Avocado toast, anyone? Sure, that stuff is great, but we can get more creative than that.
Avocados are talked about like the be-all, end-all of healthy fat ingredients. These tender fruits — yes, they are fruits — pack just enough of the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats you need in your day.
Some of our favorite comfort foods, such as luscious cheesecake, creamy mac and cheese, and cheesy Alfredo sauce, taste amazing but aren’t always amazing for our health. The average (modestly sized) slice of cheesecake packs 28 grams of fat — that’s nearly three times as many as a spoonful of butter!
But don’t worry: You can still indulge in your favorite foods without loading on those extra fats. We do, of course, need some fats in our diets — fats jump-start your metabolism, help your brain function better, and keep you feeling satisfied so you don’t crave and binge on ice cream.
That’s where avocados come in handy. A whole half of an avocado contains approximately 10 grams of the healthy fats your body craves — which makes eating avocados a smart method for ingesting essential nutrients.
These recipes make it so easy: Make these substitutions to fat-loaded recipes for an extra nutritional boost from over-indulgent foods.
The creamy, decadent sauce slathered over starchy pasta is a no-go if you are trying to eat a balanced meal. However, take out the heavy cream and butter and add some avocado to the mix and you have a good balance of fats and carbs. Try this recipe, or experiment with your own blended sauce. Extra points if you add a protein, such as chicken or shrimp!
Lox, or smoked salmon, contains a heart-healthy portion of omega-3s already. However, once you add the cream cheese, you’ve overloaded your bagel with extra fats. Instead of cream cheese, slice up an avocado and spread it over the bagel. The avocado and lox complement each other’s flavors, meaning this twist on traditional bagels and lox might actually taste even better.
A slice of cheesecake is stuffed with cream cheese, heavy cream, butter, and more fatty ingredients. That’s why it’s so loaded with fat content — three times as much as a spoon of plain butter. To slice that portion down, swap some of the fats out for an equally creamy avocado. Once it’s blended together, the fruit adds not only nutrition, but also a thick and rich texture.
Yes, avocado can work for dessert. It just so happens to work especially well as a butter replacement in the most classic dessert of all time — chocolate chip cookies. Get the recipe here and try a batch for yourself!
Thanksgiving turkey gets a major health downgrade once you smother it with excess pools of this fatty condiment. Gravy is often made with heavy cream, butter, and even turkey fat — to keep these ingredients out of your gravy, try avocado instead. Don’t let the green color stave you off of the stuff: avocado adds a delectable creamy texture that can’t be matched.
Thick, creamy mac and cheese has been a comfort food staple for as long as anyone can remember. However, comfort foods are comforting because they’re so heavy — lighten yours up and add the monounsaturated fats your body craves by blending avocado into your sauce and adding cheese made with skim milk, instead of piling on the whole milk, cream, and full-fat cheeses.
A turkey and cheese becomes twice as enticing slathered with mayonnaise; but what if instead, you spread some avocado between those slices? The avocado adds healthy fats and some much needed bulk to your otherwise wimpy cold cuts. Pro tip: Avocado also tastes great with tomato. For a chicken sandwich recipe, click here.
Typically made with olive oil, pesto can load on the extra fats quickly. For that reason, it may be best to limit your servings of the stuff to about a spoonful. To fit a larger serving of the savory sauce with the same fat content, swap out the oil for avocado. With sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, and basil, this recipe tastes so good you might even like it better than traditional pesto.
Store-bought dressings get a bad rap for being oily and filled with all kinds of wacky preservatives. Instead of buying one of the premade versions loaded with canola oil and other non-nutritious ingredients, make your own creamy avocado dressing instead. Here is a Caesar salad dressing recipe using avocado you can make in minutes.
May-oh no, you did not want to load your healthy, protein-packed tuna with fatty, thick mayo! The good news is that you don’t have to. Whip up some avocado tuna salad with our paleo recipe and keep your tuna on the lighter side with avocado’s healthy fats instead.