Forget the guacamole and branch out of your avocado cooking repertoire this summer. Avocados, especially in their current peak season, can be used in just about everything from pasta sauce to irresistible snacks. The bonus is they're jam-packed with healthy good-for-you fats.
Here are five easy suggestions to help kickstart your avocado obsession:
Eating healthy should still be delicious.
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Using another summer time favorite, this Strawberry-Avocado Salsa is simultaneously sweet, spicy, and creamy. Perfect to serve atop grilled meat or for chip dipping.
Move aside mayonnaise, avocado is here! In a makeover of a lunchtime favorite, the Avocado-Egg Salad Sandwiches drastically slashes the calories, fat, and sodium contained in an average recipe.
Full of buttery flavor and delightfully crunchy, Avocado Fries will make you wonder why you kept that affair with potato-based fries going for so long.
Go green for dinner by serving Spaghetti with Spinach-Avocado Sauce. This dairy-free recipe is shockingly creamy thanks to the pasta water used in the sauce.
While raw avocado is great, cooked avocados are a whole new world of deliciousness. Skillet Chicken with Seared Avocados uses the trick of adding a tiny bit of sugar to get a robust toasty flavor.
You probably always pop some cheddar slices in between buttered bread, right? Erin Alderson of whole-foods blog Naturally Ella flips that script with her Garlicky Kale Grilled Cheese With Melted Gouda. She makes the kid-friendly sandwich sophisticated enough for adults by using kale that’s been sautéed in olive oil with a little bit of garlic along with Arla® Gouda cheese, which has a rich, slightly sweet flavor and smooth, creamy texture that’s perfect for melting—plus no artificial flavors or preservatives.
The typical situation is toasted Italian bread drenched in olive oil and topped with garlicky tomatoes. In the Joyful Healthy Eats version, Krista Rollins spreads toasted baguette slices with farm-to-fridge Arla® Original cream cheese made from just four simple ingredients—cream, milk, cheese culture, and salt— in Wisconsin, where Rollins grew up. Then she tops each bite with a dollop of homemade pesto and finishes it off with sliced strawberries. The result: Pesto Cream Cheese Strawberry Bruschetta, an appetizer or snack that’s healthy, beautiful, and fuss-free.
Blitz the pit into smoothies
The avocado pit is said to contain fatty acids, dietary fiber, as well as a small amount of protein while some tests show that it also contains antioxidants and can help to reduce blood pressure. Make the most of it and put it into a smoothie: split the pit in two with a heavy knife, then place in your blender with the rest of your smoothie ingredients. Avocado pits are bitter so it’s best to pair its potent flavour with other strong flavours try a coconut chocolate smoothie or a sweet mango and pear concoction.
10 Genius (And Delicious) Ways To Use Your Spiralizer
Zoodles are having quite a year. The low-carb take on spaghetti has taken wholesome kitchens&mdashnot to mention Instagram&mdashby storm, with camera-ready zucchini noodles replacing pasta as a healthier alternative. And you can thank the spiralizer for their superstar status. You know, that go-to gadget that takes up almost no counter space, yet effortlessly cranks out oodles of raw veggie noodles. But the trendy gadget can do so much more than transform squash: It can make edible ribbons out of everything, from apples to beets, turning them into delish meals, desserts, and even drinks (spiralized sangria, anyone?). Read on for inspired spiralizer ideas that make whole food eating easy and oh so fun. Come on, it's curly food!
1. Make the best French fries, ever.
Would you like fries with that? Yes please! The spiralizer lets you crank out curly shoestring fries out of Russet or sweet potatoes&mdashor half of each. Better for you than drive-thru or the freezer section kind, keep the skin on for extra nutrients and bake them up to crispy perfection. Toss in olive oil and rosemary for a fancy spin. (Here are 6 delicious veggie fries you must try.)
2. Add a new spin on soup.
Ahhh, soup. The steamy bowls of goodness hit the spot, and by loading them up with heaps of veggie spirals instead of processed pasta, you'll be closer to getting your five a day. Try spiralized daikon in ramen, zucchini noodles in pho, and carrot ribbons in chicken noodle soup, and slurp to your heart's desire. You'll get all the comfort without all the calories.
