HEALTHY LIVING

7 Avocado Swaps To Make Virtually Any Meal Healthier

02/07/2015 09:24 am ET | Updated Sep 15, 2015

When news broke that an avocado a day could keep cholesterol at bay, squeals of joy from guacamole-lovers were audible.

The exuberance was warranted: Beyond the fruit's inimitable deliciousness, the avocado has a lot to brag about, nutritionally speaking. It's packed with monounsaturated fat (the good kind), potassium (more than a banana), fiber and antioxidants.

avocado

Photo credit: Nata_Vkusidey via Getty Images

Guacamole is a good start, but it's certainly not the only way to get your avocado fix. In fact, you can substitute avocado into many of your favorite dishes.

It's no wonder avocado has been crowned "America's new favorite fruit." Below, find seven ways to swap avocado for several less wholesome ingredients to amplify just about any recipe's nutritional stats.

  • Mayonnaise
    The Healthy Maven
    Mayonnaise perfectly binds dishes like tuna, egg and chicken salad, but it's full of unhealthy fats and pretty much void of nutritional value. Choose avocado instead; it can pull off mayonnaise's gluing powers while adding its healthy super powers, and it won't interfere much with the taste and texture you crave.

    You might also make an avocado spread and use it as a condiment to replace mayo on your turkey sandwiches. To make it, just mash a bit of avocado and add a drop of olive oil if the mashing is difficult.

    Get the Avocado Tuna Salad recipe by The Healthy Maven
  • Cheese
    Before you scream, "anything but cheese!" hear us out. On a sandwich, most cheeses add a nice contrast to the bread, vegetables and fillers, and avocado will do just that. Cut the cheese and you'll also cut the cholesterol and salt.

    Get the Smoked Salmon Sandwich With Dill Pesto And Avocado recipe by Fake Food Free
  • Butter
    Itsy Bitsy Foodies
    This is kind of miraculous: You can replace the butter in a cake with avocado. Doing this will nix the saturated fat (bad) for monounsaturated fat (good). Avocado can be substituted for butter in a 1:1 ratio, but you'll need to adjust the recipe's other ingredients a bit so that the baked good comes out moist enough. See these tips from The Kitchn for detailed instructions.

    Get the Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes recipe by Itsy Bitsy Foodies
  • Sour Cream
    Worth Cooking
    If you're used to adding a dollop of sour cream to your soups or rely on it for the creamy base of your dips, consider swapping it for avocado. You'll get that same delightful consistency, but the mix will be dairy-free and full of nutrients.

    Get the Avocado Cream recipe by Worth Cooking
  • Cream & Milk
    Minimalist Baker
    Want a really creamy smoothie? A luscious pudding? Add avocado. Its texture enriches all types of sweet treats, and its neutral taste won't get in the way of dessert.

    Get the Triple Chocolate Avocado Shake recipe by Minimalist Baker
  • Bread
    AmEx Tumblr
    OK, so an avocado doesn't really mimic the texture or taste of bread, but it's a mighty fine alternative for anyone looking to beef up nutrition come mealtime. You can bake an egg inside an avocado or use the fruit as a bowl to cradle your tuna salad.

    Get these five avocado boat recipes here.
  • Ice Cream
    Veggie Desserts
    Wild, right? To be completely candid, avocado ice cream probably won't satisfy your dairy craving when you really want it. In cases like this, we say have the ice cream. But, when a frozen, creamy treat is singing your song and you're hoping for something healthier, turn to the trusty avocado.

    Hey, even Tom Brady likes it.

    Get the Avocado & Pistachio Ice Cream recipe by Veggie Desserts

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