I’ve always been a massive fan of the avocado. Growing up, I would watch my mother prepare this delicious and exotic snack for me. I would gaze with burgeoning delight as she scooped it’s green flesh from it’s tough bruise-purple skin; rippled and hard like a crocodile, or the folds on a tortoise’s neck. It was such a treat, and I would anticipate it’s arrival with impatience; eager to devour it’s creamy flesh, slick with oil and peppery vinaigrette.

A long-time staple in my diet, the avocado is also highly regarded for its ‘super food’ accolade, and is a great source of antioxidants; packed chokka full of vitamins and minerals which support healthy blood pressure levels. As a child I even had a book entitled ‘The Avocado Baby’, a tale about a toddler who was such a fussy eater, he would consume nothing but mashed avocados. In doing so the baby gained super-strength (much as Popeye does with spinach) and grew so strong he was able to save his siblings from bullies, and even, one evening, fend off a burglar. Moral of the story? Avocados are genuinely good for you.

I like to add chopped avocado to breakfasts, and lunchtime salads, but when I fancy more of a treat though, I use this healthy base to make yummy snacks that are a little more wicked in nature! Today I thought I’d show you two ways to do exactly this.

Recipe 1: Holy Guacamole! One of my favourite Saturday evening snacks is a nice pot of homemade chunky rustic guacamole, lighting up those taste buds with kick-ass licks of salt, lime and fresh chillies. Here’s a great little recipe that you can enjoy and use any leftovers (if you have them!) to complement any Mexican-style breakfast fare the day after. The reason for the name is that your eaters will most surely decry ‘holy moly that’s good! Give me the recipe this instant, etc etc’. The trick to nailing the perfect Guac is all about consistency, so be sure to add in your ingredients little by little. This recipe makes one small bowlful, good for serving 1-2 people.

 Ingredients:

  • X1 Ripe Avocado (not too firm to the touch- a little give when you squeeze)
  • X1 Red chilli, de-seeded and chopped into fine squares
  • X1 Small red onion, chopped into small chunks
  • X3 Baby tomatoes, de-seeded, and skins chopped into fine squares
  • The juice of one lime (fresh is preferable)
  • Sea salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

Method:

Skin and de-pit your avocado and smash it up in a bowl using the back of a fork or your fingers (I like to get pretty hands on-just make sure they are nice and clean!). leave to settle whilst you chop your other ingredients.

Add half of your chopped red onion, and the tomato to the avocado, and fork it through. Add 1 teaspoon of oil and 2 teaspoons of lime juice, and then add the salt and pepper, a nice pinch of each.

IMG_2340
Ready, Steady, GUAC!

TOP TIP:  The trick here is not to add too many wet ingredients if you want to retain the chunky texture and not overpower the natural palatability of the avocado itself. Nobody wants to eat green gloop. Trust me. Make sure you add the wet stuff bit by bit throughout, and continue to taste accordingly.

Now it’s time to add the chilli. This bit is really all about personal taste and how much heat you like, I usually put half to a whole red chilli in, but start small, you can always add extra so don’t overdo it! Mix it all in nicely. If you think your mix looks a little bare add in a little more of the onion in. Add in another teaspoon of oil at this point, as well as some more salt.

Remember, it’s all about taste-you want a limey-salty kick like a margarita, backed up by the heat and bite from the chilli and onions, so add in all your bits until you are happy with the taste yourself.

IMG_6367.jpeg
That’s some good guac right there!

Once you have the perfect ratio-eat it all up with some nachos (or y’know a spoon…) yum!! You can always double up on your ingredients to make a bigger serving size if you are having guest (ok, ok I know you are eating it all yourself…).

Recipe 2: Avocado Frit! Deep frying fruit-who knew? I came across a version of this recipe one day whilst thinking of ways to use up leftover breadcrumbs. The results were, needless to say, blooming delicious, so don’t judge until you’ve tried! This recipe serves a portion of 8 deep fried avocado segments.

Ingredients:

  • X1 Ripe Avocado (not too firm to the touch- a little give when you squeeze)
  • X1 beaten egg
  • 1/2 cup plain flour (or gram flour)
  • 1 cup Breadcrumbs/ Panko (homemade or store bought is fine)
  • 2 tbsp. of smoked paprika
  • Olive /Coconut/Avocado/Peanut Oil

Method:

Take a high sided pan or wok and get your oil on the go on the hob. Use a medium to high heat, and it will take around 10 mins to get hot enough. You don’t want it boiling or smoking at all. You can test when it’s ready by throwing in a breadcrumb, it should bubble around it, turn golden, and give an audible sizzle.

TOP TIP: Step away from the vegetable oil! The best oil for frying is, coconut, peanut or avocado. They are much healthier than vegetable oil, and also stable and smoke free at high temperatures, meaning you are less likely to burn yourself with boiling oil spitting out the pan!

Cut around your avocado and take out the stone. Peel back skin until you have whole, intact, halves, then slice them into crescent moon shapes. Give yourself three bowls one of the beaten egg, one flour, and one your  breadcrumbs mixed with the paprika.

IMG_0577 2
Prepping like a BOSS

Dip each crescent in the flour to dry them out, followed by the egg, then breadcrumbs. Repeat the egg and breadcrumb step to ensure maximum coverage.

IMG_8857.jpeg
Ready for the drop

Drop each segment into into the hot oil for 5 seconds ONLY, giving the coating a nice and golden brown. Once done, fish them out with a slotted spoon, allowing the oil to drain, and place on a paper towel to absorb any leftover oil. Once you have done, chuck them on a plate and enjoy! I like mine with a side of natural yoghurt, but you could also dip in a hot sauce (chipotle/sriracha) or a sour cream accompaniment-yum!

IMG_6369.jpeg
Come fry with me!

 And there you have it! Two treat-tastic snacks that are still packed full of goodness and (Avoca)don’t make you feel bad for enjoying them! You’ll be taking out bullies and burglars in no time (just be sure to stash any delicious leftovers away first).

Bon appétit!

IMG_3330.JPG

Advertisements