10 Deliciously Radical Avocado Recipes, From Soup to Cheesecake

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credit: Courtesy of the Hass Avocado Board

Few other fruits inspire such reverie as does the mighty avocado. The nutty flavor, that texture -- avocados must surely be on the short list of nature's crowning achievements. And along with their gustatory gusto, avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid. They also enable the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients in food that they are eaten with, thereby boosting nutrients such as alpha and beta-carotene and lutein.

In their popular starring role as guacamole (try Jerry's grilled version) they are perfect, but avocados are also avid masters of disguise. The Peter Sellers of the produce aisle. Dressed up with other flavors, they can adeptly stand in for dairy and thus make a great base for vegan dishes or as a healthy swap in other recipes where their nutrients can replace nutritionally-vacant ingredients. They play so well with a wide variety of unexpected flavors, even sweets. With that in mind, here are 10 recipes, both sweet and savory, where avocado plays an unconventional part.

First up: Cheesecake! See the recipe for Avocado Cheesecake with Pistachio Shortbread Crust (pictured above) here. (Swap the gelatin for an equal amount of kosher vegan gelatin or agar-agar powder to make it vegetarian.) For a raw vegan version, see Sweetly Raw's Green Cheesecake.

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