The Ingredient That Will Change Your Homemade Pudding Forever

When we've used an ingredient in just one particular way, it may be difficult for us to view it in any other light. Such is the case with an edible berry like tomatoes, which are used in salads and savory dishes in the West, but can be found on Taiwan's street markets skewered and coated with sugar syrup. The same can also be said of the avocado, which in many American households is  purchased as an ingredient for guacamole or served up on toast. But the truth is an avocado is, in fact, capable of being so much more. 

As far as Asia and Latin America are concerned, avocado is a fruit, and as such, it is consumed as a dessert. In Vietnam, avocados are blended with ice, condensed milk, and sugar to make a mouthwatering fruit shake. In the Philippines as well as in Mexico, avocado ice cream is a perennial favorite while in Indonesia, per The Washington Post, the avocado can even be consumed with coffee or chocolate syrup — making it a natural addition to pudding.

It might seem weird for us to put what we consider to be a savory ingredient into dessert, but as cookbook author Lara Ferroni explained, "Avocados don't really have a savory flavor, but they have an umami quality. Once I got over that mental hump of 'It's just for guacamole,' it was really easy to take avocados in a sweet direction."

There are many benefits to consuming avocado in desserts

Adding avocado to homemade pudding works on many different levels. From a nutritional standpoint, avocados are a good way to get your vitamins C, E, K, and B6; as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, magnesium, and potassium, per Medical News Today. A 100 gram serving of avocado also gives you 76 milligrams of beta sitosterol, which is meant to help your body maintain cholesterol levels. The fruit is also known to contain phytochemicals and carotenoids, which some studies suggest can help protect you from cancer (via the MD Anderson Cancer Center).

From a flavor standpoint, an avocado's rich, buttery texture can add extra oomph to the mouthfeel of any pudding. PBS TV host Pati Jinich told The Washington Post that "avocados could be one of the most luscious, sensuous, silky, exuberant ingredients ever. In my house, we use avocados as a savory ingredient 65% of the time. We throw it on top of everything. But these days, I'm also putting it in cakes." And if you're worried about your fat intake there is nothing to worry about — the 28 grams of fat found in an avocado is mostly made up of monounsaturated fat, which can actually cut levels of LDL or bad cholesterol.

To use avocado in your pudding, do as the vegans do, and just mash and blend the fruit into whatever pudding you happen to be making. You can even do the same and add avocado to a smoothie. Your taste buds — and your body — will thank you.