” benefits to create a thick, creamy and sweet frozen dessert if you flavor the base with sweet fruits, stevia or even soaked, dried fruit. For instance, if you chop a whole avocado into cubes, and blend with frozen fruit, you’ll get a delicious sorbet. You can also freeze the slices individually and blend those with some non-dairy milk (about 1/4 cup per whole avocado) and add any spices and sweeteners that you want. A classic mix is: frozen avocado slices, frozen banana or pear slices and a little vanilla extract. You can also easily just use frozen berries with fresh avocado or even frozen pineapple and melons. Lime sorbet anyone?
Roasted Veggie Toppers
Sweet potatoes, roasted squash, and even roasted onions and carrots are all delicious to enjoy in the fall. You can use avocados to top any of these with, especially sweet potatoes, which work excellent with avocado’s creamy texture. How about replacing sour cream with some avocado instead? Or, mash some avocado up into a dip with a clove of garlic and a little onion to dip your next batch of sweet potato fries in. Also try them on top of healthy veggie-based nachos or veggie-based hash. With fall being the time of year to warm up with root veggies, avocados just help add a little more heartiness to every single bite!
In a Veggie/Grain Bowl
Veggie/grain bowls are as popular now as smoothie bowls are, and they’re extremely satisfying and comforting – perfect for fall! The concept of adding a bunch of veggies and maybe some grains to a bowl, tossing it all with some healthy fats and/or protein is really such a simple way to eat healthier at each meal. Avocados work great in these bowls specifically due to their creamy and filling factors. Enjoy them either chopped or mashed into some of our veggie bowl recipes.
Winter’s chilly days leave us eating more and more soup than we might have thought possible, but that’s okay, because plant-based soups are packed with healthy goodies! Why not add some avocados to the mix and enjoy them even more? You can chop some on top of vegan chili, vegetable soup, or a root veggie stew. Use them however you like on top of (or even in) your next batch of soup so you can enjoy their light, yet filling benefits.
Pies, Cakes, Brownies, and More!
It’s holiday time when desserts are abundant, so put those avocados to use and make your recipes healthier in a flash! Try using avocado to make a delicious Misssissippi Mud Pie, Raw Peanut Butter Bars, a batch of rich chocolate brownies, a yummy pumpkin acai bowl, and even a delicious chocolate cake. See more vegan dessert recipes here to explore other ways to use avocados to replace butter, milk, yogurt and sour cream in all your holiday desserts.
Don’t get too rigid with the seasons here now; you can use any of these recipes all year round. Give them a try and you’ll never be without a reason to use these fruits a little more often. See more avocado recipes and let us know if you have a favorite way to enjoy them too!
Lead Image Source: Fresh Veggie Summer Rolls With Spicy Garlic Peanut Sauce