Avocado, The Magical, Misunderstood Fruit
Avocado is a magical fruit, in more ways than you probably know. In this small round fruit is a host of vitamins and minerals, good fats, enzymes, fiber, protein, and carbohydrates. It could practically be a meal in itself and is a great first food for baby. It’s still one of my little one-year-old’s favorite foods! In fact, he likes it so much he’s dubbed all fruits and most food in general “‘cado”.
Unfortunately, avocado is also quit misunderstood. It’s somewhat of a controversial food in today’s diet culture due to the fat it contains. It really baffles me that people could think something you pick off a tree and eat raw could be bad for you. Then again there is a lot that doesn’t make sense in today’s food culture…
According to avocadocentral.com, one serving of avocado equals one fifth of the avocado. One fifth? How do you even cut an avocado into fifths??? I say if God placed it on this green earth for us to pick from a tree, eat as much as you darn well please!
I used to only buy avocado on rare occasions. They’re so expensive, I thought. But I’ve since realized that for the amount of nutrition you get in each piece of fruit, they’re worth every penny. Especially when you can get them for $0.89 at Aldi. They’re not organic, but the good news is avocado is part of the Clean Fifteen, so it’s okay to not get organic if you can’t for financial reasons. I now have a ripe avocado on hand almost every day. Between me and my little boy, they don’t go to waste!
Despite avocado’s relatively neutral flavor, for years it’s been relegated to the savory foods department. Avocado is typically used in guacamole and salads, or the occasional dip for variety. And with these kinds of limitations, it only makes it to the table once every few weeks. What a shame that this amazing nutrient dense fruit with so many health benefits is only eaten once a week at most, on Mexican night!
Now, I confess that initially I thought using avocado in sweet dishes was weird. As a kid a saw a recipe in an international cookbook for some kind of sweet avocado dessert from South America and I was like “gross”. But as an adult I’ve realized that some foods or food combinations I used to think were weird as a kid, are actually quite good if I just give them a chance!
So when I started seeing recipes for avocado desserts around the internet I thought, I have to try this. And when I saw the chocolate pudding and pie recipes, I was like, What better way to begin my foray into avocado desserts but with chocolate? Ah…chocolate.
Avocado Desserts = Smashing Success
It is really unbelievable how firm this pie gets due to the unusual flesh of the avocado. Even while still warm the chocolate filling is super thick.
The pie is delicious served with a generous dollop of whipped coconut cream. The coconut cream is supposed to be light and fluffy like whipped dairy cream, but mine in the photo was runny since I forgot to drain the watery coconut milk from the bottom of the can.
A few notes about the recipe:
- There are many great recipes for chocolate avocado pie floating around the internet. My recipe is adapted from this one here.
- Normally a 9-inch pie would serve 8, but this one is super rich, so it really can serve 10.
- When heating the chocolate sauce, try not to bring the mixture to a boil. Avocado is most nutritious uncooked so you don’t want to heat it too much when you add it to the sauce. The recipe will still turn out either way.
- Choose grade B maple syrup for the sweetener if you can, as it is less refined. Honey is not a good substitute as its unique flavor is too overpowering. Add the amount of sweetener you like. Use less if you prefer a more dark-chocolate taste, and more if you are used to sweeter desserts.
- If you can have dairy, it’s okay to substitute the coconut oil for butter, the coconut milk for dairy milk, and the coconut cream for heavy cream. I make this pie both ways as I don’t need to avoid dairy.
- Pie crust is typically made with shortening, which is a hydrogenated oil (nasty!). You do NOT want to use a refrigerated pie crust if you are trying to eat healthy! Please use my recipe here (pictured below), which is all natural with palm shortening or butter. Plus it’s easy :-). If you need to do gluten-free or grain-free pie crust Halle has a great one or you could use a nut crust (this recipe, or this one looked good to me.)
- ½ cup coconut oil, preferably refined for no coconut taste
- 1 cup all-natural semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate bar
- 1 cup coconut milk
- ⅔ to ¾ cups real maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1 pre-baked 9-inch pie shell (use a healthy recipe like mine linked above, or nut crust for gluten-free)
- Whipped Coconut Cream (recipe below)
- In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil and chocolate chips over low heat, stirring until smooth. Stir in the coconut milk, maple syrup and salt, and heat until warm. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Scoop out the avocado into a food processor (preferred) or blender. Pour the chocolate sauce over the top. Process on high for about a minute, or until smooth and no green flecks remain, scraping down the sides a couple of times. With a blender you need to turn the machine off to scrape down the sides every 5 seconds, as the mixture is very thick and you don't want to overheat the motor.
- Pour the chocolate mixture into the pie shell and smooth the top off. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours to set before serving.
- Whipped Coconut Cream Recipe: You will need 1 cup full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated, 1 teaspoon real maple syrup and ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract. Ideally the coconut milk you use will have been refrigerated while in the can so you can scoop off the heavier cream from the top of the can. Take this coconut cream, the maple syrup, and vanilla and whip in a mixer for about a minute until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides once or twice. Serve over Dairy-Free Avocado Chocolate Cream Pie.
What are some of your favorite ways to eat avocado’s?