Dark Chocolate Avocado Truffles

Classes for this semester have officially come to an end, even though it feels like they just started! One of my favorite classes this year was Oral Presentations, where we worked on communication and presenting skills by giving a different type of presentation almost every week. One of my last presentations was about this blog! I showed about 20 slides of just pictures of food from my blog, which had everyone drooling by the end. The presentation went great – but the one thing I forgot was to actually bring food for everyone!

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So I promised my class I would bring in something for them next time…which is how these truffles came to be. They are a variation of my Fudgy Avocado Brownies. I love these truffles because they don’t require an oven! Even better, I only needed three ingredients.

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I actually made these twice. The first time, my suitemates said were too creamy and soft. The next time, I chopped up little bits of chocolate and added them to the mix so the truffles were a little crunchier and not just a mouthful of creaminess. Then, I refrigerated them over night to harden them. The next day, they were perfect.

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I know the question you all have in mind is…Can you taste the avocado? Some say they can, some say they can’t. It also depends on whether you tell people there is avocado in it. If you tell them, they will “search” for the avocado taste and are more likely to say they can taste it. Personally, I think the truffles are very chocolately but with a pleasant twist of a flavor.

Try and see what you think! 🙂

DARK CHOCOLATE AVOCADO TRUFFLES
(makes 18-20)

Ingredients
1 medium avocado, ripe
10 oz dark chocolate chips
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Directions

Cut avocado and scoop out flesh. Mash until there are no more chunks using a fork, electric hand mixer or food processor.

Take 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and roughly chop into small bits. Set aside.
*NOTE: This step is optional. Adding chunks of chocolate will make the truffle crunchy to break up the smooth texture. If you prefer smooth and creamy, feel free to leave this step out!

Melt the rest of the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. The best way to do this without burning the chocolate is microwaving in 10 second intervals and then stirring, and repeat until completely melted.

Scoop avocado mixture into the bowl with melted chocolate and mix until well-blended. Stir in the chocolate chip bits.

Refrigerate the chocolate-avocado mixture for an hour.

Scoop out 1 tablespoon of the mixture and roll into a ball using your palms. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.

With the cocoa powder on a separate plate, roll the balls into the cocoa powder until completely covered.

Enjoy!!!

Avocado and Tomato Grilled Cheese

Food trucks are awesome because they are usually fast, cheap, and convenient. Earlier this week, several food trucks came to our school to serve food at a carnival-like event we had for the freshmen. My friends and I all happened to order the same sandwich, an avocado and bacon grilled cheese. Although the wait was exceedingly long, the sandwich was absolutely delicious. Putting avocados in a grilled cheese sandwich…ingenious.

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I made a much healthier variation of that amazing grilled cheese sandwich by replacing the bacon with tomatoes and using whole wheat bread. It tasted even better! It was less salty (because there was no bacon) and the tomatoes gave it a burst of freshness. The way the melted cheese and avocado blend together is an unparalleled combination.

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I made the sandwich using a pan, which heated the sandwich perfectly so that the outer bread layers were well toasted and the cheese was just melted. The heat didn’t get to the avocado or tomato so they still tasted fresh and uncooked. This sandwich takes only 10-15 minutes to make in total so it is definitely a great option for making lunch in the dorms!

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AVOCADO AND TOMATO GRILLED CHEESE

Ingredients
2 slices whole wheat bread
1 tsp olive oil
2 slices American cheese
1/2 tomato, sliced
1/2 avocado, sliced

Directions

Brush olive oil on one side of each slice of bread.

Lay oiled side of a slice of bread face down. Layer cheese, tomato, avocado, cheese, and other slice of bread with oiled side up.

Heat pan to medium heat and place sandwich on it. After 2 minutes, flip it over and wait another 2 minutes. The bread should be toasted brown and the cheese should be melted when it is done.

