Avocado 4 ways

Ahh, avocado. The best friend of vegans and vegetarians thanks to its potential as a great sandwich filling, and the best friend to everyone else because of its utter deliciousness. A fantastic source of healthy mono-unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, avocado is responsible for improving skin, making hair shine and aiding in weight loss. Not to mention its role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular related diseases and stroke! On top of that, its creaminess makes it the perfect ingredient in smoothies, dips and sauces.

So what's not to love? If you're looking for some avo-spiration, here are my four favourite easy and simple ways to get it into your diet. Each recipe takes no longer than 5 minutes to whip up - so no reason not to give them a try!

Guacamole goes so great with crudities and pitta!
1 ripe avocado
1 clove garlic, crushed
Juice of 1 lemon
handful cherry tomatoes, finely chopped
salt and pepper
sprinkle of paprika (optional)

1) Mash the avocado in a bowl until it becomes a smooth paste
2) Add all the other ingredients and mix well
3) Season with salt and pepper. Voila! Easy.

Try it with my vegan chilli sin carne recipe - it's a great contrast to all that spiciness!

Banana & Avocado Smoothie
I also added some spinach to this one for an extra boost of greens!
1/2 avocado
1 banana
1/2 cup almond milk
3 ice cubes
1 tspn cinnamon
Sprinkle of salt

1) Simply chop up the ingredients and blend them all together until the mixture forms a smooth consistency. You may need to add a little bit of water if the mixture is too thick.

For more smoothie inspiration, check out my favourite power smoothie recipes.

Smashed Avocado on Toast

1 slice wholegrain seeded bread, toasted
1/2 avocado
3-4 cherry tomatoes
pinch of paprika
salt and pepper

1) Once you have toasted your bread, lay out half an avocado
2) Using a fork, mash the avocado into the bread and sprinkle with a pinch of paprika
3) Slice the cherry tomatoes lengthways and add them to the avocado
4) Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Creamy Avocado Dip

1/2 a ripe avocado
1/2 cup brazil nuts
Juice of 3/4 lemon
2tbsp unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp honey (or maple syrup if vegan)
1 tsp dijon mustard (optional; I didn't use it in this recipe, but it goes very well!)
Salt and pepper

1)In a food processor, blitz the brazil nuts for approx 30 seconds, or until they form a crumbly mixture.
2) Add the avocado, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, honey, almond milk, dijon mustard (if using) and process again for around 1 minute, until the mixture forms a smooth paste. You may have to stop and scrape the sides with a spatula a few times to make sure all the mixture is blitzed!
3) Add salt and pepper to taste

Tip: This goes really well as a rich and creamy dressing to my kale slaw salad.

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