3. Add color to salads.
Punch up your usual bowl of one-note lettuce with a symphony of spiralized veggies: think ribbons of red beets, curly Qs of orange carrots, and spindles of yellow squash. Since colors correspond to certain nutrients (eg: orange means beta carotene), eating the rainbow ensures you're getting a variety of vitamins and minerals.
4. Make over your noodle bowl.
We're big fans of noodle and rice bowls, the ideal custom-made meal: You can top with sautéed mushrooms, shelled edamame, and sesame seeds for an Asian flair, or with black beans, cilantro, salsa, and avocado for a Mexican spin. Well, just as the toppings can change, so can the bottom. Say goodbye to carb-heavy rice or noodles for zucchini, beets, or carrot curls that offer more nutrients and flavor for fewer calories. (Use your spiralizer and make one of these 3,125 veggie noodle bowl recipes.)
5. Dress up desserts.
Fruity desserts don't get the applause they deserve. Chocolate cake always seems to take the, uh, cake&mdashuntil now. Spiralizing instead of slicing fruit elevates apple crisp, glorifies galettes, and transforms fruity tarts into works of art.
6. Maximize your muffins.
Chances are, that muffin you're eating isn't as healthy as you think. Enter the spiralizer. Bake up chocolate muffins out of spiralized zucchini, or spiralize carrots for a spin on carrot cake. You can even bake potato noodles topped with egg and cheese in muffin tins for a fill-me-up breakfast.
7. Put a "spin" on sangria.
For a picture-perfect pitcher of sangria, use the spiralizer. Adding twirls of apple and pear make the fruity drink even more fabulous, plus you can get fancy with flavor combos. Try spiralized green apples, kiwi, and lime white wine sangria, go red with spiralized beets and orange slices, or try a sangria spin on a mojito with spiralized cucumber, jalapeño, and cilantro with bubbly Prosecco. Curly cue apples and carrots also double as drink garnishes.
8. Crank out contemporary casseroles.
9. Add pizzazz to pizza.
Spiralize potatoes to make a gluten-free crust, and then top with sauce, cheese, and pepperoni for a slice of heaven. Or top flatbread with swirls of sweet potato and zucchini for a picture-perfect veggie pizza.
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10. Put broccoli stems to work.
Don't toss those broccoli stems, spiralize them (and add them to this broccoli slaw recipe)! Simply slice off the florets, crank stems through the spiralizer, and boom&mdashyou get to eat the entire broccoli. Toss into stir-frys, sauté with garlic and olive oil, or turn into a beef and broccoli bowl like no other.
Dessert doesn't get more decadent than a creamy chocolate truffle. Wait until you try one made with the goodness of avocados. They&rsquore dreamy and melt in your mouth. My Chocolate Avocado Truffles with Pink Himalayan Salt, featured on 80 Twenty Nutrition, are the perfect balance of sweet and salty. Plus, you can add some cayenne pepper for a little kick. These vegan, gluten-free truffles feature a short ingredient list, and pack so much flavor for so little work. Keep that your little secret!
5 Genius Home Remedies for Mosquito Bites That Really Work!
Mosquitoes love you, and they are everywhere. You cannot escape from them even if you close all your windows and live in your castle forever. It can be the most annoying experience for you, especially during a vacation.
They come for your blood, but did you know that they have blood preferences? I almost burst into tears last summer when I vacationed with my family in Myrtle Beach. My family didn’t have a single bite, including my husband, which shares the bed with me.
I couldn’t show up at the beach because I had red itchy spots all over my body. I didn’t know the reason until very recently. It turns out that mosquitoes “love” type O blood people, which is my blood type.
A study showed that mosquitoes bite people with this blood type twice more than people with blood type A. If you are Type B, you fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. Additionally, research has shown that around 85 percent of people send a secret through their skin, which is a chemical signal that “tells” mosquitoes the blood type.
The other 15 percent don’t do this, and thus, are less likely to suffer itchy attacks. So now that you know the secret, you know that you belong to a certain group.
