Thursday, March 23, 2017

Baked Avocado Fries with Cilantro Lime Dip

Going along with my green theme for March, I wanted to share an awesome avocado recipe that went over extremely well in my latest cooking class. I will admit, I was a bit skeptical on how these fries might turn out; however, with a few seasoning adjustments, I am sold! Before getting into the recipe, I just want to share some quick information about avocados and how to choose/ripen.

Avocados are a powerhouse of nutrients! Just 1/2 has 20% of your daily value for fiber and they are also good sources of potassium, folate, and Vitamin E. One unique thing about avocados is that they are a fruit (many don't believe me when I say this) and have a nice dose of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. These are the good kinds of fats that help to decrease inflammation in your body.

When selecting an avocado, choose one that is firm, yet will yield a bit to gentle pressure; color is not always a good indicator of ripeness. If you buy avocados that are not ripe, simply throw them in a paper bag and store at room temperature. For faster ripening, add in a kiwifruit (or two). It took about 2 days for me to ripen some rock hard avocados I bought for this recipe. Once ripened, store in the fridge for about 2-3 days. If you store cut avocado, you can sprinkle with lemon/lime juice and wrap tightly to help prevent browning. I always end up trying to use the whole avocado at once since I find it hard to keep them fresh once cut.

Baked Avocado Fries
Prep: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 servings (1/2 avocado each)

2 avocados, peeled and sliced
1/2 teaspoon each: paprika + garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Dash of salt and pepper
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons lime juice
1.5 tablespoons ground flax seed
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs **
2 tablespoons garbanzo (chickpea) flour

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a large baking sheet.
2. In a shallow bowl, mix together flour, spices, salt and pepper.
3. In another shallow bowl, mix together water, lime juice, and ground flax.
4. Place breadcrumbs in a final shallow bowl.
5. Dip avocado slices in flour, liquid, and lastly breadcrumbs. Place on baking sheet and cook for 15-20 minutes.

**I used gluten-free Panko. You can use regular fine breadcrumbs, ground almonds, chia seeds, or even flax seeds for other alternatives. 

Optional Cilantro Lime Dip
*Dip recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker
In a blender, combine: 1 ripe avocado, 1/2 cup fresh cilantro (can sub in parsley), 1/4 cup lime juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, dash of salt and pepper, and 1/4 cup water.

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