How to Make the MOST Out of the Avocados You Buy

ingredients and nutrition Jun 05, 2023
Avocados on a chopping board

New to avocados or just tired of them spoiling on you? In this article, I’ll show you the many ways you can enjoy avocados, how versatile they are in the plant-based kitchen…and what to do when you have too many ripe ones on your hands!

Growing up, I can’t remember eating any avocados, but the first time I do remember tasting them was one pre-college summer in California. It was summertime and my older cousin had taken me out to get a burrito lunch. Well, not only could I not finish the seemingly huge foil-wrapped burrito then, I also found the strange green creamy sauce on it distasteful. Did this first impression last? Thankfully, it didn’t! Fast-forward to just a few years into college, and by then I was savoring every bit of guacamole I could get and loving burritos and all things Mexican! #tastebudsdochange


How Healthful are Avocados?

But is there really something healthful about avocados or is it all hype? As it turns out, avocados come pretty nutrient-packed. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) FoodData Central database, one raw avocado (201 grams in weight) already provides about 4 grams of protein, 13.5 grams of fiber, 975 milligrams of potassium, along with many other nutrients such as iron, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, choline, and folate. The high fiber content of avocados promotes gut health, and avocados are also high in specific antioxidants such as the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which are important in eye health. In addition, active research continues on the potential antioxidant, anti-microbial, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and cardio-protective effects of avocados.


Tasty Ways to Enjoy Avocados

Let’s now address a commonly-faced issue: when you suddenly have too many ripe avocados on your hands, what can you do with them? Well, that’s a problem that’s easy to solve, because there are SO many delicious ways to enjoy avocados! Avocados have a rich and creamy texture, so they can be used in many ways in the plant-based kitchen to make creamy sauces, dips and smoothies.  Listed here are just 15 ways you can use and enjoy avocados:

  • Add some into a smoothie
  • Make a tasty snack using avocado cubes, chopped apple and a generous sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Enjoy it as guacamole
  • Avocado toast (mashed or in slices)
  • Use it to make nice cream (a vegan version of ice cream)
  • Make chocolate puddings
  • Make avocado hummus
  • Add chopped avocado to tacos or burritos
  • Mix in some sliced or chopped avocado into a leafy green salad
  • Add some chopped avocado to your chili or stew
  • Make a creamy pasta sauce or dressing
  • Use avocados as a fat replacement in vegan baked recipes
  • Put avocado slices in vegan sushi rolls
  • Chop and add some to a bean salad
  • Enjoy avocado slices in sandwiches


A Bonus Money-Saving Produce Hack

If you have 1-2 ripe avocados sitting around that you know you won’t be able to finish that day, simply pop these back into the refrigerator for another day or two. The colder fridge temperatures will slow down the ripening process, and prevent the avocados from getting overripe too fast. But still try to eat them within the next day or two, as they will eventually over-ripen and spoil.

Now what if you’ve bought a bunch of avocados on sale, and there are now lots of ripe avocados ripe on your kitchen countertop…more than you can eat? Here’s one easy money-saving produce hack you can use - freeze them!

Yes, did you know you can freeze your ripe avocados for later enjoyment? Just cut open a ripe avocado, remove the seed, then cut the scooped-out flesh into slices. Next, freeze these avocado slices in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking tray for 24 – 48 hours until firm and solid. After this, bag up the frozen avocado slices into zip plastic resealable bags and store them in the freezer. When you next want to use avocado for smoothies, guacamole or other recipes, simply take the amount you want out of the freezer to thaw quickly before using. This is the perfect ‘no waste’ solution to keep your ripened avocados usable for months at a time! 

I hope this article inspires you to try different ways of enjoying avocados. Keep in mind though, that while avocados are versatile and nutrient-rich, they are also calorie-dense. So, for those who are wanting to maintain their current weight or lose weight, it may be best to limit the consumption of avocados and enjoy much smaller portion sizes of them. Focus instead on other nutrient-packed minimally processed and whole plant-based foods in the vegetable, fruit, whole grain and legume categories.

Are you intrigued by avocados and want to learn more? If so, go to Surprising Avocado Facts and Benefits and The Best Ways to Pick and Store Avocados. You’ll learn some fascinating facts about avocados, how to be smart about the form of avocados you buy and how to store them better so they can last longer. I hope these additional articles help you on your plant-based diet journey!