Avocados are full of healthy fats and vitamins C, E and B6. They're fiber all-stars, too, with 10 grams per cup. Best known as the base for guacamole, because of its creaminess, avocado is now being turned into desserts like puddings and ice cream. Put mashed avocado, a great mayo substitute, on toast and it makes a meal.
Avocados are rarely ripe when you buy them, so plan accordingly, allowing for two days of ripening on your windowsill. They should be just soft to the touch, but not mushy. Dark-skinned Hass avocados have a silky, rich taste, and you can get them virtually year-round.
Avocado toast couldn't be simpler to prepare and, despite its pricy cost at restaurants, it's inexpensive when you make it yourself.
- 1 ripe Hass avocado
- 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 slices whole grain bread
- 1 large tomato, sliced
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 basil leaves, torn
Cut the avocado open, remove the pit and scoop the flesh into a medium bowl. Squeeze on the juice from the lemon and add the chili flakes and salt. Mash with a fork until smooth.
Toast the bread and spread each slice with half the mashed avocado. Top each with tomato slices, olive oil and basil. Serve immediately.
Yield: 1 serving
Consider this basic mashed avocado recipe as the starting point for tasty combinations. For a sweet topping, instead of the tomato, oil and basil, top the mashed avocado with pomegranate seeds (arils) tossed in balsamic vinegar. For a savory topping, use chopped red bell pepper and crumbled feta cheese. For a spicy topping, spoon on canned chipotle chilies mashed with pine nuts.