Avocados: Love at First Bite
I really don’t know what I would do if you told me I had to give up my avocados. Thankfully, they are a staple of a balanced ketogenic diet and a great source of healthy fat, potassium, vitamin C, and fiber, so I don’t have to! So versatile that they can be eaten on their own, mashed in dips, creamed in dressings, and even blended in desserts, avocados truly are a super food.
And of course they are at the top list when it comes to our Master Keto Food List with 100+ keto foods mapped out.
When I say the love runs deep, I am not exaggerating. I rarely leave the house without an avocado or two stashed in my bag and recently showed up for a family beach vacation with a supply of 18 awesome little guys, just to get me through the week. The first solid food I fed each of my three children was avocado. And my 12-year old has perfected her own recipe for house guacamole that is served at every dinner party we host. The old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” clearly came about before we discovered these gems from our southern neighbors. Apples don’t hold a flame to the amazing avocado for health benefits, taste, and culinary applications.
If you are on the fence about avocados or (gasp) have an aversion to them all together, I invite you to give this super fruit another shot. They are so much more than the runny guacamole you may have been served or the hard-as-rock and tasteless under-ripe fruit you may have mistakenly purchased at the grocery store. My tips below will expand your avocado-eating horizons and hopefully turn you on to one of nature’s most nourishing and tasty creations.
First, a primer on how to select the perfect avocado. If you’ve ever mastered the art of finding a perfectly ripe peach (down here in the south we know a thing or two about selecting a mid-summer peach), testing avocados for optimal ripeness is much the same. You want to find a fruit that is somewhat soft to the touch, but not mushy. It should have some give when pressed with one finger, a similar feeling to pressing your thumb into the meaty base of the opposite palm. Too hard and the fruit is not ripe; too soft and it is past its prime. Yes, there is a short window of peak avocado ripeness, but there are a few tricks to capture this moment without running to the market on a daily basis.
- For use later in the week, buy your avocados under-ripe or very firm to the touch
- Store in a paper bag or other dark, room-temperature location, such as a pantry
- Once ripe, they are ready to enjoy on their own or in your favorite recipe
- Store any ripe avocados that you will not be consuming immediately in the refrigerator to slow further ripening
- Very ripe avocados should be consumed immediately. If you don’t have an immediate need, scoop out the fruit from its skin and freeze it in an ice cube tray. These little shots of nutritious deliciousness can be added to smoothies, dressings, or other blended concoctions.
- To prevent browning of a cut avocado or bowl of freshly made guacamole, add an acid such as lemon or lime juice to the surface and cover tightly with plastic wrap to avoid exposure to air.
Dietitian-Approved and Keto-Friendly Avocado RecipesKeto Avocado Toast
Who doesn’t love avocado toast? The traditional version is off-limits for keto followers, but here’s a tasty way to create “toast” that you’ll love.
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ripe avocado, sliced
- Combine egg, ground flaxseed, baking powder, and salt and pepper in a small dish and whisk with a fork. Let sit 5 minutes.
- Heat the olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
- Pour egg/flax mixture into frying pan to form a large pancake. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side, flipping with a spatula until cooked through.
- Remove from heat. Trim edges to form a rectangle.
- Once cooled, toast in toaster oven so outside is browned and crispy.
- Top with sliced avocado. Sprinkle on salt and pepper and/or drizzle with olive oil if desired.
Avocado-Cilantro Lime Crema
This is a great dressing for cobb salads or a thicker sauce for chicken or fish. Add extra cream or lime juice to create desired consistency.
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1 small bunch cilantro leaves (stems removed)
- Juice of 2 limes (about ¼ cup)
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 garlic clove (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Ground pepper to taste
- Additional heavy cream (as needed)
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until very smooth. Add more heavy cream for a thinner dressing, if desired.
Baked Egg and Avocado Cups
These make a delicious breakfast or can be made in advance, chilled, and cut up and added to a salad for a keto-licious meal.
- 1 large ripe avocado
- 2 cage-free eggs
- Fresh herbs (cilantro, basil, rosemary, tarragon)
- Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
- Olive or avocado oil, for drizzling
- Heat oven to 425 degrees.
- Cut avocado in half length-wise, remove pit, and scoop out about 2 tablespoons of the ripe flesh to create a deep pocket. Place skin-side down on a baking sheet lined with foil.
- Carefully crack each egg and pour gently into the pocket of each avocado. Top with salt and pepper.
- Bake in oven 12-15 minutes, or until eggs are set. Remove from oven, top with fresh herbs and drizzle with olive oil.
Southwestern Tuna (or Chicken) Salad
Serve on its own along with a big pile of greens, or with celery sticks for a crunch.
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 small can tuna packed in oil (or 4 ounces dark meat chicken, chopped)
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (preferably homemade or olive-oil based)
- 1 tablespoon canned chipotle peppers in juice, finely chopped
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- Juice of ½ lime
- Garlic powder, to taste
- Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
- Mash avocado in medium bowl.
- Add tuna (or chicken), mayonnaise, chipotle peppers, cilantro, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and combine well with a fork.
This keto snack can travel with you, doesn’t require refrigeration, and is a perfect marriage of satiating fat, fiber, and electrolytes. Cut a ripe avocado in half, sprinkle with Kosher salt, and spoon out to eat. No recipe required!
Whether you're keto, paleo, low-carb, or on no particular diet, avocados are a delicious and nutritious addition. I seriously cannot live without them!
To see other Keto-friendly recipes, click here.
Need a keto essentials food list? We have a comprehensive shopping list here.
New to the keto diet? Read the top 10 things you need to know before going keto.
Want a keto snack you can enjoy anywhere? Try our Keto Crisps!
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