Holy Guacamole: Avocados Are Red Hot


image: hannah honey & jam on flickr

Avocados have emerged as breakout produce stars and are enjoying their day in the sun.  That’s the topic of my latest post for WebMD, Avocado: Going Beyond Guacamole.

It used to be that we only thought about avocados when we wanted to make guacamole – which was typically just for occasional events like Super Bowl parties or Cinco de Mayo celebrations.   But those days are over, and I couldn’t be happier about it.  Now these fruits have broken out of the guacamole bowl and have become big stars in the produce aisle.

Avocados are following in the same footsteps as nuts, which were once dismissed as fatty foods and shunned by the health conscious.  Now we know that both of these foods contain heart-healthy fats and their nutrition reputations have been redeemed. I’m thrilled to see the growing popularity of avocados – which are showing up on restaurants menus from appetizers to desserts.

avocado cake

Avocado-Chocolate Tofu Mousse from MielPastry on flickr

You know the trend has reached mainstream status when avocados begin appearing on fast-food menus.  Chain restaurants like Wendy’s, Subway, Panera Bread and Au Bon Pain have all introduced items with avocado.

Smoothies are increasingly popular, and now avocados are being added to the blender. I did a quick search on Pinterest and found tons of enticing recipes for smoothies made with avocados, including versions mixed with other green ingredients like cucumber and kiwi, or fruits such as blueberries, strawberries or pineapple.


image: bite delite on flickr

Long a part of the Mediterranean Diet, avocados can be incorporated into your meals and snacks in so many delicious, satisfying ways.  Here are 12 great ways to use avocados from Oldways and the Mediterranean Foods Alliance.

  • Mash half an avocado with a fork and spread it on whole-grain bread or toast for a quick, nourishing breakfast.
  • Add diced avocado to eggs or omelets before cooking.

avocado egg

Poached Egg on Toast with Chipotle Mayonnaise, Bacon and Avocado
by CookinCanuck on flickr

  • Top baked potatoes with avocado butter, made by mashing a ripe avocado with one tablespoon of lemon or lime juice, salt, and pepper.
  • Garnish vegetable, fruit and whole-grain salads with diced avocado, and then toss gently to mix.
  • Stuff avocado halves with brown rice and olives and garnish with a sprinkling of bleu cheese.
  • Top whole grain crackers with thin slices of avocado and smoked salmon to create a delicious party appetizer.
  • Combine avocados with berries, apples, and mango chunks for a tasty fruit salad.
  • Make a creamy potato salad with chopped avocados, boiled new potatoes, and diced celery, and moisten with a sprinkling of lemon juice, wine, and olive oil.
  • Create a deliciously different salsa by combining diced avocado, chopped tomatoes, corn kernels, chopped cilantro, pepper, and cayenne.
  • Add diced avocado, diced bell pepper, and sliced scallions to cooked pasta, and dress with a mixture of extra-virgin olive oil, vinegar, and mustard for a tasty pasta salad.
  • Substitute avocado for another fruit in any sorbet recipe and include lemon or lime juice to bring out its flavor.
  • Put sliced avocado in wraps and sandwiches.


image: rebeccamissing on flickr

Don’t get me wrong.  Guacamole is still amazing, there are just so many other wonderful ways to enjoy these wondrous fruits.  But Cinco de Mayo is coming up, so here are some tasty-looking guacamole recipes from bloggers:

Perfect Guacamole from Simply Recipes
Sweet Smokin’ Hot Mango-Chipotle Guacamole from Eat, Live, Run 
Roberto Santibanez Classic Guacamole from Food 52
Guacamole from David Lebovitz
Guacamole with Corn, Pasilla Chiles and Tomatillos from The Kitchn
Guacamole Hummus from Shutterbean 

guac hummus

Guacamole Hummus by Shutterbean on flickr

For more on the health benefits of avocados, visit the Food & Nutrition Magazine.

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