As with all fruits and vegetables, wash avocados before cutting. Check out our tips for how to choose and use California Avocados
It’s time to think outside the bun and get the grill going with foods your family and guests wouldn’t expect to see under that hood. Mangoes, pineapple, potatoes, peaches, and avocados make regular appearances on our summer shopping list. Their built-in naturally delicious tastes make them so easy to incorporate into our grilling menu without the need for fancy recipes. Take creamy California Avocados, for example. They’re a perfect pick to add a rich texture to a salad dressing or spread to top off your turkey burger.
In fact, when it comes to grilling, California Avocados can play a starring role throughout your meal by not only adding great taste, but as a nutrition boost to your appetizer, salad, side, main dish and even your dessert. Try some of these grilling ideas to get you started.
AVOCADO GRILLING IDEAS
AVOCADOS AS AN APPETIZER
Guacamole can rule your appetizer tray when paired with baked chips and crunchy veggies. Guac is a great way to fit in the vegetables most of us don’t get enough of and this satiating pre-meal treat could help tame your appetite so that you don’t overdo the BBQ.
AVOCADOS IN A SALAD
Blend a California Avocado into your favorite dressing to add a silky smooth touch to your salads. Or add strips of avocado into your super salad along with a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Avocados contribute nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and beneficial plant compounds that can enhance the nutrient quality of your diet. And avocados can act as a “nutrient booster” by helping the body to better absorb alpha- and beta-carotene and other fat-soluble nutrients, from foods that are eaten with the fruit.
AVOCADOS IN A SIDE DISH
Take advantage of your new skills at grilling an avocado to make them your BBQ BFF of side dishes. A warm grilled California Avocado can hold its own alongside chicken or fish. In fact grilling a California Avocado could become the easiest recipe you’ll make all season and it’s certain to be a hit with adults and kids.
AVOCADOS AS A SAUCE OR SPREAD FOR GRILLED ENTREES OR BURGERS
Swap a cream-based sauce for a pureed or blended avocado sauce to top grilled chicken or fish. Or switch up your condiments and spread some naturally nutritious, sodium and cholesterol free avocado on your burger bun.
AVOCADOS IN DESSERTS AND BAKED GOODS
No need to skip dessert when you try my Pumpkin Bread with Dark Chocolate Chips and Almonds recipe made with fresh avocados. Why wait for fall when you can use canned pumpkin and enjoy this dessert year-round! And did you know that California Avocados can substitute for butter in most baked goods? Just swap in mashed or blended avocado with an equal amount of butter (or the other fat ingredient in the recipe such as shortening). Two tablespoons of avocado has 50 calories, while 2 tablespoons of butter pack 204 calories. You’ll also be providing good fats (0.5 grams polyunsaturated and 3 grams monounsaturated per 1 oz. serving) and may increase the nutritional value of your baked goods.
KEEPIN’ THE GRILL (FOOD) SAFE
Though lots of attention goes into planning the foods on a summer BBQ menu, too often food safety is neglected. Although it’s rewarding to feel proud when your guests compliment your meal, no one will remember the delicious dishes you spent hours to prepare if they get sick by the time they’re on their way home. Here are a couple quick tips to make sure your BBQ meal is safe versus sorry:
- Keep cooked food and raw meat or poultry in separate dishes to prevent cross-contamination and food-borne illness. Once meat or poultry is finished cooking on the grill, place on a clean dish or serving tray, rather than setting them right back on the original dish that held them when they were still raw.
- A simple tool that can help ensure that your food is not only done to perfection but has reached the minimum safe cooking temperature, is the food thermometer. It’s easy to use and you can check the Home Food Safety website for a complete list of cooking temperatures to help make sure your outdoor experience will be remembered as delicious and nutritious as well as a safe one.