4 Insanely Clever Ways to Eat Avocados

Think outside the avocado toast.

Did you know that National Avocado Day is today? Not that we ever need an excuse to consume the creamy, vitamin-rich superfruit, no matter what day of the year it is. In the United States alone, avocado consumption has increased 200 percent since 2003. That's a lot of guac! While chips and dip and avocado toast will always be staples, it's time to broaden our perspective when it comes to these healthy gems. Read on to learn new ways to consume avocado this week and all year long.

Cook with it

Most of us use olive oil as a staple for home cooking but did you know that in many cases, avocado oil might be a better choice? Avocado oil has a higher smoke point than olive oil, meaning that when it comes to high heat cooking like frying, roasting, and stir frying, avocado oil will protect the health benefits of the oil as well as preventing your fire alarm from sounding off. Use a brand like Chosen Foods which has, in addition to the classic, neutral-tasting oil, a variety of flavored spray options for easy seasoning like chipotle and garlic. And, Chosen Foods is actually giving away an avocado grove in Mexico in celebration of National Avocado Day. Avocados for life? Sign me up!

Sweeten the deal

Even though the avocado is technically a fruit, we still usually think of using it in savory dishes like salads or bowls. Lo and behold, avocado makes an amazing addition to desserts, especially anything that contains chocolate. There's just something about the creamy, neutral avocado flesh that pairs perfectly with bitter chocolate and a touch of sweetness. My favorite avocado-based dessert is avocado-chocolate pudding, which can be made simply from blending melted dark chocolate, cacao powder, avocado, maple, and vanilla until smooth. You can also try these chocolate-avocado truffles for a party treat that's sure to impress.

Fry it up

I will never forget the first time I had avocado fries. It was in a Mexican restaurant in the West Village of New York City, and I thought I was popping an oddly shaped french fry into my mouth. Maybe it was the element of surprise, but the warm, creamy-on-the-inside, crunchy-on-the-outside morsel that melted in my mouth was one of the best things I had ever tried.

I had never even thought to fry avocado, and it's still not something you see often on menus. The trick is to use an avocado that is ripe but still firm—this will prevent it from falling apart after you've sliced it. Then just batter and fry as you would anything else, dipping in flour, egg, then breadcrumbs. Bake at 400 degrees or until the avocado is crispy and browning, then enjoy!

Spread, drizzle, and dip

When combined with a few other simple ingredients in a food processor or blender, avocado is transformed into a multi-purpose condiment that you will want to slather on everything from sandwiches to tacos. Whether it's a crema, aioli, or salad dressing, avocado lends a buttery, creamy quality to any recipe. Try this chopped salad with a tangy, cheesy avocado dressing or dip veggies into a caraway-avocado aioli. I like to make a simple blend of avocado, salt, a little sour cream and lime, adding just enough water to make it smooth, and drizzle over anything from grilled fish tacos to breakfast nachos.

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