Move over, bananas. There’s a new smoothie thickener in town.
I can’t believe I didn’t like avocados until I was in my 20’s. Just think about all of the years of eating yummy avocados that I missed. Thank goodness I finally came to my senses because I absolutely *love* them now!
I seem to like avocado in nearly everything and recently I thought to try them in smoothies.
My first several attempts with avocado in smoothies didn’t go very well. I found that avocado really makes the smoothie flavor milder – especially when adding too much of it.
That was the problem. I was adding too much avocado to my smoothies (I thought the more the merrier!) when it really should be added as a supplemental ingredient.
Adding avocado in smoothies will add a wonderfully thick and creamy texture. If you don’t like using bananas in your smoothies or are just looking for something different to try, avocado makes a great thickener in smoothies.
Today you’ll learn from my mistakes and will be an expert at using avocado in smoothies.
Avocado health benefits
Although avocados are high in fat and calories they should not be avoided in your diet. Most of the calories in avocados come from fat but it’s the healthy kind of fat that benefit your body. The monounsaturated fats found in avocados are linked to protection against heart disease, cognitive decline, and many other disorders.
Another benefit to the fat in avocados is that it actually helps you absorb some of the nutrients in the avocado – carotenoids, in particular. Carotenoids are also found in high amounts in carrots, sweet potatoes, and leafy greens. Adding any of those to your avocado smoothie will help you to absorb more of the available carotenoids.
Avocados also contain high amounts of fiber, vitamin K, copper, and folate. They are good sources of vitamin B6, vitamin E, and vitamin C. Avocados contain more potassium than a banana.
The nutrients in the avocado flesh are not equal all the way through. The most nutrients are found in the darker green flesh nearest to the skin. In the next section below I share a couple of methods to peel an avocado to make sure you get as much of the dark green flesh as possible.
How to select avocados
The riper the avocado, the more sweetness it will add to your smoothie.
It can be hard finding ripe avocados in your grocery store. Since they probably aren’t local to your area (unless you’re in California during the warmer seasons) they can be hard as a rock or really mushy. Impossible to use either way.
Avocados are grown in warmer climates. From spring until fall they may come from California and the rest of the year they are shipped from warmer weather countries like Mexico.
It is so very disappointing to come home from the store only to find your avocado is not ripe or too ripe.
There are a few ways to tell how ripe an avocado is at the store.
Skin color: Avocados with darker skin are usually riper than ones with light skin.
Texture: Check the avocado for dents in the skin. If it’s dented, it could be overripe and soft or at the very least it’s probably bruised. Either way, it’s not great for eating.
Firmness: An easy way to tell how ripe an avocado is is by gently squeezing it. Ripe avocados are firm but will give to gentle pressure. Be careful when squeezing an avocado because they bruise very easily.
All is not lost if there are only rock-hard under-ripe avocados in your store. They will ripen nicely in a couple of days at room temperature.
How to use avocado in smoothies
What I learned quickly is that you don’t want to use too much avocado in smoothies. As a general rule, use 1/4 to 1/2 an avocado in a smoothie.
In case you’re wondering how to cut open an avocado, the easiest way I’ve found is to cut down the middle of the avocado (the long way) around the pit with a knife. Then, simply scoop out the soft flesh inside with a spoon. You’ll have to scoop around the pit until it becomes loose to remove it easily.
Another method for peeling an avocado is to cut the avocado lengthwise down to the pit. You’ll end up with two long avocado halves that are connected by the pit. Then, hold each half of the avocado and twist them in opposite directions until they separate. Remove the pit, cut each half lengthwise. You’ll now have quartered sections of avocado. At this point, you should be able to peel the avocado much like a banana.
Try blending avocado in smoothies with any of these ingredients
Since you are mainly using avocado in smoothies as a thickener and not for flavor, it will blend well with many different ingredients. Below are some suggestions but you certainly aren’t limited to these ingredients. As always, I encourage you to come up with your own flavor combinations!
Fruit: Apple, blueberry, banana, berries, mango, pineapple, cherry, kiwi, pear
Vegetables: Beet, carrot, sweet potato, tomato, cauliflower, cucumber, beans
Leafy greens: Spinach, kale, Romaine, Swiss Chard, collards
Seasonings: Cacao, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon
Nuts and seeds: Chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut oil
Add avocado to a smoothie today!
Avocados are high in calories and fat but they still make a very healthy addition to your smoothies. Because of their high-calorie content, you may not want to add them to EVERY smoothie you make, but the health benefits you’ll get from them are worth it in the occasional smoothie.
I challenge you to try adding avocado in your next smoothie.
I’d love to hear about how it turned out in your smoothie in the comments below!
If you’d like to learn more about how to create nutritionally balanced smoothies, download my free guide:
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