Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend! If you overindulged a bit (and don't we all?) I have the perfect recipe for you! This is another recipe that features my very favorite fruit: the avocado. Over the past few years I have developed a lower and lower tolerance to milk (and sadly, milkshakes), so I've been enjoying less and less smoothies and milkshakes. I had read many times that avocados are a great addition to shakes and smoothies to get the creaminess that is missing from non-dairy versions. I had never actively searched for a recipe but once I came across this recipe on Pinterest and knew this was one to try! Lots of smoothies look healthy but are secretly filled with tons of sugar and calories. What I like about this smoothie is that it is dairy-free (yaaay!), contains 1 1/2 servings of fruit, is sweetened with honey, not sugar and has tons of protein.
This drink totally disguised itself as a chocolate milkshake to my two princesses! JP liked it and Bean loved it. My little Bean definitely acquired Mommy's avocado obsession :) It's chocolate-y and creamy and sweet, but not too sweet. The avocado is there, but I swear you can barely taste it. It's a great way to sneak a lot of healthy things into your kids!
Chocolate Banana Avocado Smoothie
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup crushed ice
1 ripe banana
1 tablespoon honey (you can use dates if you want to make this vegan)
1/2 ripe avocado
2 tablespoons natural cocoa powder
2 tablespoons almond butter (make your own here!)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground flax seed
Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth, about 30 seconds.
Adapted from Against All Grain
Have you ever tried an avocado? Do you love avocados? No, I mean love avocados? I do! I'm kind of obsessed with them lately, especially since I can get them for $.79 at Aldi! Even if you think you don't like avocados, I'm asking you to hear me out. I actually have two pretty unconventional avocado recipes to share with you. Both of them have the avocado flavor neatly disguised within the recipe (pretty sneaky, huh?) With the weekend coming up I decided today's selection would be a sweet and sinful dessert. On Monday I'll give you something healthy to start your week off right. :)
I have been eating avocados in guacamole and on salads and sandwiches for years. When I was pregnant with Princess #1 I never had much of an appetite in the morning, but I always craved cottage cheese with diced avocado (so yummy!) for breakfast. A few years ago I was on a play date and another mom (from India, I believe) told me that she grew up eating avocados in sweet, dessert foods, never savory as we know it here in America. As I sat there eating guacamole I couldn't even imagine the flavor in something sweet. Hmmm...intriguing. Being the foodie that I am I started to be on the lookout for a dessert that consisted of avocados. About a year later I found it in Food Network Magazine. The recipe seemed simple enough so I gave it a try. I figured I'd like it but wasn't sure about my family. To my surprise it was very well received! The avocado flavor was mild and blended well with the sweetness of the sweetened condensed milk and the citrus juice in it gave it the tangy feel of a key lime pie. Other than baking the pie crust, this is basically a no-bake recipe, which makes it perfect for hot summer months. I knew I would be making this one again!
It took a few years but I finally got around to whipping this up again with a few small improvements. The original recipe is to be made in a springform pan and serve 8. I found the pieces tended to fall apart when it was cut and 1/8 of the pie was just a bit too rich for anyone to finish their piece. I adapted the recipe to make individual pies using a 12-cup muffin tin which did a few things: 1) the crust to filling ratio is a higher so you taste a bit of crunchy graham cracker in nearly every creamy bite. 2) the serving size is smaller so everyone could finish their portion and there was no waste. 3) the presentation is adorable on little square plates with a generous amount of whipped cream on top!
If you've ever work with avocados before you know that they oxidize rather quickly. The addition of citrus slows down the oxidation (browning) but doesn't eliminate it altogether. I found that these tasted best the first day I made them and the following day. By Day #3 they were still ok, but not as tasty as the first two days. Also, don't plan on taking these to an outside event in the summer where they will sit on a dessert table for a few hours...trust me on this...just don't!
Individual Avocado Pies
For the crust
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
For the filling
2 medium, ripe Haas avocados
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Combine melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Press the graham cracker crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of each cup in the muffin tin. Bake until golden brown, about 9-10 minutes. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
Once the crust has cooled completely, make the filling. Halve and pit the avocado and roughly chop the flesh. Add to the bowl of a stand mixer (a hand mixer can also be used) with the softened cream cheese and beat until combined and smooth. Add the sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, lemon juice and salt. Beat until smooth and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Divide the filling evenly among the 12 prepared crusts. Cover pies completely with a piece of plastic wrap, making sure to press it down directly on top of the pie filling (this helps reduce oxidation). Chill thoroughly, about 4 hours.
To serve, loosen pies from muffin tin with a fork. Add whipped cream, if desired.
Adapted from Food Network Magazine
Pittsburgh area mom striving to provide clean, healthy, REAL food for her family!