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Four Ways To Use Avocado

Add this nutrient powerhouse to salsas, salads, soups, and yes, even dessert!

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Photo: John David Becker

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With its rich, buttery taste and creamy texture, it’s no wonder avocado is so popular in dips, on sandwiches and in salads. Avo contains high amounts of the heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that can lower cholesterol, and it’s also loaded with potassium, a valuable electrolyte for endurance athletes, as well as vitamins B, C and E. The avocado’s high-fiber, low-sugar content makes it the ideal ingredient for health-conscious, flavor-packed cooking.

Soup’s On

This chilled soup will satisfy a snack craving in a second, or make the perfect starter to any meal. Using a blender or food processor, purée until smooth 4 ripe avocados, 1 diced English cucumber, 1 Serrano pepper (seeded and chopped), 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, ¼ cup fresh lime juice, ¼ cup light sour cream, 2 tablespoons (each) freshly chopped cilantro and chives, 1 teaspoon (each) sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. Let chill in the fridge for 2–4 hours before serving.

RELATED: Chickpea Cashew Stew

Avocado Brownies

Indulge in amazingly moist and dense brownies. Better yet, this recipe doesn’t require any flour or grains. In a food processor, combine 1 avocado, 2 large brown eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 tablespoon water, and transfer to a large bowl. Melt 7 ounces 70% dark chocolate and gently stir into the avocado mixture. Stir in 1 cup unsweetened raw cocoa powder, 1/3 cup maple sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda and ¼ teaspoon salt. Spread mixture evenly into a square cake pan lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center is removed clean. Cool, cut and store in fridge for several days, or in the freezer for several months.

RELATED: Avocado Chocolate Pudding Recipe

Dress It Up

Make the most creamy, crave-worthy salad dressing.

In a blender, combine 2 medium, ripe avocados with ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons agave, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. The dressing will be thick, so toss well into salads.

RELATED: 3 Super Salad Recipes

Fruity Salsas

Try adding avocado to any fruit salsa recipe to use as a topper for tacos, grilled fish and chicken. In a bowl, toss 1 medium (ripe but firm) diced avocado, with 1½ cups diced mango, papaya, peach, or pineapple, along with 2 tablespoons finely diced red pepper, 2 teaspoons finely diced and seeded Serrano pepper (optional for spice), 2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro, juice and zest of 1 orange, and a dash of salt and pepper.

Jessica Cerra is the owner of Fit Food by Jess, a private chef and catering company in Encinitas, Calif., and the co-founder of Harmony Bar. A former professional XTERRA triathlete, Cerra now races for Twenty16 Women’s Professional Cycling Team.