Cooking

Sweet Green

How to use avocado to make your desserts healthier
Photo: Michelle Sun/Tasting Table
Avocados

We're far from St. Patrick's Day, but now is the time to start putting a bit of green into your desserts. Even if you're setting healthy eating goals, life is much more fun when dessert is involved—so try including avocado in your baked treats for a snack that won't have you hanging your head in resolution-breaking shame.

Chocolate Goes Green
Avocados' naturally creamy texture makes them perfect for a buttercream frosting, like the one on this chocolate-habanero layer cake. Depending on how ripe your avocados are, you may not even taste their flavor at all—though their subtle earthiness works excellently to balance the chocolate's bitterness.

You can also make chocolate mousse and silky chocolate pudding that come together with a spin in a food processor or blender. The words "triple chocolate" don't have to be blacklisted in the case of this shake, which uses avocado and frozen banana to thicken a holy trinity of chocolate sauce, powder and almond milk.

The Fat of the Land
Avocado gets touted as a good fat because of its low level of unsaturated fat, so put it to work instead of butter or oil. The first step in cakes and cookies is often creaming sugar with butter, but cream it with avocado instead for these green matcha gingerbread cookies. If substituting in a cake recipe, experiment first by swapping out half the butter.

RELATED   Spicy Chocolate Cake »

You can also churn avocados into ice cream, like Alton Brown does. He uses them like eggs ("they're even shaped the same," he says) for a makeshift (and curdle-proof!) custard, which is essentially the first step in making ice cream.

If you prefer your icy treats on a stick, these melon, kefir and avocado ice pops will have you in an August state of mind.

Instead of going frozen, stay with the green theme and make a Key lime pie using avocados in place of eggs for the custard base. Chef Charles Grund Jr. says the weirdest pie he ever made was an avocado cream pie (a sort of love child between cheesecake and Key lime, plus avocado)—but many people loved it once they gave it a try.

Go It Alone
You smash avocado on toast and pound it into guacamole, so you might as well let it shine here, too. Ernesto Uchimura, chef/partner of L.A.'s Plan Check suggests adding avocado to fruit salad, as it helps give richness and body to the often one-note syrupy dessert. To have avocado toast for every meal, use a sweet bread, like buttery brioche or Japanese milk bread, as toast instead of a hearty multigrain. Drizzle agave or honey on top of the avocado, top with sweet crystallized ginger and sink into a creamy dessert with the satisfaction of knowing that you're also getting your greens.

Not Your Average Granola Bars

Keep Reading
RELATED Avocado-Cilantro Frozen Margarita
RELATED Matcha Gingerbread Cookies

Around the Web

Get the Tasting Table newsletter for adventurous eaters everywhere