Creamy Avocado Gazpacho

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted a non-dessert recipe. Desserts are so much more fun to make, eat, and photograph. Also, there isn’t a hungry family waiting for you to finish taking photos so they can finally eat! I managed to snap a few photos of this lovely soup before my family got too hungry.

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Sometimes in the summer, it can be too hot for warm, cooked food. Sometimes, you just need a nice chilled soup to cool off from the unrelenting sun. Gazpacho is a delicious cold Spanish soup made from tomatoes and other vegetables. This version of gazpacho has avocado (yay!) and plenty of other healthy green vegetables.

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Leafy greens are super healthy  and the darker the green, the better it is for you. Spinach is great because it has lots of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and folate. These are good for reducing risk of arthritis, cardiovascular disease and even memory loss!

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This creamy gazpacho is an excellent way to eat a lot of vegetables in just one serving. It is rich and flavorful because of the variety of ingredients in it. It is a very quick recipe – all you gotta do is just toss everything into the blender!

CREAMY AVOCADO GAZPACHO
serves 2

Ingredients 
1 medium tomato, cut into quarters
1 small cucumber, cut into chunks
1 avocado, cut into chunks
3 large basil leaves
1/2 jalapeño, seeded and roughly chopped
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1 small celery stalk
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 ice cubes
Salt and pepper

Directions

Chop up tomato, cucumber and avocado, and set aside some small chunks for garnish.

Combine tomato, cucumber, avocado, basil, spinach, celery, garlic, red wine vinegar, honey, and ice cubes in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.

Taste and season with salt, pepper, and additional red wine vinegar if necessary.

Refrigerate until chilled and garnish with chunks.

adapted from Epicurious

Fudgy Avocado Brownies

How to describe this magnificent creation of a brownie in 3 words?
Fudgy. Dense. Chocolate.

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This is the world’s healthiest brownie. No flour, no butter, no oil!!! It is packed with wonderful nutrients, and it features my good friend, the avocado.

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Let’s take a look at what’s inside the brownie that makes it so healthy.

Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats that are good for your cholesterol. Of course avocados seem like the last ingredient you would want in a dessert but trust me, it works! They are a natural butter and a healthy substitute. A lot of people have doubts about avocados in desserts. Well, actually, you can’t see it, smell it, or taste it! It’s as if it’s not even there.

Walnuts and almonds have omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential nutrients that lower blood pressure, lowering risk of heart disease.

Cocoa powder has plenty of flavanoids which act like antioxidants that fend off heart disease, stroke, and some cancers.

Seriously, how much better can a brownie get?!

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Because there isn’t any flour in the brownies (gluten-free!), the texture isn’t as cake-y as your typical brownies. Instead, they are very dense, moist, and rich. It’s almost like a chocolate mousse. One little bite is an explosion of chocolatey goodness in your mouth. They are especially delicious when eaten chilled with a nice glass of milk.

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These brownies totally beat the box brownies (which are good I’ll admit) but they are way too healthy to pass up. It makes me so excited that desserts like brownies can be healthy and just as decadent and yummy. Just another reason to love avocados. 😛

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FUDGY AVOCADO BROWNIES

Ingredients
8 ounces of melted dark chocolate
2 avocados, well-mashed or pureed
4 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup walnuts

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt chocolate and set aside. Mash or puree avocados until smooth and set aside.

Use an electric mixer to whisk eggs and sugar together at medium-high speed, until very light and doubled in volume.

Gradually add in melted chocolate while blending.

Stir in cocoa, almond meal, salt, and vanilla. (To make homemade almond meal, blend slivered, blanched almonds in a blending machine until fine.)

Add in avocado and blend well. Mix in walnuts.

Pour batter into a greased, square baking pan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Let cool before cutting. Then refrigerate and serve chilled.