We can help those who suffer the most, and also give a hint to those who don’t have this itchy issue a lot, but still need to know how to get rid of these bites.
There are numerous pharmaceutical solutions for the bites, especially if you are new at this, but there are also natural ways for which you don’t need to spend a penny or deal with chemical stuff. You can find these in your kitchen or at the green market. Here are some of them:
It has been sitting in your kitchen forever. You can cure your mosquito bite with the help of your breakfast friend. The reason why it helps is because it contains particular compounds that have anti-irritant qualities.
You need to make an oatmeal paste in the following way: mix oatmeal and water with the same amount in a bowl to get this paste substance. Put some of this in a spoon and on a washcloth. Then, put it with the paste side on the irritated skin. Hold for about ten minutes and rinse. You will soon be relieved.
For a bigger number of bites, you can also make a bath of oatmeal. Put one cup of oatmeal in your warm water in the tub and let it stay for 20 minutes. Then, jump in the bath and rub your skin with the oatmeal.
The cold ice on your skin can lower the inflammation and numb the skin, which is a really fast way to relieve the itching and pain caused by mosquito bites. For this purpose you need a cold pack or a bag with crushed ice on the itchy spot.
Hold it for about 10 to 15 minutes, but not too long because if you leave it for a long time, it can damage your skin. In order to do this procedure in the right way, use a washcloth so as to have something between your skin and the ice. You will feel relieved soon and the swelling will also disappear.
In case you don’t keep ice in your fridge, you can hold your itchy area under a cold running tap for a couple of minutes. If this is too complicated for you, just use cold water in a bottle, or frozen vegetables.
This fragrant plant is a key to your Italian recipes, but it is also a great remedy for itchy mosquito bites. Research has shown that basil contains eugenol, which is a chemical substance that can relieve the itchy skin after a mosquito bite.
For making the basil rub you will need dry basil, water, and a washcloth. Boil two cups of water and then add one ounce of dried basil leaves. Then, leave it to steep and cool. After that take the washcloth, dip it into it and rub it to your irritated skin.
If you don’t have dried basil leaves, but you have the fresh plant, use these fresh leaves to stop the pain. Chop the basil leaves and rub them on your skin.
If you didn’t have oatmeal, I bet you all keep onion or garlic in your fridge. We put them in almost every dish and they make our meal perfect. Luckily for us, they are a great remedy for many diseases, but they also help in reducing the swelling and calm the itchy mosquito bites. With their strong smell, they keep mosquitoes and other insects far away from you.
Onion can be a lot more than a tear-trigger. You just need to put a freshly-sliced onion on your itchy spot and leave it for a couple of minutes. The itchy feeling will be gone very soon and then you can wash the skin thoroughly.
You can also put minced garlic (or minced onion) directly onto the affected area. Leave it for a few minutes and then wash it nicely.
Every kitchen has this cooking ingredient. Even if you haven’t used it, you will find it somewhere in the cupboard for sure. It can be used for almost anything – from baking cookies and bread to whitening your clothes. Luckily for you, it is a great solution for mosquito bites as well.
You need to make a baking soda paste in the same way you make the oatmeal paste, as we mentioned above. Then you need to apply the paste to the bite and leave it for about ten minutes. After ten minutes, just wash it off and the itchy pain will be gone.
5 Genius Ways to Upgrade Your Morning Bowl of Cereal
Think outside the cornflakes box with these unexpected sweet and savory additions.
Christina Tosi, the brains behind Milk Bar in New York City, and some folks from Kellogg's stopped by the GH Test Kitchen to chat about one of our favorite foods of all time: cereal!
The morning staple has had some stiff breakfast competition in recent years thanks to everyone's newfound love of Greek yogurt, but it's still a solid go-to for something quick in the a.m. It's all in how you serve it. From berries and coffee to avocado and coconut chips, Tosi and Kellogg's have been working together to create unique cereal recipes that will help redefine how we use it.
We New Yorkers already loved Tosi for her wacky and delicious creations at Milk Bar including "Cereal Milk&trade," a sweet elixir meant to taste like the milk that's left after eating all the cereal is gone. Genius, we say.
