5 Healthy Ways to Add Avocados into Your Holiday Meal

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Give your holiday menu a tasty heart-healthy twist by inviting avocados to your festive occasion. Always in season, this favorite green fruit is available alongside other traditional winter produce favorites like sweet potatoes and acorn squash. Try avocados in tempting seasonal salads, vegetable dishes, and dessert or as a spread for appetizers or dotted throughout your main course. To help set your table in healthful style, we’ve assembled five new ways to introduce avocados to your family this holiday season.

5 #HolidayReFRESH Recipes With Avocado

#HolidayReFRESH Checklist

Let’s Go Shopping

We’ve assembled a handy holiday shopping list to make sure that you have everything needed to cook up a feast. If you make any substitutions or change proportion, be sure to adjust your list accordingly.

Meat:

  • 1 bone-in whole turkey breast (5 pounds)

Produce:

  • 8 ripe avocados

  • 1 large red apple or green granny smith

  • sliced strawberries to garnish

  • 6 broccoli florets

  • 1 tomato

  • 1 pomegranate 

  • 3 sweet potatoes

  • 4 small acorn squash

  • 1 medium yellow onion

  • 1 bunch scallions

  • 1 bulb garlic 

  • 2 lemons

  • 8 limes

  • 1 bunch fresh thyme leaves 

  • 1 bag baby spinach or mixed greens 

Dry Spices:

  • cumin

  • ground coriander seeds

  • crushed red pepper flakes

  • garlic powder

  • ground pepper


Baking Goods:

  • 1 small bag dried cranberries

  • 1 small bag slice almonds 

  • 1 pastry pie crust

  • 1 bag light brown sugar

  • 1 bag all-purpose flour 

  • 1 packet strawberry gelatin

  • 1 can of pureed strawberries

  • baking soda

  • baking powder

  • Kosher salt

  • vanilla extract

Condiments:

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • balsamic vinegar

  • Dijon mustard

  • Tabasco sauce

  • lime juice

Grains:

  • 1 package quinoa

  • 1 package long grain & wild rice mix 

Canned Goods:

  • 1 can black beans

Dairy:

  • 5 large eggs

  • low fat milk

  • crumbled feta cheese 

  • low fat cream cheese

  • lite whipped topping

  • low fat sour cream

  • grated Swiss cheese (may use Vegan or non-dairy shredded cheese of choice)

Bakery:

  • 1 French baguette bread loaf 

Other:

  • 9 graham crackers (can substitute with gluten free cookies)


Ready to get your #HolidayReFresh going? Snap & share photos using the hashtag above & tag @Iloveavos_ on Instagram for a chance to be featured!

Feta, Avocado & Pomegranate CrostiniS

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Ingredients

1 French baguette bread loaf, sliced ¼-inch thick 

¼ cup olive oil 

1/8 tsp. garlic powder

2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted

½ cup crumbled feta or goat cheese 

2 limes, juiced

salt and pepper, to taste

1 Tbsp. water to thin spread, if needed

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Place bread slices on a baking sheet. Mix olive oil with garlic powder and lightly brush onto bread slices. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges turn a slight golden brown. Set aside.

Add avocado, cheese, and lime juice to a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Add up to a tablespoon of water until mixture is spreadable. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon mixture onto toasted bread slices, top with pomegranate seeds and more cheese if desired. Enjoy. 


Photo courtesy Monique Volz and Sarah Fennel.


Acorn Squash Stuffed with Avocado & Quinoa

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Ingredients

4 small acorn squash, halved

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 tsp. Tabasco (or other hot sauce)

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. ground coriander seeds

1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1½ cups cooked quinoa

1 14-ounce can black beans, drained, and rinsed

¼ cup scallions, choppedw

¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds

¼ cup crumbled feta cheese 

2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced

1-2 limes, juiced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Directions

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Cut acorn squash in half horizontally and scoop out the insides. Brush the insides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast acorn squash with the cut side up for 35-45 minutes or until squash is tender in the middle and brown on the edges. 


While squash is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion plus a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook onion until translucent and then stir in garlic, cumin, and coriander. Add the quinoa pilaf, black beans, scallions, red pepper flakes, pumpkin seeds, feta cheese, lime, Tabasco sauce, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Remove skillet from the heat, let mixture cool, then stir in the diced avocado. Scoop the filling into the acorn squash halves and serve. 


Photo courtesy Jeanine Donofrio

Roasted Sweet Potato, Avocado & Wild Rice Salad

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Ingredients

2 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 Tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 package long grain and wild rice mix 

1 large red apple or green granny smith

1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and cubed

2 tsp. lemon or lime juice

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup sliced and toasted almonds (can substitute for walnuts or candied pecans)

8-10 ounces baby spinach or mixed greens 

Dijon Balsamic Dressing

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp. lemon or lime juice

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 garlic clove, minced

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Peel and chop sweet potatoes into cubes. Toss the sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil adding a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake for 25-35 minutes flipping sweet potatoes occasionally. Remove from oven and set aside.

Prepare the wild rice according to the package directions. Combine the roasted sweet potatoes with the cooked wild rice in a large bowl and place in the fridge.

Combine dressing ingredients in a small blender or a food processor. Blend until completely combined and set aside.


Chop the apple and avocado and toss with lemon juice to keep from browning. Add the apple and avocado combination to the sweet potato and wild rice mixture and then toss. Add lettuce, dressing, cranberries, and almonds, toss again and serve. 

Photo courtesy Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Avo, Veggie & Cheese Mini Quiches

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Ingredients

Pastry pie crust
3 eggs
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
1/4 cup low-fat milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground pepper
1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese
1 avocado, peeled, sliced
6 sliced broccoli florets, cooked
1 tomato, sliced or chopped and sautéed

Instructions

Avo, Veggie & Cheese Mini Quiches

Serves 6

Preheat oven to 375 ̊F. Roll pastry dough out into one large rectangle. Cut to fit greased tart molds or muffin tins. Line each mold/tin with pastry, pinch along the edge to create a scalloped effect. Place tartlet mold or muffin tin on a baking sheet. Line the bottom of the mold/tins with sliced avocados and tomatoes. Top with a broccoli floret.

Place eggs, sour cream, and milk plus salt and pepper into a bowl and beat with a hand mixer. Stir in 1/4 cup of the cheese. Spoon mixture into molds and top with remaining cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until eggs are done. Serve warm.