A plant-based diet means different things to different people. But for everyone, avocados are a health and happiness go-to!
Whether you’re strictly vegan, a version of vegetarian or are simply trying to eat more plant than animal products, avocados add that element of richness, creaminess and a sense of luxury to meals.
Avocados can be used in both sweet and savoury cooking – substitute butter for mashed avocado on a 1:1 ratio in all your baking and it still comes out a treat! Or use it to make vegan basics – avocado easily replaces the egg in mayonnaise and other emulsified sauces.
They can be the star, like an al-fresco lunch of avocado halves filled with a caprese of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, spritzed with balsamic; or a jewel-like topping for everything from vegetarian chilli to sushi. And let’s not forget guacamole – every food’s best friend!
Various studies have shown that eating a plant-based diet – and yes, that does mean avocados in your daily meal plan – can help reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancers and may even have a positive impact on emotional wellbeing. And here we were thinking it was just the delicious, satisfying flavour of avocados that made us smile!
Luckily the South African avocado season is now in full swing and will run up until November. Look out for green-skinned varieties of Fuerte, Edranol, Ryan, Reed and Pinkerton, which remain green when ripe – the stalks come away easily to indicate ripeness, so please don’t squeeze – and the dark-skinned Hass, Maluma Hass and Lamb Hass, which turn an amazing purple-black to show they are table and toast ready.
If you’re yet to experience the versatility of avocados, try the Guacamole Tagliatelle or Honey Roast Autumn Veg with Avocado Dressing below. You’ll be hooked!
- Guacamole Tagliatelle
- Honey Roast Autumn Veg with Avocado Dressing
Honey Roast Autumn Veg with Avocado Dressing Recipe
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
- Avocado or olive oil to drizzle
- 1,5 kg autumn vegetables: such as carrots, butternut, sweet potato, baby turnips
- 2-3 stalks thyme, picked
- 15-30 ml (2 – 3 tbsp.) honey
- Juice and zest of 1 orange
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Avocado Salsa Verde dressing:
- 2 ripe avocados, peeled and stoned
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 15 g (½ punnet) flat leaf parsley plus a little extra for garnish
- 15 g (½ punnet) mint or basil, or a mix of both
- 30 ml (2 tbsp.) capers, drained and patted dry
- 2 anchovy fillets (optional)
- 30 ml (2 tbsp.) red wine vinegar
- 125 ml (½ cup) avocado or olive oil
- 30 ml (2 tbsp.) wholegrain mustard
- Preheat oven to 200˚C and add a drizzle of the oil to a large baking tray. Place the vegetables on the baking tray and toss with the thyme, honey, orange juice and zest, and season well.
- Roast until tender and slightly charred, about 25 – 30 minutes.
- To make the Avocado Salsa Verde: combine one avocado with the remaining ingredients in a food processor and blend. Slice the other avocado to serve.
- Serve the roast vegetables on a platter arranged with slices of avocado and drizzle with the Avocado Salsa Verde dressing and extra flat leaf parsley.