Ready to upgrade your morning bowl? We won't judge you eat these delicious combos for lunch or dinner, too.
1. Berry Au Lait
&bull 1 cup Frosted Mini-Wheats&bull 1 cup cereal milk (or regular milk)&bull 1/8 teaspoon ground instant coffee&bull 1/4 cup raspberries
10 Genius Ways to Use an Overripe Avocado (Some are Not Food!)
Avocados are rich in healthy fats, and are great for a healthy heart and blood pressure, as well as diabetes and cancer prevention. In fact, many doctors recommend eating one avocado a day for general health.
The one complaint people have, is that after stocking up with enough avocados for a week, chances are one or two will become overripe. An overripe avocado feels mushy and may have brown spots. (On the other hand, a rotten avocado will smell bad and have mold starting to grow on it – those need to be thrown away).
Luckily, there are many things you can do with overripe avocados: desserts, appetizers, and even non-food items can all be made out of these not-quite-perfect versions of one of our favorite fruits. While an overripe avocado may not always taste so great on its own, adding in other ingredients (like those in the recipes below) can change everything.
When it comes to desserts, the options are almost unlimited. Any recipe that requires fats: butter, shortening, margarine, and cream cheese, can be swapped for an overripe avocado.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, really! Here are 10 ways to make good use of that overripe avocado:
1. Make a Quick Healthy (and Vegan!) Dessert
Avocados absorb the flavor of other ingredients when used as base. That makes them a great substitute for many fatty products in desserts. For examples, you can make vegan chocolate avocado pudding with a mushy ripe avocado. It is rich and creamy, and only takes a couple of minutes to make. You will need: two avocados, vegetable oil, a healthy sweetener, dates, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and almond milk. See full recipe here.
A delicious and simple whipped avocado dessert.
2. Skip The Ice Cream, Use Avocados To Make a Refreshing Sorbet
Everyone likes ice cream in the summer, but it is sometimes too heavy and too loaded with sugar. As a lighter substitute, a sorbet is based on water or juice. Using three ripe avocados blended with a few other ingredients, you can make a smooth Avocado, Coconut and Lime Sorbet. See full recipe here.
3. No Need For Butter: Bake With Avocados Instead
Ripe avocados can be used instead of butter to make many healthy baked goods, for example, Health Brownies. Other healthy ingredients include: applesauce, maple syrup, vanilla extract, eggs, coconut flour, and cocoa powder. See full recipe here.
And when making main dishes or appetizers, avocados are used to substitute cheese, mayo, dressing, butter, and sour cream.
4. Like Creamy Soup? Use Avocados.
In the summer, cold soups are the best. This Avocado Cucumber Soup is not only light and refreshing, but also completely RAW — saves you time cooking and is completely healthful. All you need are avocados, cucumbers, and some spices.
Blend it all together, and you have a quick summer meal. Full recipe here.
5. Want to Spice Up Scrambled Eggs?
Scrambled eggs are great by themselves, but adding an avocado can make them really creamy. There are many variations you can mush the avocado or cut it into pieces then mix with the eggs. See one of the recipes here.
6. Want Something Fried but Still Moderately Healthy?
These gluten-free Corn-Avocado Fritters take only 15 minutes to make and are a great appetizer or a lunch item. The recipe recommends eating them with yogurt. Make sure the corn is organic since it could be a GMO.
7. Make a 5-Minute Magic Green Sauce
This sauce can be used on everything, from salads as a dressing and spread to meat dishes and sandwiches. Besides avocados, it is full of fresh parsley and cilantro as well as garlic, lime juice, pistachios, and jalapeño peppers. See the full recipe.
8. Give A Silky Tecture to Your Smoothie
Avocados make smoothies silky and smooth. Avocados can be used in addition to the milk or yogurt in smoothies or instead of them. Other ingredients can be improvised from spinach and leafy greens, to fruits and berries. Here are 11 different recipes for avocado smoothies.
Avocados can be used not only as food, but also an amazing skin and hair treatments. The healthy oils in them will make skin glow and hair shiny and strong.