😀 😀 😀

adapted from Heather’s French Press

Amazing Guacamole

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The humble avocado. It is hard to fully capture its delicate and subtle taste – somewhere between green, buttery, nutty, and smooth. I have become infatuated with the avocado, an ingredient that has been honored with the prestigious title of “superfood”. It is bursting with monounsaturated fats, the good type of fats that help your cholesterol. The creamy, buttery texture makes it a perfect natural substitute for butter and mayo for healthier eating. But of course, it is most famous for being the star ingredient of guacamole!

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Mmmm guacamole. My friend Hayley introduced me to guacamole (and hummus) just last year, igniting an obsession for dips. I have perfected my own recipe so well that I could make it in my sleep. This is a simple guacamole with tomato and onion and of course, lime juice – the second most important ingredient.

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Guacamole has received a lot of attention lately. I heard a Sporkful podcast where the host and 3 guests spent about 30 minutes discussing the definition of guacamole and how to eat it. Is it better chunky or smooth? Chunky. Should you use a triangle-shaped chip or scoop chip? Triangle. There is even a certain method to holding the chip when you go to dip because you don’t want it to break in the bowl.

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Guacamole has to be one of my favorite foods. I can eat it anytime, anywhere. Sometimes I’ve had just guacamole as a meal, for lunch or dinner. It is so addictive, delicious, and the best part is that it’s nutritious. All of the ingredients are whole, healthy and natural. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

AMAZING GUACAMOLE

Ingredients
3 Haas avocados, ripe
1 small onion, diced
1 small tomato, seeded and diced
1 lime, juiced
1/4 teaspoon cumin
pinch salt and pepper

Directions

Dice onion and tomato, set aside.

Slice avocados and scoop out into a large bowl. My method of doing this is cutting the avocado vertically and twisting the two halves. Then I use a butter knife to cut a square grid in the avocado, and scoop it out with a spoon.

Cover the avocado with lime juice and mix. Use your hands (or a potato masher) to roughly mash up the avocado. Make sure not to over-mash so that there are still small chunks.

Add in cumin, salt, and pepper. Season to taste.

Fold in tomatoes and onions.

Cover with plastic wrap so that there is no air touching the guacamole and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Then serve!

Yum 😀

For another delicious avocado recipe, see The Eggvocado!

The Eggvocado: Egg in an Avocado

I present to you…the Eggvocado. The name has a mysterious and dangerous ring to it, as if something might blow up if you say it too loudly.

You know the classic “Egg in a basket” breakfast where you fry an egg in a piece of bread with a hole in the center? My parents thought that was innovative when I first made it for them, but this…this is like food from another planet.

Avocado..baked? Avocado…used for something other than guacamole? Avocado…for breakfast? Yes, yes, anddd…yes.

This is definitely a one-of-a-kind creation that is just genius. I actually first found the recipe on StumbleUpon and thought to myself, “wow…I have to make that.” A week later, I saw it again in an article on Buzzfeed of different ways to cook an egg and thought “now I really need to make this, pronto.” So for Father’s day, I woke up early (8 AM is early for Sunday, okay?) to make a lovely eggvocado for my dad.

How does one eat an eggvocado? Good question. You technically could just eat it straight out of the avocado but there is a method. Scoop some of the avocado and runny egg and spread it on a piece of toast like a spread. It sounds and looks weird but trust me, it’s friggin’ delicious.

EGGVOCADO: EGG IN AN AVOCADO

Ingredients
1 avocado (soft)
2 eggs
sausage
salt and pepper
2 slices of bread
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon herbs

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. (Toaster oven also works)

Cut avocado in half. For best results, make sure your avocado is soft so it will be easy to scoop when eating.

Remove the seed and scoop out some avocado to fit the egg inside.

Crack egg into a bowl and use a spoon to place the yolk inside the avocado. Carefully start adding the white until the hole is filled to the top.

Add salt and pepper.

Place avocado in the side of a small baking dish so that it will stay in place. Bake in oven for 15 minutes, or until the egg reaches the consistency you want.

Fry sausage.

Mix together olive oil and herbs and brush on bread, then toast.

Serve eggvocado with sausage and toast for a breakfast like none other!