I’m excited to announce that I hosted my first cooking class last week! It was fun and a lot of work, but a great experience. My cooking class was all about the natural goodness of avocados! I usually don’t have to convince too many people how awesome avocados are.
I know there area few people out there who really don’t like avocados, but I LOVE them and use them in so many recipes. I love using mashed avocados as a spread or salad base instead of mayo, plus it makes awesome chocolate pudding (no kidding!).
There are lots of good reasons to love avocados (you can click on the image below for a larger view for easier reading):
Through Around the Plate, the Hass Avocado Board sponsored a live cooking class. This was great news for the participants so they could attend for free! I co-hosted my avocado cooking class at the recreation center where I work and I enlisted the help of my friend and coworker, Kristal, a registered dietician.
Cooking class is a loose term here: everything was no-cook, so it was a no-cook “cooking” class! We demoed 3 recipes using avocado: Avocado Gazpacho Soup, Avocado Chicken Salad, and Avocado Chocolate Pudding. All of these turned out delicious!
Getting ready for our class! We had a great turnout for our first cooking class: 15 people, plus my 2 kids!
The first recipe I demoed was the Avocado Gazpacho soup. I adapted this recipe from the original found on the Love One Today™ website. I made some changes to the recipe, mainly omitting the celery since I don’t like celery and we rarely eat it at our house. This recipe also makes a great dip, too, if you make it thick.
- 2 ripe fresh Hass avocados diced
- 1 large green pepper seeded and chopped
- 1 medium cucumber peeled and chopped
- 1/3 cup apple juice
- 1 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 to 1 cup water to make gazpacho pouring consistency
- To taste: salt pepper, cayenne, garlic powder
- Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add more water as needed to make the gazpacho the consistency you like.
- Chill in the fridge or serve immediately.
The next recipe we featured was chicken salad using avocado as a base instead of mayo. I used my Avocado Chicken Salad recipe as inspiration, but for simplicity I used the Avocado Gazpacho Soup as the sauce and added some spices and Dijon mustard to the mix. Voila – easy chicken salad!
- 2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken
- 1 green onion sliced
- 1/2 cup thick Avocado Gazpacho (recipe above), OR 1/2 cup mashed avocado mixed with lime juice
- 1-2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
- To taste: garlic powder, cajun spice, lime juice, salt, and pepper
In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients and your desired spices and seasonings to taste.
Add more or less Avocado Gazpacho as needed to get the consistency you like. Enjoy!
The last recipe I prepared in class was the dessert: Creamy Chocolate Avocado Pudding. I have made another recipe before, and I really loved it but I couldn’t find the one I had used before, so I used this recipe and made some changes of my own. I served this portioned in cups topped with mini chocolate chips and chilled, but I think this recipe tastes the best when served immediately after preparing. The Love One Today™ website has several pudding recipes on there, plus many other great avocado recipes, including breads, cupcakes, salads, and more.
- 2 ripe fresh Hass avocados chopped
- 1 medium banana chopped (tastes best when the banana isn't too ripe)
- 0.25 cup raw honey
- 4 medjool dates or 8 deglet noor dates, soaked if needed
- 0.5 cup non-dairy milk of choice
- 0.25 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 0.25 teaspoon salt
- Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. You may have to scrape down the sides of your blender periodically. This will take a minute or 2 to get a smooth texture.
The best way I have found to prep an avocado that is to be cubed or chopped is by scoring the flesh inside the avocado without piercing the skin, like the photo demonstrates below. This is the BEST way to prep an avocado – no cutting board necessary!
If you want MORE great resources and recipes for avocados, download the Love One Today™ recipe booklet and check out the website for tons of great recipes!