This post was sponsored by the Hass Avocado Board as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
I eat a variety of superfoods and encourage my family to eat the same as well, but there is one superfood I eat on a daily basis that is an absolute must for my health: avocado. I eat avocados each day in various forms, not only because they are healthy and delicious but becasue they are the only way to keep my cholesterol under 200 mg/dL without taking medications. I’m always looking to find new recipes that include avocados. I recently held a small tasting party to try out new recipes for avocado dishes and to show my friends and family how easily avocados can be incorporated into any diet. My Delicious Avocado Tasting Party (+ Recipes)
To prepare for the party I first bought some fresh avocados. Avocado contributes nearly 20 vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, making it a good choice to help meet nutrient needs. It’s no wonder it is considered a superfood! Since I eat it on a daily basis, I usually rush and just add some slices to my salad or sandwich, but sometimes I will make a more elaborate dish, such a guacamole or we’ll do taco night at home and avocado will be one of the taco fillings. Either way, I always have on hand avocados at home.
TIP: if you want to buy an avocado that’s ready to eat simply squeeze it gently, without applying your fingers. It will yield to firm gentle pressure. If it feels very soft or mushy it’s overripe and if it doesn’t yield at all it’s not ready.
I prepared two dishes with avocados for the party (Recipes below). The first was chipotle avocado stuffed cherry tomatoes. I blended an avocado with yogurt, cilantro, lime juice and chipotle chili powder. I loved the creamy texture of the mixture. So versatile, fresh avocados can be used in any meal or dish. They can be used as a recipe substitute for bad fats, a way to add naturally good fats, a nutrient-dense fruit to add nutrient value, and as a vegan or vegetarian possible alternative to dairy products. I put the mixture into hollowed cherry tomatoes and garnished with cilantro leaves.
My second dish was a vegan avocado ceviche. This was quick and super-easy to make – it required only mixing of ingredients. The recipe called for chopped cauliflower so I bought chopped cauliflower at Trader Joe’s and just mixed it with the rest of the ingredients. Within a few minutes, I had a delicious dish that can be used as an appetizer or a side.
I served the dishes with a Mediterranean spread. I specifically focused on healthy dishes packed with nutrients to accompany the two avocado dishes. Avocados act as a “nutrient booster” by helping the body to better absorb fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha- and beta-carotene and lutein, from foods that are eaten with the fruit. So you absorb nutrients from other ingredients in other dishes when you eat them at the same time as you eat the avocados.
Clockwise from top: cheese and crackers, Greek salad, stuffed grape leaves, vegan avocado ceviche, skordalia, pita chips for dipping and in the middle, is my chipotle avocado stuffed cherry tomatoes.
The ceviche was the biggest hit of the party. It was full of flavor and went great with the pita chips.
The stuffed tomatoes also disappeared quickly. The recipe calls for 14 tomatoes but I will double it next time.
I had to keep adding more ceviche to the little bowl. Note to self: serve ceviche in a bigger bowl next time!
Here are recipes for the chipotle avocado stuffed cherry tomatoes and the vegan avocado ceviche:
Chipotle Avocado Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes
- 14 large cherry or cocktail tomatoes 1 1/2-inch diameter
- 1 fresh avocado* halved, pitted and peeled
- 1/2 cup <g class="gr_ gr_1244 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear ContextualSpelling multiReplace" id="1244" data-gr-id="1244">low fat</g> Greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsp. cilantro chopped
- 2 tsp. lime juice
- 1/4 tsp. chipotle chili powder
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 14 small cilantro leaves for garnish
- Slice the tops off the tomatoes and scoop out seeds and pulp. Drain, <g class="gr_ gr_1239 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear ContextualSpelling ins-del multiReplace" id="1239" data-gr-id="1239">cut side</g> down on paper towels.
- In a blender, puree the avocado, Greek yogurt, cilantro lime juice, chipotle chili powder and salt until smooth and blended.
- Spoon or pipe avocado filling into centers of tomatoes.
- Garnish with cilantro leaves.
- *Note: Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados, adjust the quantity accordingly.
Vegan Avocado Ceviche
- 1 ripe fresh Hass avocado*, halved, pitted, peeled and cubed
- 1 cup cauliflower diced
- 2 to matoes diced
- 1/3 cup red onion finely diced
- 1 Tbsp. jalapeno pepper minced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 Tbsp. fresh cilantro chopped
- 1 Tbsp. lime juice
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- In a large bowl, combine avocado, cauliflower, tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, salt and olive oil.
- Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve with homemade pita chips.
- Serving Suggestions:
- Serving Suggestion: Serve as an appetizer or side dish.
- *Note: Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados, adjust the quantity accordingly.
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Senior Reviewer Maytal Wichman has also written for The Huffington Post. She has been living in New York City for fourteen years and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature as well as a Law Degree, but blogging is her true passion. Maytal is a stay-at-home mom to three kids (ages 10, 8 and 4) and loves finding great products that make her family’s life easier.