With a shape as interesting as its unmatched flavour, the jewelled green of an avocado tantalises from toast to tamarind-avo foam.
June is World Avocado Month as proclaimed by the World Avocado Organization (WAO), of which South Africa is a member, and that means it’s time for some fanfare and fun, time to take your avocado obsession on a culinary adventure!
How to use Avo in your every-day Cooking?
Yes, salads, sarmies, burgers and pizza should never be served without crescents of fresh, creamy avocado but there’s a whole world of interesting new morsels that need your consideration.
It’s hard to think of another fruit as versatile as an avocado when it comes to snacking and mealtimes, morning, noon and night. Mashed, diced, sliced or puréed, it’s always a delight, with a generous ability to make all other ingredients taste that much better!
The South African avocado season is currently in full swing with dark-skinned (Hass-type) and green-skinned avocados on supermarket shelves everywhere. So don’t hold back, load your trolley and allow your inner chef unrestricted kitchen privileges.
Ever tried avo mayo – or avo-nnaise? Just purée avo with a drop of oil and some lemon juice – it’s a delicious and healthier substitute when making potato salad and chicken mayo.
Consider adding avo to a sweet chocolate purée instead of cream.
Yes, really! Combined with maple syrup, real cocoa powder, coconut and a host of other alternatives, avocado adds the creamy quality needed for the silkiest, most flavoursome fruit dips and chocolate sauces!
Avocado and chocolate hummus with cinnamon roasted chickpeas and avocado chocolate mousse are must-try options – get Googling for recipes. And avocado’s mild flavour and beautiful satiny texture make it an obvious choice to enhance everything from cheesecake to banana bread. Imagine blueberry avocado muffins with dukkah sprinkle…decadent!
Allow your avos to make friends with unusual ingredients – avo and wasabi, for instance, make the most divine savoury ice treats, or guacamole as an alternative to creamy sauces for dolloping on braaied steaks and stirring through pasta.
And we promise, once you’ve tried a little shaved avo on a hot waffle with honey and ice cream or blended it into a smoothie with banana and chocolate peanut butter or a handful of frozen berries, you’d be evangelical about its adaptability.
It will even transform your regular winter repertoire: blitz it into soups at the end of cooking to thicken and add unbeatable creaminess and smoothness; or up your game on the ordinary curry sambal of onion and tomato with cubes of silken avocado coolness – your bunny chow will thank you!
But don’t stop there. Avocado is divine sliced thinly onto that Cape Malay staple of pickled fish, or as part of a herby-fruit chutney alongside bobotie. Bake eggs with fresh chilli in the gleaming green avo halves, make avocado the fourth essential in a BLT or whip it into your favourite blended cocktail – tropical avocado margarita anyone?
The avocado is an inspiration, with a shape, colour and chorus all its own. Embrace it as your meal muse today and add an avo!
Avocado & Chocolate Hummus, with cinnamon roasted chickpeas
Ingredients for the hummus
1 can chickpeas
1 cup dates, stoned and soaked in warm water
4 tbsp. cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp caramel essence
Pinch pink Himalayan salt
¾ cup / 180ml water
Ingredients for the roasted chick peas
1/2 can chickpeas, drained and patted dry
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
Drain the dates. Place all the ingredients except the water in a food processor and whizz to combine. Add water as necessary to create a smooth consistency.
To make the roasted chickpeas, toss the chickpeas with cinnamon and salt and place on a non-stick baking tray. Bake in a preheated oven for 15 – 20 minutes until golden and crunchy.
Serve with fruit, shortbread biscuits or plain crackers.
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