6 New and Exciting Ways to Use Avocados

Looking for a new way to use this healthy ingredient? Then try one of our delicious ways below.Looking for a new way to use this healthy ingredient? Then try one of our delicious ways below.Creamy, slightly nutty, and a gorgeous green color, avocados are a very versatile food (not to mention delicious), even though they are most often associated with the party favorite guacamole. But avocados are so much more than just guacamole. They can be grilled, fried, puréed, or used as a garnish or meal of their own. Whether eaten alone with salt and lime juice as a snack, or with some mint and honey as a dessert, avocados are a good source of unsaturated fat (a healthy fat), Vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, and other nutrients.

If you find yourself with a rock hard avocado, you can do one of two things: You can wait two to four days for it to ripen, or you can put it in a brown paper bag with a banana to speed up the ripening process. Once cut into, avocados oxidize quickly (turn brown), so it's best to use them immediately and cut them open right before eating. If you have leftover avocado, try wrapping them tightly in plastic or rubbing the cut sides with lemon or lime juice (the acid stops the oxidations process). P.S. It's just a myth that the avocado seed prevents browning. If you've ever left one in your guacamole, you'll know what I'm talking about.

So, if you're looking for an added boost of creaminess plus healthful nutrients, try using avocados in salads, smoothies, sandwiches, or omelettes, or layering slices on tacos or grilled fish. But if you're looking for a new way to use this healthy ingredient, then try one of our delicious ways below. And please do let us know if you have an avocado go-to of your own!

Spicy Crab and Avocado Salad Recipe

You've undoubtedly seen the grapefruit-avocado combo before. You get the creaminess of the avocado and the tart sweetness of the grapefruit - pretty fantastic. One way to take it to the next level is to add heat and textural variety. Doing that with fresh hearts of palm and finely-diced jalapeño accomplishes both. If you can't find fresh hearts of palm you can use the canned stuff, but it won't have the same crunch - that added contrast we're looking for. Adding fresh lump crab meat makes it a refreshing salad, or even something you could eat by itself as a light meal. Except for separating the grapefruit suprêmes, it's easy and quick too.

Click here to see the Spicy Crab and Avocado Salad Recipe

Avocados Stuffed with Chicken Salad Recipe

Queen avocado, or palta reina, as this popular dish is called in South America, is royally rich but perfectly simple. It's a great summer lunch and a real crowd-pleaser. I like to make my chicken salad with plain yogurt (not Greek yogurt, which is too thick) instead of mayonnaise to make it lighter.

Click here to see the Avocados Stuffed with Chicken Salad Recipe

Avocado and Prosciutto Crostini Recipe


We've all been there - you need an appetizer that will make a great impression but doesn't require you to slave away in your kitchen. This crostini is sure to deliver on both accounts. The creaminess of the avocado, saltiness of the prosciutto, and nuttiness of the Parmesan combine to create the perfect bite.

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Avocado Pizza with Caramelized Onions Recipe

Instead of tomato sauce, creamy chunks of avocado and gooey melted mozzarella make the base for this easy and delicious California-inspired pizza. While you're welcome to experiment with making your own pizza dough, I bought mine at my local pizza shop. Because of the creaminess of the avocado and mozzarella mixture, the pizza benefits from having a somewhat thick crust so that the juices don't soak through.

Feel free to add other ingredients like grilled chicken or Monterey Jack cheese to the pizza to make it even more California-esque.

INGREDIENTS

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the pizza
½ red onion, sliced
Pinch of salt
2 ripe Hass avocados
½ jalapeño, chopped
4-6 basil leaves, roughly chopped
Pizza dough
Flour, for dusting
2 cherry tomatoes, sliced into thin rounds
1 ball mozzarella

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees, placing a pizza stone or baking sheet inside. Heat a saucepan over high heat, then add the oil and lower the heat to medium. Add the onions and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring frequently for about 15-20 minutes, lowering the heat if the onions begin to brown. Set aside when done.

In a bowl, add the avocado and mash into chunks. Add the jalapeño and basil leaves and combine, leaving the avocado a little chunky.

Meanwhile, place on the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out, using either your hands or a rolling pin, to about a 9- or 10-inch pie. Brush the outer edge with a little olive oil, then layer on about half of the mozzarella in clumps with the tomatoes. Place in the oven and cook for 5 minutes.

Then, take out of the oven, add the avocado, onions, and the rest of the mozzarella. Place in the oven again for another 5 minutes or until the edges of the pizza are browned.

Recipe Details

Total Time: 30-40 minutes
Servings: 4

Avocado Toast Recipe

This is one of the simplest and most flavorful recipes I know. Mashing avocado to taste with salt, pepper, and lemon makes for a healthy and delicious breakfast when served on toast or a Ryvita cracker. I first tried this at a café while traveling (the location of which escapes me) and when I got home, I was pleasantly surprised to see just how easy it was to recreate. Every time I make it, I get re-inspired to make it more often!

Also, I was surprised to find how well this actually pairs with your morning coffee - fear not!

Click here to see the Avocado Toast Recipe

Kale, Avocado, and Ricotta Pie Recipe


This is a very simple dish, as good for dinner as it is for brunch. You can play around with the ingredients a bit, adding more artichoke or avocado, or substituting spinach for kale or sausage for bacon. You can't go wrong - unless you forget to garnish with a delicious ripe avocado.

Click here to see the Kale, Avocado, and Ricotta Pie Recipe


-Yasmin Fahr, The Daily Meal

Click here to see 8 Tips for Better Guacamole