Your Best Ideas for Avocado

May 28, 2012

avocados
Photo by Joseph De Leo; styled by Mariya Yufest

Spanish conquistadors discovered avocados in Central and South America in the 16th century and instantly declared the sloping fruit a luxury to be reserved strictly for royalty. Lucky for us, avocados are now easy to find and remarkably versatile.

Nicknamed the "alligator pear" for its dark green, leathery skin and signature curves, the avocado adds a luxurious texture and a bit of acidity to myriad preparations. Its rich, buttery flavor is only bested by the powerful health benefits the fruit delivers through its smattering of nutrients and good-for-you fats. With more potassium than a banana and enough beta-carotene to rival even the most robust carrot, avocados are sometimes touted as the most wholesome fruit on the planet.

Making appearances in appetizers and desserts alike, the silky fruit is mashed with chiles in Mexican molcajetes and blended into sweetened sippables in the Philippines. While most favor avocado in its raw form, the fruit can be lightly stewed for soups and sauces or grilled for use as a smoky spread. Caution: leave them with heat for too long and avocados can become bitter.

How do you use this buttery fruit? Share your favorite ways to enjoy avocados in the comments section below. Remember, if you choose to upload a recipe (and we hope you will), please mention it in your comment.

We'll assemble and share some of our favorite ideas next week.

Carrot Avocado Salad Tartine with Mustard Mayo and Mashed Avocado and Radishes with Butter and Salt
Photos by James Ransom (left) and Sarah Shatz

Recipes

Blackened Jalapeño and Avocado Dipping Sauce
Black Bean Salad with Avocado-Lime Dressing
Lemony Pea Avocado Salad with Mozzarella
Grilled Avocado "Guacamole" with Parmesan and Basil [FOOD52]
Carrot Avocado Salad [FOOD52]
(pictured above, left)
Tartine with Mustard Mayo and Mashed Avocado and Radishes with Butter and Salt [FOOD52] (pictured above, right)

For more spring produce inspiration, check out our previous topic, Your Best Ideas for Pineapple, and the selection of your best tips and recipes, How to Use Pineapple.

12 Comments Add a Comment
  • Missing_avatar

    mangotomato says: here are two of my favorites: 1) avocado soup: http://www.mangotomato.com/2012/05/love-avocados-want-something-other-than.html 2) avocado sandwich with pistachios: http://www.mangotomato.com/2011/02/avocado-pistachio-arugula-sandwich.html

    about 1 year ago Reply to this »
  • Molly1bw

    molly's kitchen says: These recipes look amazing! Would you mind uploading them to the site?

    about 1 year ago
  • Missing_avatar

    Ana Cardia says: I loooooove avocados, eat them every single day, no kidding! My favorite is to add it to salads and to smoothies. And here goes my favorite smoothie using it: strawberries + blackberries + avocado + rice protein powder or greek yogurt + dash of vanilla extract + stevia to taste + ice/liquid as needed. I like to use frozen fruits and then add water or almond milk (or other milk. Coconut water is delicious here too!) to desired consistency. I like mine pretty creamy, so I don't add too much liquid. If using fresh fruit then I add ice and no liquids. Another combo for smoothies: strawberries + banana + avocado + orange juice + greek yogurt + stevia to taste and ice and/or water to desired consistency. Avocados make my smoothies oh so creamy, fluffy, and delicious. Not to mention delicious and more complete too! I love having these smoothies for breakfast - and if that's all I am having, then I add a couple tablespoons of oatmeal too (or top it with granola) to have more of a complete meal! Ana

    about 1 year ago Reply to this »
  • Headshot_-_copy

    christinaorso says: 1 avocado + 1 minced clove of garlic + 1 tbsp. honey + s&p. Mash together. Add more of each ingredient to cater to your tastebuds! www.hungrymeetshealthy.com

    about 1 year ago Reply to this »
  • P1000860

    ChefSea says: My favorite way to enjoy avocado is to simply slice in half, pit and flood the cavity with good soy sauce.

    about 1 year ago Reply to this »
  • Sara_lorikeets

    hardlikearmour says: I hated avocado as a kid, but love it as an adult. It is pure creamy goodness! It's great in both savory and sweet dishes: a delicious shake: http://boulder.wholefoodsmarketcooking.com/recipes/13035_avocado_sea_salt_shake ; a hearty breakfast (or anytime) sandwich: http://boulder.wholefoodsmarketcooking.com/recipes/12369_beat_breakfast_sandwich ; and a way to add creaminess to a spicy cool soup: http://boulder.wholefoodsmarketcooking.com/recipes/12826_spicy_summer_soup

    about 1 year ago Reply to this »
  • 290

    aargersi says: Avocado works in sweet applications too - I worked at a Brazilian restaurant a million years ago that had an outstanding avocado smoothie. I will try avocado ice cream this summer and post if it's good!!!

    about 1 year ago Reply to this »
  • Sara_lorikeets

    hardlikearmour says: It will be good! I love avocado shakes and smoothies. I'll upload a recipe for a shake.

    about 1 year ago
  • Missing_avatar

    Ana Cardia says: I am Brazilian and love avocados, it is delicious in smoothies. Just avocados + milk and sweetener to taste is sooooo creamy and delicious! Avocado ice cream is awesome, you are going to love it! Ana

    about 1 year ago
  • Missing_avatar

    Zuklaak says: I grew up in an area that had = avocado groves, the best way I've had them is sliced with salt & pepper in a sandwich.

    about 1 year ago Reply to this »
  • Merita

    Kubeshini Moodley is a Whole Foods Market South Region team member.

    Kubeshini says: This is my favorite way to eat them too! I grew up in South Africa with a huge avocado tree in our back yard. I remember that it hung over our next door neighbors swimming pool, so it was not uncommon to find them bobbing around in there! It was the large variety with the smooth shiny skin similar to those grown in Florida. Spread and tasted like butter when smeared on toast!

    about 1 year ago
  • Lori_narlock-2-57

    lorinarlock says: I'm a total pushover for any type of bread toasted and then topped with avocado. My favorite is farmer's toast, which includes hearty bread, crushed red pepper and sea salt. The recipe for my Farmer's Toast is available in the recipes section of this website for anyone else who loves the combo of crunchy bread and silky avocado.

    about 1 year ago Reply to this »

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