when life hands you an avocado...

So I have a goal for 2012....try NOT to waste food.  Produce is particular is a problem in our house.  I tend to overbuy, thinking we'll eat it all up before it wastes away in the fruit bowl or fridge.  But I often forget I'm the only person in the house who eats certain kinds of produce, so all too often I find a moldy zucchini or rotting kiwi that I had forgotten about.  So the last time I went to the grocery store, I made a conscious effort to only buy produce I knew for a fact would get eaten within the week (or less, since they say the more days that go by, the more nutrients your produce loses).

But I had a problem.  I had a very ripe avocado sitting on the counter this week.  I love avocados, but seldom buy them since they're so expensive.  Recently Publix had them for $1 each so I bought three, but the third somehow got forgotten.  I hated the thought of throwing it away, but it was really mushy so I'm sure it wouldn't look too appetizing inside. 

Something else happened this week.  I saw a recipe on Betty Crocker's website where they suggested substituting a very ripe avocado for the butter or oil while making muffins from a mix.  Hey, I had a very ripe avocado.  And I was sure I could try this when making muffins from scratch (which is what I normally do now).  My husband loves banana-chocolate-chip muffins, and they're a treat I make just for him since I don't like them, so I decided to give the great avocado switcharoo a go.

And they turned out great!  My husband didn't notice a difference in the taste at all (in fact, I didn't tell him what I had done so he wouldn't eat them with a biased opinion!).  I didn't take a photo of the muffins only because I was so distracted by my whiny toddler when I made them, I forgot to put baking powder in them!  So while they still tasted good to my husband, they were kinda flat and not very picture-worthy.  :o)

So here's the recipe I used:

Banana Chocolate-Chip Muffins
The Ingredients.
1 very ripe avocado
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 or 3 very ripe bananas
2 cups flour (I used 1 cup whole wheat and 1 cup all-purpose)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

The Method.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 12-cup muffin pan or else use cupcake liners.  Remove avocado flesh and beat with an electric mixer until smooth.  Add the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and bananas and mix until smooth.  Add the flour and baking powder and combine with a wooden spoon until incorporated (don't overmix or the muffins will be tough; I usually don't use a mixer at this point or else I'll have flour flying everywhere!).  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Fill muffin cups 2/3 of the way and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into one comes out clean.

So there you go.  While butter is still often cheaper than avocados, this is a great healthy option if you have one laying around and aren't in the mood for guacamole!

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