avocadoI've had avocado ice cream before (I'd highly recommend it), but did you know that you can also bake with the pale green fruit?

It's true! Avocados with their naturally smooth, creamy texture can be used as a healthy substitute in baking for butter and eggs.

Growing up, my health-conscious sister would always bake with applesauce and yogurt in place of vegetable oil. As a baking purist, this bugged me because I'm a firm believer in full-fat desserts for optimal enjoyment.

But this avocado trick has me intrigued ...

Here are some tips for baking with avocados:

First, a word of caution: Though baking with avocados won't make your breads, muffins, cookies, cakes, and pies taste like avocados, it will give light-colored dough a slight green tint.

  • Start off by scooping the green flesh out of the black skin with a spoon and using your blender to pulse into a puree. You can add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice per cup for light-colored dough to avoid browning.
  • When using in lieu of butter, substitute 1 cup of pureed avocado for every 1 cup of butter. For eggs, substitute 2 tablespoons of puree per egg.
  • Reduce your oven temperature by 25 percent and increase your baking time. This will help to prevent your cake from rising up in the middle or, alternatively, caving in. It'll also prevent the cake from browning too quickly.

So what are the advantages to baking with avocados? First, it's a great way to reduce fat in your desserts: A 3.5-ounce serving of butter has a whopping 81 grams of fat compared to 14 grams in the same serving of avocado. Moreover, by substituting avocado for butter, you'll be eliminating saturated fat from your desserts and replacing it with healthy fats.

Plus, avocados not only have a ton of vitamins, but they also may reduce cholesterol and fight heart disease. This way you won't hate yourself if you happen to grab a second brownie.

Would you try baking with avocados instead of butter?


Image via Muffet/Flickr