So You Have an Avocado? And It’s Ripe? Go Beyond Guac

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

No bowl is more likely to be scraped clean than one holding guacamole. The more, the better. As non-negotiable at a tailgating party as it is next to a plate of sizzling fajitas, the most sought-after dip depends on creamy, perfectly ripe (firm, with just a bit of give) avocados. As it turns out, after it’s been pitted and sliced with chef-level dexterity, the trusty avocado has more tricks to it than good old guac, and you can use it to make everything from soup to sweets.

Next time your nearest avocado reaches that fleeting range of ripeness, do something other than mash it with a fork. Instead, puree it for a silky Chilled Avocado Soup that’s taken with a spoon instead of a chip.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Instead of throwing a peeled banana into your blender, try using creamy avocado to add that velvety thickness to your smoothies. Slurp an Ultra-Creamy Avocado Smoothie for dessert, and remember: the riper the avocado, the sweeter the shake.

On its own, pure avocado is smooth with a light, borderline-buttery flavor that takes on the flavor of whatever ingredients it meets. Food Network Magazine’s Avocado Pie is a recipe whose green hue might provoke a double take. Instead of the usual suspects, this pie piles an avocado-cream cheese filling atop a buttery graham cracker crust.

Think your go-to pesto pasta is good? Giada De Laurentiis blends her zesty arugula pesto together with avocado for a good-for-you creamy take, Linguine with Avocado and Arugula Pesto.

Giada De Laurentis's Grilled Salmon and Pineapple Avocado dressing as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Stephen Johnson, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Giada De Laurentis's Grilled Salmon and Pineapple Avocado dressing as seen on Food Network

The avocado’s innate smoothness makes it easy to create a sauce. Make an avocado dressing — heavy on the herbs — that jibes perfectly with grilled fish. Or puree avocado, lime and cilantro together in a food processor for Food Network Magazine’s Steak with Avocado Sauce and Tomato Salad.

GuyFieri_ChickenAvocadoEggRolls_H

GuyFieri_ChickenAvocadoEggRolls_H

Chef Name: Guy Fieri Full Recipe Name: Chicken Avocado Egg Rolls Talent Recipe: Guy Fieri’s Chicken Avocado Egg Rolls, as seen on Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Made FNK Recipe: Project: Foodnetwork.com, CINCO/SUMMER/FATHERSDAY Show Name: The Best Thing I Ever Made

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Chef Name: Guy Fieri Full Recipe Name: Chicken Avocado Egg Rolls Talent Recipe: Guy Fieri’s Chicken Avocado Egg Rolls, as seen on Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Made FNK Recipe: Project: Foodnetwork.com, CINCO/SUMMER/FATHERSDAY Show Name: The Best Thing I Ever Made

When you bite into Guy Fieri’s Chicken Avocado Egg Rolls, creamy, fresh avocado counters the crispy exterior and crunchy veggies.

If you just can’t beat the avocado-means-dip mentality, Food Network Magazine’s Avocado-Feta Dip does it differently. Feta livens up the avocado with its special saltiness, and jalapeno adds a responsible kick, making it the most exciting dip veggie sticks or toasted bread have met in a while. Food Network Magazine also blends avocado with store-bought hummus, jalapeno and cilantro for a smooth, no-frills Avocado Hummus.

Since avocados are nice and thick, they make the perfect base for Giada’s Chocolate-Avocado Mousse. Unlike a classic mousse, this velvety dessert isn’t loaded with cream and sugar, so it won’t leave you feeling weighed down. Hey, it’s no wonder that Giada found this recipe while saving room for dessert at a spa.

Odds are, these avocado-centered recipes will disappear just as quickly as a bowl of guac. But, hey, we aren’t saying you shouldn’t make some of that too.

Get more avocado recipes from friends and family:

Feed Me Phoebe: Coconut Kale Salad with Avocado and Pickled Vegetables

Weelicious: Avocado Honey Dip

Devour: Why You Should Eat Avocados All Day Long

Dishing With Divya: Vietnamese Avocado Milkshake

Napa Farmhouse 1885: Avocado and Grilled Shrimp Salad

Red or Green: Spicy Avocado Spread Sandwich

Taste With The Eyes: Tortilla Soup with Lobster and Avocado

Virtually Homemade: Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa

Domesticate Me: Superfood Chocolate Avocado Pudding (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

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