Smoooooooothie Time!

This has become one of my favorite go-to smoothies that I threw together one day trying to invent ways to use the plethora of avocados I have here at my disposal.  The avocado mixed with the bananas makes this smoothie oh-so-very creamy!

It’s chock full of potassium, calcium, and healthy fats thanks to the avocado.  Not to mention, it keeps you filled up for a long time.  AND, it couldn’t be easier to make.

Banana Avocado and Ginger Smoothie

1/2 ripe avocado
2 small bananas, frozen
1-inch chunk of ginger
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 cup milk
1 tsp cinnamon

Place all in blender and blend!  Garnish with extra cinnamon if desired.

Rainy Day Kitchen Inventions

Sometimes in life there are things so unique, so wonderful, that they simply cannot be recreated and be exactly the same nor exactly as wonderful.  That’s what happened last night in my kitchen.  A very, very, rainy Saturday night and I decided to bake something (what I typically do many times with rainy days or bored days).  Lately, I have been exploring with other ways to use avocados with the abundance of them I have in my backyard.  Besides previously tried and tested recipes of avocados in cakes, avocados in smoothies, I thought I would try a bread – a quick bread.  And as I write this, I am enjoying this bread that was merely invented, created, and not noted on paper.  Nor can I even remember what I did.  I mean, I could try, and I would probably most likely succeed, but I just fear it won’t taste as darn good as it does (But, if someone really wants it, I’m pretty darn sure I could remember it to almost a T, so let me know).  But for now, better to just enjoy it thoroughly and cherish it’s uniqueness.

So this bread, is an Avocado Banana Bread with chunks of Dried Pineapple (and it’s made with whole wheat flour).  It is loosely based on my mother’s long-standing, ever-so famous, Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (which, she may disown me if I post the recipe for that), with many substitutes to make it weeeeellll..….a bit healthier.  But the good flavor isn’t compromised much at all!  The avocado is the fat used in place of melted butter and gives the bread a nice, smooth texture.  Some of the sugar is substituted with honey, giving it a hearty sort of nutty, sticky flavor, in addition, so does the whole wheat flour.  And the chunks of dried pineapple give it a little tart kick every bite you take. It is just perfect.

And so as I sit here with the rain pouring down on the tin roof above, I think how there is nothing more satisfying when I go into the kitchen, with just an idea, without a recipe, with whatever ingredients I have on hand, and the product that comes out of it all is successful.  It is just like any art, where the separate paints make an eye-catching picture, or little pieces of clay make a life-size sculpture, or individual dancers make up a ballet.  You can’t quite know how it will turn out until you just do it.  And when you do, there is nothing more satisfying.

Citrus, Avocado, and Olive Oil Cake – A Heart-Healthy Treat

This cake is heart-healthy!  I know what you’re thinking…how can cake be heart-healthy?  But hear me out…though this cake may have sugar and eggs, like any old cake, its two main ingredients – avocados and olive oil give this cake it’s heart-healthy antioxidants.

Introduce Citrus, Avocado and Olive Oil Cake.

Avocado is a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure and can guard against stroke.  Additionally, one cup of avocado has about 23% of the Daily Value for folate, a nutrient important for heart health.

The beneficial health effects of olive oil are due to both its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and its high content of antioxidative substances. Studies have shown that olive oil offers protection against heart disease by controlling LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels while raising HDL (the “good” cholesterol) levels.

I was inspired to invent this cake after attending an Avocado Festival.  Everything imaginable was made with avocados there – ice cream, smoothies, ceviche, tacos, guacamole, candy, bread, etc.

So, having four avocado trees in my backyard, I have an endless bounty of this green, healthy produce, and you can only make so much guacamole.

Citrus, Avocado, and Olive Oil Cake

*1 1/3  cup flour
*1 1/2 tsp baking powder
*4 eggs
*1/2 tsp salt
*1 1/3 c sugar
*1 tsp citrus rind
*Juice of one small lime/lemon/orange
*1/3 c olive oil
*1 medium, ripe, Haas avocado, mashed

Preheat oven to 350º, grease and flour a round 10-inch cake pan or spring form pan.
Combine the flour and baking powder in a bowl.  Whisk the four eggs until frothy in another bowl.  Gradually add the sugar while whisking.  Add the salt, citrus rind, citrus juice, olive oil.
Add the liquid mixture to a well in the flour mixture.  Stir well, but gently, almost folding the egg mixture into the flour.  Finally, mix in the mashed avocado and stir until no more green pieces can be seen.
Pour into prepared pan, and bake for about an hour, or until light golden brown on top.  Let cool in pan.  Run knife around edges and invert onto wire rack.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.  This cake can also be served with a  simple citrus glaze, but it is fantastic on its own.