After years of treating “fat” as a dirty word, diners have done a 360 and are embracing the satisfaction and flavor that healthy fats can bring to their meals. One of the top-trending ingredients in the healthy fat category is avocados. According to the MenuMine Database from Foodservice Research Institute, more than one in every three foodservice operations (36.9%) lists items on the menu that mention either avocados or guacamole. Operators are responding to increased demand with creative twists to traditional avocado recipes, most often in salads, hot sandwiches and cold sandwiches.
Happy taste buds, healthier heart
The pear-shaped fruit is an excellent way to amp up flavor for diners who seek the satisfaction of healthy fats in their food. “Avocados act like mini ‘magic carpets’ on your tongue, carrying around taste and flavor, so all of your taste buds are happy,” says Rebecca Katz, MS; Founder, The Healing Kitchens Institute and author of The Healthy Mind Cookbook: Big-Flavor Recipes to Enhance Brain Function, Mood and Mental Clarity. “They are one of the healthiest fats you can consume — the kind that keeps inflammation under control and lowers the risk of heart disease.”
In addition to their role in decreasing inflammation, avocados are also high in the antioxidants called carotenoids, which support the immune system and brain health. “If you want to improve your mood, prevent cognitive decline and avoid heart disease, dig into an avocado,” Katz says. “I like my avocados with citrus in a salad, or just smooshed on whole grain toast with a little lime and sea salt.”
And, yes, ice cream
Avocado-based products for foodservice are also experiencing growth. Calavo Growers Inc.’s specialty division, makers of avocado-and-olive-oil mayonnaise AvoMayo, even has an avocado syrup to add to soft-serve ice cream bases.
Here are a dozen of the most creative avocado recipes around, from avocado brownies to avocado margaritas, curated by Bon Appetit.