Monday, September 24, 2012

Avocado Quick Bread

So many avocados, so little time...
We recently came into possession of about a dozen home-grown avocados - normally a very happy occasion but when confronted with so many that ripened all at the same time, of course, I've been struggling to find ways to use them that are deserving of their deliciousness. There has been a lot of guacamole happening around here, but at a certain point I knew I had to figure out how to bake with them.

A while back I wrote about making chocolate chip cookies with avocados, and I experimented again with several variations this time around as well. The best combination? Replace 1/2 C of butter in my perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe with 1/2 C of mashed ripe avocado, and mix and freeze as usual. Bake frozen dough balls at 350F (instead of 375F) for 15 minutes. Voila! (Semi)healthy and extra tender chocolate chip cookies.

I also had a hankering for a slice of a good quick bread (like banana, pumpkin or zucchini loaves), but wanted to see what could be done with avocados instead. Luckily I stumbled across this awesome recipe and with a few tweaks made a lovely loaf that is tender with a perfect crust, slightly sweet and has just a hint of warm fall spices.

If you're hesitating to use avocado in baking, fear not! With these two recipes you'll wow your friends with your creativity and daring, and maybe unclog a few arteries in the process.

Avocado Quick Bread
Adapted from Fleur-De-Licious

1 C all-purpose flour
1 C whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

2 ripe avocados, mashed
3/4 C granulated sugar
2/3 C vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 C buttermilk (or 1/2 C milk with 1/2 Tbsp white vinegar)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350F and prepare a loaf pan with nonstick spray.

Whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and set aside.
With a whisk or electric mixer, cream together avocados and sugar until well blended. Add oil and buttermilk and mix to combine. Add eggs and vanilla and mix to combine.
Gradually add in dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Pour batter into loaf pan, then bake for 45-50 minutes until the top is golden brown and a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then finish cooling on a wire rack. Serve drizzled with honey, spread with butter, or even with jam!

Keep the loaf in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days, or freeze for longer storage.

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