I discovered avocados when I started my healthier eating journey last summer. I’d always been put off by them before because of the texture, but after months of listening to people rave about the health benefits, I thought I’d give it a shot, so I made an avocado “mayonnaise” for my lettuce wraps. It was delicious, and from that moment I was hooked. I’ve been incorporated this gorgeous superfood into my diet ever since, and I started using it as a creamy substitute earlier this summer with my first attempt at vegan ice cream. After a long and stressful workday, I came home to see that I still had two avocados sitting in my fridge, just pleading to be eaten. So I decided to take a break to test out two incredible-looking recipes that utilized avocado: dinner and dessert.
I love, love, LOVE chowder. The creamy base lends itself so well to a blend of various textures (and I am all about those textures, baby), and it’s so incredibly versatile. Of course, the problem for me now is that it tends to be unhealthy, full of dairy products that make me sick, and ridiculously time-consuming. So I went on a hunt for a vegan corn chowder recipe that would also be easy to make, and presto! This simple and easy recipe came along. When I looked at it, I loved the fact that it used avocado as the creamy base, and since it only has 5 ingredients, I had to try it.
My modifications to the chowder base were relatively few: extra corn and plenty of cracked black pepper. I gently pureed the soup in the Vitamix, then transferred it to a warm pan on the stove to heat it up. Once it was sufficiently hot, I put the mixture back in the Vitamix and blended it a little more. I left it chunkier than the recipe recommends…again, I am all about that texture 🙂
For an added depth of flavor, I took the left-over corn, and gently pan-roasted it. I heated up some olive oil, sprinkled the corn with paprika and a dash of cayenne, and then roasted it until it was a beautiful golden-brown color.
I garnished the bowl of soup with that roasted corn and a dash of paprika, and I must say, it was a pretty sexy bowl of soup. I ate every last bite of it…it was the perfect balance (for me) of hot, creamy, and spicy, and the bits of corn in it really made it come alive. Definitely saved a bowl of it for lunch tomorrow, but the temptation to get seconds was hard to resist!
Since this is a tough work week, I knew I needed more chocolate in my life. And avocado goes with chocolate almost as well as peanut butter does. Cue this recipe for an almost-vegan chocolate mousse. The only thing that prevents it from being vegan is the honey – I could have used maple syrup, but I’m saving it for a later recipe. So I just used organic local honey instead. Also, I absolutely am psyched that the recipe calls for chia seeds. I put those things in almost everything breakfast or dessert related. So much protein, and they’re so freakin’ versatile! Love it.
I used coconut milk instead of raw milk to keep it as close to vegan (and good for my stomach!) as possible. I picked up some gorgeous raspberries this week, so I also blended those in with my mousse mixture, because raspberries go wonderfully with dark chocolate, and they have some great health benefits (potassium, calcium, and antioxidants) to this superfood-packed dessert.
I garnished my mousse with more fresh raspberries and a drizzle of local honey. Absolutely delicious…so good for you, and totally guilt-free! If you want it sweeter, you can add more honey or maple syrup, but I like it the way it is 🙂 Now, time to brainstorm what else I can make with avocados….