Avocado — the green fruit — is an incredibly versatile ingredient for a number of different cuisines. Avocado is a nutrient-dense food, rich in antioxidants, minerals like potassium, and monounsaturated fats, which are good for heart health. Since the main constituents are healthy fat and fibre, avocado is the perfect ketogenic source of calories. And as the keto diet grows in popularity, so too have the number of creative ideas about how to eat avocado.
Whether you're prepping for a Mexican feast with a big bowl of guacamole or looking for fun breakfast and lunch ideas, avocado is the perfect paleo and keto ingredient to add into your lifestyle.
Let's explore some of the easiest and most innovative ways to include more avocado in your healthy diet.
How to Choose an Avocado
If you're not familiar with buying and eating avocado, you might be a little lost in the produce section of the grocery store. Avocados are rock hard before they're ripe, and they're not good to eat until they're perfectly ready.
A ripe avocado also happens to be a bit elusive. You might have seen memes going around the internet about the life of an avocado in which the period between ripe and rotten lasts for one minute. Although this is an exaggeration, it is kind of an art to get your avocado ripeness just right for your avocado recipes.
When shopping for avocados, first think about when you plan to use them. Often at the supermarket, there's a range of ripeness available, so you can choose according to your menu plans.
Same-Day or Next Day
If you want to use your avocado the same day or very soon after you've purchased it, look for one that's got a little give to it. But, it shouldn't be mushy or leave a dent when you press it. The skin on Hass avocados is black when they're ripe or close to ripe, so look for black, not green. Larger varieties will stay green even when ripe, so you'll have to rely on feel. Leave your ripe avocado out on the counter when you get home until you're ready to start cooking.
Later in the Same Week
If you want to get all your grocery shopping done at the beginning of the week and plan to make an avocado recipe at the end of the week, your shopping method will be the same as above, but you'll want to refrigerate the avocado when you get home until you're ready to use it. Since produce ripeness isn't an exact science, you might also want to get a slightly firmer, greener avocado and leave it on the counter to ripen during the week.
More Than One Week
While we understand that some families don't have time to go to the grocery store every week or more than once a week, we don't recommend stocking up on avocados multiple weeks out. You never know how well an unripe piece of fruit will ripen in your kitchen, and avocados can be expensive. It's also just a bummer to waste this green, buttery goodness.
That said, if you do need to prepare for a longer time frame, we recommend buying hard, green avocados. Store them on your counter and pay close attention as you move later into the week. Test your avocados with a light squeeze each day to see how they're doing. If they start to feel ready before you want to use them, transfer them to the refrigerator.
Never put a green, unripe avocado in the fridge because it will not ripen. If you need your avocado to ripen more quickly, place it in a brown paper bag overnight and check it the next day to see where it is in the process.
How to Eat Avocado
Avocado can be cubed, smashed, blended or eaten directly out of its skin with a spoon. It's the main ingredient in the ever-popular avocado toast and the classic guac. But there's a lot more you can do with an avocado. Avocado slices are a great addition to any green salad, but you can also make them the star of the show. Here are some of our favorite uses for avocados as well as some of the best avocado recipes.
- Avocado Salad: An excellent, fresh side dish, avocado salad is super simple. Chop fresh tomatoes, avocado and red onion, and toss in a light vinaigrette. Balsamic vinegar also works, but be sure to mix it 50/50 with red wine vinegar to reduce the sugar content of standard balsamic. Here's a gorgeous recipe from AllRecipes.
- Mashed Avocado Toast: Did you think going keto would mean no toast for you? Well, this recipe from Low Carb Spark has you covered. It features fresh avocado and a couple of options for keto bread, depending on how much time you have in the kitchen.
- Classic Guacamole: This standard Mexican avocado dip features lime juice, cilantro, tomato, jalapeño and taco seasoning (or plain cumin if you don't have it). Guac is an incredibly useful and versatile keto food. Make a keto taco salad or find a keto-friendly, gluten-free almond-based tortilla recipe like this one. You can also add it to keto sandwiches or your morning eggs.
- Healthy Keto Green Smoothie: A great way to reduce the sugar in a smoothie is to replace banana with creamy avocado. Here's a great avocado smoothie recipe featuring antioxidant-rich blueberries, almond butter and our collagen peptides.
- Creamy Avocado Salad Dressing: If you've still got avocado left to eat after your smoothie, keep your blender on the counter a bit longer to whip up this recipe from All Recipes. Featuring garlic, lemon juice and your choice of greek yogurt or sour cream, this homemade salad dressing will knock your socks off.
- Chicken Salad-Stuffed Avocado: A perfect option for a nutritious lunch, grab your chicken breast and get started. The avocado half works as a little bowl for your delicious chicken salad, and you simply eat it with a spoon or put it on top of keto crackers. Here's a super simple recipe from What Molly Made to get you started.
- Keto Chocolate Mousse: Did you know that you can go the dessert route with avocado? Break out your food processor and prepare for your mind to be blown when you blend avocado, cocoa powder, coconut milk and your favorite keto sweetener. This recipe from Sugar-Free Londoner will change the way you see avocado or life.
- Creamy Avocado and Coconut Lollies: This recipe will seriously blow your mind. It’s a great way to enjoy avocado in ice cream form. You won’t believe how good it is until you try it for yourself. And there’s an option if you don’t have moulds to make lollies, so don’t worry, you can make this one no matter what.
- Avocado Oil: If you're wanting to use avocados to add even more healthy fats to your diet, swap your regular cooking oil for avocado oil. It has a higher smoke point and a milder flavour. It's also a great addition to salad dressing. This Chocolate Avocado Slice is an excellent dessert recipe featuring avocado oil.
This is obviously not a comprehensive list of the hundreds of options for how to eat avocado, but it's a great place to start. We also encourage you to take your favorite bits from these avocado recipes and make something entirely your own.
Eat More Avocado
Avocado is such a versatile ingredient that it can improve your breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even your dessert. Not only is it a nutrient-dense, heart-healthy food, it's also creamy, rich and filling — the perfect fruit. If you're looking for highly nutritious and extra delicious foods to add to your keto regimen, you've found the right one in avocado. For more creative ways to use avocado, head over to our recipes page.
All information provided on our website and within our articles is simply information, opinion, anecdotal thoughts and experiences to provide you with the tools to thrive.
It is not intended to treat or diagnose symptoms and is definitely not intended to be misconstrued for medical advice. We always advise you seek the advice of a trained professional when implementing any changes to your lifestyle and dietary habits.
We do however recommend seeking the services of a trained professional who questions the conventional wisdom to enable you to become the best version of yourself.