Whether your trying to save money, take it easy on the environment, or you’re just sick of avocados, there are loads of alternatives. Check out these yummy avocado substitutes you can use in smoothies, sandwiches, sushi rolls, salads and more!
While avocados are delicious and packed with nutrients, there are several reasons to try not an overdo it with your avocado consumption. Avocados are very expensive as well as high in calories. Depending on the time of year, you might have a hard time finding good quality, soft and ripe avocados for less than two dollars each. This may be due to where the avocados are grown as well. To meet the US demand for avocados, many are imported from Mexico or countries in Central and South America. These long transportation routes contribute to high CO2 emissions. When considering avocado benefits vs. environmental impact, the negative effects of avocado farming make some people want to avoid it altogether. Here are some substitutes to swap in if you want to skip avocado.
1. Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is a great avocado substitute that works for both sweet and savory foods. It can be cut into cubes and thrown into a salad, or mashed onto a slice of bread. Drizzle some honey for a tasty, sweet slice of toast, or add pesto and vegetables for a hearty sandwich. You can even use butternut squash in homemade veggie sushi rolls. Feel free to experiment with different squash varieties depending on the season – like pumpkins in the late fall.
Tofu’s many health benefits make it a perfect avocado substitute – it has a soft texture, is mild in flavor, and can be used in a variety of ways. It’s also much more affordable than avocados. It even comes in multiple texture options ranging from silken to extra firm tofu. You can slice, cook and marinate tofu anyway you like, making it a perfect option for both sweet and savory meals. Add plain silken tofu to a salad, or fry up some crispy tofu to add to sushi or a veggie plate with rice. Season your tofu and add it to sandwiches, quesadillas and more. You can even use it to make your smoothies extra creamy.
Beans are a delicious, protein-packed avocado alternative. You can cook dried beans yourself or buy them canned. There’s loads of options including pinto beans, white beans and black beans, and they’re all very affordable. Season the beans however you like, and add them to salads, breakfast plates, and Mexican dishes as an easy avocado swap.
4. Ricotta Cheese
Ricotta cheese works as a yummy swap in both sweet and savory dishes. It has a similar texture to mashed avocado, is more affordable, and is easy to use as it requires no prep-time. Best used as an avocado substitute in sandwiches and toast, ricotta goes well with organic honey and jam, as well as pesto and caramelized onions. You can use it to top off your pizza as well. If you’re trying to stay vegan, check out some vegan ricotta recipes.
Nuts are a versatile ingredient which can be used to substitute avocado in many different dishes. You can toss some plain or candied walnuts or pecans into a salad, or use a food processor to get that creamy avocado-like texture in other dishes. Make your own peanut butter for morning toast and snacks. Crush some pine nuts and make a homemade pesto, perfect for sandwiches. Or, soak some cashews in hot water and blend them to make a cashew cream cheese. You can also add cashew cream to smoothies to get them extra creamy.
Bananas are an easy and cheap avocado substitute which can be used in sweet, delicious breakfast foods. As the two ingredients have similar textures, bananas are a great addition to any creamy smoothie. You can also use them as a more affordable alternative to avocado toast. Enjoy a slice of bread topped with peanut butter or almond butter, sliced banana, drizzled honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Cucumber can be easily added to sushi, salads, sandwiches and more. They are affordable, easy to access year-round, and require zero prep-time when used in cooking. Toss them into your favorite snacks, or next time your making a vegan poke bowl.
A highly versatile legume, chickpeas are an easy and affordable avocado substitute. It only takes a few minutes to fry some chickpeas in a bit of oil and top with salt and pepper, making for a great snack, salad addition or stir-fry topper. You can also use chickpeas to make some homemade hummus, perfect for toast and sandwiches.
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