Did you know avocados are technically a fruit? I honestly did not until a few weeks ago when one of my students informed me. I previously considered it a “vegetable”, but not really…so now I know that botanically speaking it is a fruit! To kick off the 8am MNT (Medical Nutrition Therapy) class for dietetics students I sometimes write a food on the board and have them tell me the ADA Exchange List Serving Size and how that food is categorized (i.e.-as a fat, a starch, a non-starchy veggie, etc.). One morning I threw out avocado as the food of the day. It’s ADA exchange serving size is 1 oz (~2 Tbsp.) and it is counted as a fat serving where a 1 oz. portion contains 5 g of fat – in case you wanted to know!

Avocado{An Avocado appetizer I had – and loved – back at ACSM 2012}

Shortly after this educational moment (mostly for me!) I was contacted by Kati Mora, MS, RD – founder of on behalf of the Hass Avocado Board. The question: Was I interested in posting about how I enjoy avocados as part of the Love One Today campaign? My answer: Heck yes! 🙂 The biggest factor in my decision (besides the fact that I eat avocados and have no problem posting about whole foods) is this stipulation: “DONT use health recommendations using fresh avocados unless you can cite the nutrition research it is from…”. A clause that health claims we write have to be evidence-based is surprisingly rare, and since I am all about promoting actual evidence vs. speculation and pseudo-science, I was IN!

Love One Today

Sometimes avocados get a bad rap for being so high in fat, but I think that view is changing as folks start to realize that they are also nutrient-dense w/a variety of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. In fact, you can expect to see avocados on the menu more often in the new year. At the 2013 MUFSO Supershow avocados were declared “ingredient of the year”. Turns out despite protein being the macronutrient of choice with consumers these days (since, you know – carbs and fat are just terrible for us…[that’s a joke]), avocados are growing in popularity thanks to their mild flavor, creamy texture and color. That’s right, color! Apparently consumers consider green synonymous with fresh and healthy food choices.

My typical consumption of avocados could best be summarized in one word: PredictableAvocados generally make an appearance in/on top of sushi rolls, as guacamole, sliced up on veggie burgers, or the simplest of all – eaten straight out of their skin with a spoon! Tasty staple usages of avocados for good reason, but too boring for a blog post! So, when I saw this dip/spread comparison chart, I knew just what to do…sub avocado in for one of these ingredients in a recipe…


Enter my experimentation using avocado as a substitute for butter in…

Pumpkin-Spiced Chocolate-Chip Cookies


One of my friends used to make Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip cookies in college and I loved them. Thick, pumpkin-chocolate goodness. In an attempt to recreate, I used the recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod but, swapped out the butter for avocado! The pictures on their site look more like standard chocolate-chip cookies, and not like the thicker, orange-ish cookies I previously had, but I gave it a go.

The result: Uhh..following directions to “Drop by large, rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes” resulted in cookies that were the SAME shape as when I had dropped them on the baking sheet. Ooookayyyy….isn’t this appealing! haha

Batch1{Batch #1}

For round #2 I removed the parchment paper…same result. For batch #3, I rolled the cookies into balls and attempted to flatten them. They looked more normal this time and like the cookies I remembered – just nothing like the lovely photos on the site I got the recipe from. Hmm….something strange is going on. Maybe it’s the avocado substitute….maybe not!

Batch2{Batch #3}

The taste: Good…but rather doughy! In fact, it seemed more like a cake/bread than a cookie as they remained very soft. I need a food scientist to trouble shoot this recipe and figure out the optimal ingredients, directions, and baking temperature!

Comparison3{Batch 1 v. Batch 3}

All in all, some kitchen fun which was a good distraction from studying for exams and writing papers leading up to finals week! If you need more avocado recipe ideas, particularly ones that may turn out more normal looking…check out this link!

I’d love to know, what is your favorite non-traditional use of avocados? If you have a recipe {that is ‘Tanya proof’ – aka easy} leave me the link, please! 🙂


Disclosure: Although I did receive financial compensation for writing this post, all views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely and entirely my own and based on my own unique experiences. For nutrition information on avocados, please be sure to visit the website.

4 Responses to “Avocado Lovin’”

  1. Karen Strat

    I love avocados! One of my favorite substitutes is replacing the mayonnaise in tuna/chicken salad with avocado. It has the same creamy texture but adds subtle flavor as well as great nutrients. I think that it is simple AND healthy enough to be Tanya-proof 🙂

    • Tanya

      That’s a good substitute! 🙂 I love you for commenting. See you next week for attempt #2 at a blood draw!

  2. Learn About Avocados with a few of our Favorite Dietitians

    […] Avocado Lovin’ – Tanya Halliday, RD from Dine Dash & Deadlift […]

  3. Rach @ This Italian Family

    Whoa, I’ve never heard of using avocados in baking sweets before. What a good idea. I bet there are some great recipes out there for it. I am definitely an avocado lover! We just made a dip last night that had chunks of avocado in it and they were deeeelish! 🙂

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