9. Treat Your Hair Using Avocados
A mixture of one avocado, olive oil, and honey will leave your hair soft, shiny and frizz-free. You want to leave it in your hair for 30-45 minutes. See full instructions here.
10. Get Healthy, Glowing Skin with an Avocado Mask
Avocados enrich the skin with antioxidants, vitamins C and E, and healthy fatty acids. They leave the skin firm and protected from environmental damage that causes wrinkles and other signs of aging. See recipes for 4 different avocado face masks (using oatmeal, honey, yogurt, and egg as options)
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8 Genius Ways to Use Overripe Avocados
Sure, everyone loves a perfectly ripe avocado—they’re vibrantly green, ultra photogenic, and tender yet firm enough to hold their shape when sliced and diced. But anyone who has ever bought one knows that they’re also fickle beasts. Wait a day too long, and you’ve got a depressing overripe situation on your hands.
But all hope isn’t lost! While an overripe avocado may not look the most appetizing, it’s still edible (you know, as long as it doesn’t have actual mold on it). Just trim away the very dark areas and use it in recipes or as a DIY beauty treatment.
Here, we rounded up 8 of the very best ways to save your overripe avocado from the compost pile.
1. Add them to scrambled eggs
Perhaps the easiest way to use an overripe avocado is by simply mashing the flesh, whisking it with eggs, and cooking up the mixture up in a frying pan. (This tip comes courtesy of my dad, who has recently developed an avocado obsession after years of proclaiming his disdain for this veggie-like fruit. I knew he’d come around.)
2. Whip up a batch of uber-moist brownies
Overripe or not, avocados can give baked goods like brownies a deliciously rich flavor and moist texture without the less healthy oils and fats. Try it out in this Clean Eating Avocado Brownie recipe by blogger Maiah Miller. They’re even grain-free, making them A-OK for your Paleo dieting pals.
3. Fry up some crispy plant-based fritters
Super ripe avocados—think: brown and a bit stringy—can still be saved if you’re planning to cook them. This Avocado Fritter recipe from the blog A to B to Sea features some seriously ugly avocados, along with ingredients like oats, walnuts, onions, apples, hummus, and a variety of spices, as the star of a seriously beautiful-tasting meal.
4. Make a rich and creamy salad dressing
We love this simple salad dressing recipe from Rodale Wellness that helps you make the most of an overripe avocado: Combine equal parts mashed avocado flesh and plain organic yogurt, add a pinch of cumin, a pinch of chili powder, and salt to taste. Enjoy over greens.
5. Make drool-worthy chocolate pudding
Slightly mushy avocados are perfect for making creamy chocolate pudding. And this pudding recipe from Blissful Britt combines two overripe powerhouses in one: Avocado and banana, along with ingredients like honey, cocoa, almond milk, chia seeds, and vanilla extract for authentic pudding flavor and texture. Eat it as is, or spoon into pop molds for a healthy fudgesicle.
6. Cook up creamy pasta sauce
Just try to resist this seemingly indulgent pasta sauce. Sauté some onions and garlic with your choice of spices then stir in some chopped olives, fresh diced tomatoes, and overripe avocado. Simmer until flavors meld and sauce thickens, then pour over pasta.
7. Revitalize damaged locks
Hair looking a little dull? An avocado can fix that, thanks to its moisturizing fats and high content of hair- and skin-nourishing vitamin E. Combine 1 avocado, ¼ cup olive oil, and 1 Tbsp lemon juice. Mix it all up, apply to hair, and let all that goodness soak in for 20 to 30 minutes. Then wash it all out with your normal shampoo.
8. Brighten up dull skin
If it’s your face that needs some pampering, avocado’s nourishing properties can help you out. Try out this Honey Avocado Face Mask from the blog Nutrition Stripped, which features an array of ingredients that help moisturize, tone, and brighten tired skin: oats, apple cider vinegar, honey, and lemon juice.
Stephanie Eckelkamp is a senior associate editor covering food and nutrition at Prevention magazine and is also a certified holistic-health coach. She’s obsessed with her pup, Milo, and loves to get a little crazy in the kitchen. For more from Stephanie, visit StephEckelkamp.com.