The world-wide avocado craze isn’t new but also isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. Our increased love of the alligator-hide fruit has created a potential shortage that is being called a “guacapocalypse” and plastic surgeons are bemoaning an increase in cases of “avocado hand” — injuries arising while cutting the tough fruit. Meanwhile, the world’s first avocado bar, named Avocaderia, just opened in Brooklyn and cravers ate them out of their main staple on their very first day in business.
And why not? An avocado’s soft green flesh can add creamy nutritious flavor to just about any dish. When buying for immediate use, look for avocados that yield to gentle pressure; avoid overly-squishy ones and only choose hard avocados if you’re not going to use them for four to five days. Then try your bounty on the mouthwatering avocado recipes we’ve rounded up from some of our favorite food bloggers.
Pour this flavorful vinaigrette on just about anything to dial up the deliciousness. Try it with salads, meats and seafood dishes. This recipe is tagged as a “heartful dish,” a designation bloggers Pam and Mark use for recipes that fall into their 90 percent healthy eating plan (with 10 percent indulgences). The Bread and Buddha site focuses on “feeding your belly and spirit” with health coaching, product and restaurant reviews and even music suggestions. Meanwhile, The Bread and Buddha Kitchen offers weekly menus of good-for-you prepared foods with pickup in Highland Park and delivery to some North Shore towns.
Blogger Ashley says it is her joy to teach and share and cook with others. Her series detailing the weekly night she and her husband set aside for a special dinner at home after their kids’ bedtime has been turned into a book, “Date Night In.” It features recipes to help you reconnect with your own loved ones. This particular dish is a pile of goodness: crispy buttery bread heaped with creamy avocado and burrata cheese topped with tangy roasted tomatoes. It’s amped-up avocado toast at its best.
Created by the author of two plant-based cookbooks, this site’s name refers to the arrival of the “first mess” of peas in the spring and reflects the joy of matching eating habits to the season. Blogger Laura reinforces the idea that a meal is not to be taken for granted and this recipe will certainly inspire gratefulness with its rich colors of wheat, deep purple beets, and the verdant greens of avocado and basil — it’s a feast for your eyes and stomach.
It turns out that a scored avocado proves a fitting summer base for a well-dressed salad. Blogger and cookbook author Deb offers two versions here: one Tex-Mex style with black beans and a chile-lime vinaigrette and the other Asian-inspired with toasted sesame seeds and a ginger miso dressing. With an ever-changing page on “what’s in season” and a “surprise me” button that will catapult you to into random recipes, Smitten Kitchen is a fun site to explore. Look for Deb’s newest cookbook, “Smitten Kitchen Everyday,” coming this fall.
This site is aptly named after blogger Heidi’s collection of cookbooks and magazines that she lovingly tagged with post-its to mark her favorite recipes, resulting in a colorful monument to her passion for cooking. The user-friendly blog lets you search by meal type, ingredient or season and has a “natural food basics” section to encourage more travelers on the journey away from commercially raised produce, highly-refined sugars and nutritionally-barren flours. These vegetarian spring rolls offer fresh flavors in a compact package.
Chungah cooks up yumminess in her “closet-sized kitchen” and says she’s learned a ton from her epic kitchen fails. She focuses on quick and easy meals for the everyday home cook and her site lets you easily find recipes by season, ingredient or quirky category like slow cooker, Asian-inspired and even homemade dog food. This 20-minute meal uses creamy avocados as the base for a healthy sauce to top your favorite pasta. Bonus for visual learners: the site offers videos that walk you through recipes in 30 seconds.
The secret of this vegan delight is in the sauce — specifically, a bit of cocoa powder in the enchilada sauce that rounds out its richness. Even better, the meal’s total cost for four is $5.85. Blogger Beth breaks down ingredient costs to offer delicious food on a budget, minus the ramen. Her site also offers a helpful how-to section that will guide you in browning butter, crisping hash browns and even starting your own food blog. The new Budget Bytes app allows you to filter recipes by price, adjust serving size and hear Beth’s step-by-step instructions as you cook.
This fast nutritious breakfast (sometimes called an “eggocado”) is simplicity personified. Blogger Lisa offers tips for success like using room temperature avocados and scooping some out to make room for your eggs before adding yummy toppings. After being diagnosed with four autoimmune disorders at once, Lisa turned to healthy eating to reverse her symptoms. Her food philosophy is to eat real food without “artificial preservatives, colors, flavors or ingredients you can’t pronounce” and her blog Downshiftology is the yummy result of her own lifestyle shift.
At Minimalist Baker, Dana and her hubby John offer one-bowl recipes using 10 or fewer ingredients that take less than 30 minutes to prepare. The site is special-diet friendly as most of the recipes are plant-based and gluten-free (and still delicious!). This particular recipe harnesses avocado’s velvetiness to create a fudgy yet nutritionally-dense dessert. Check out the site for other avocado recipes like panko-baked avocado tacos and avocado slaw as well as a free 42-page detox guide, advice on kitchen essentials and even food photography tips.
Again, a chocolate avocado combo that makes for a sweet, healthy dessert. This one will evoke the pudding pops of your childhood — you know, if your childhood pops were topped with a warm chocolate drizzle and crushed almonds. Jeanine and Jack have organized their recipes by season, special diet, meal type and ingredient to help you find the right dish in a pinch. They make bright seasonal food “often finished with squeeze of lemon” and their photos will make you drool on your keyboard.
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Pamela Rothbard is a writer and photographer living in Glencoe, Illinois. Her work has appeared in various literary and mainstream magazines and on National Public Radio and her parenting and baking blog, Flour on the Floor, was featured in Better Homes and Gardens. Pamela has been a regular Make It Better contributor since 2013. When she’s not behind a keyboard or a camera, she’s trying new recipes and restaurants and adding another layer of clothing because she’s always cold. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @pamelarothbard.