Avocados are insanely popular and incredibly versatile. They provide healthy fats, they work well in everything from sandwiches to salads ... and so many other things.
That makes the recent avocado recall due a listeria outbreak all the more difficult to bear. Whether you've been impacted by the recall, or you're just trying to switch up your diet (after all, it is possible to have too much of a good thing) we've got five healthy alternatives to that creamy goodness, and they all taste amazing and work well on, what else, toast.
Edamame makes a great guacamole.
Edamame and fava bean guacamole is a great option for anyone trying a new spin on their favorite dish. “You're going to get tons of flavor and freshness from this combination, and it's a snack you can feel good about because you know it's healthy for you,” chef John Zucker of Cru Cafe, Purlieu and Cru Catering in Charleston, South Carolina, told TODAY Food. A cup of edamame has 190 calories, 8 grams of fat and a whopping 17 grams of protein.
Hummus is a creamy, protein-packed spread.
If you're avoiding guacamole, hummus has a very similar texture and is a perfect veggie dipper, too. Traditional hummus (made with chickpeas) is a great, healthy option, but you can also mix it up with savory additions like herbs, spices and even nuts. “As someone who has adopted the South as my home ... boiled peanut hummus is my Southern answer to the avocado of my home state, California!" Zucker said. "It's salty, creamy and perfect for spreading on toast. If you haven't had boiled peanuts, you are definitely missing out — it's a southern delicacy!” Adding peanuts to a nutrient-rich spread will also enhance its fat and protein content.
Spice things up with an easy pesto recipe.
Traditional pesto is made by combining basil leaves, olive oil, pine nuts and cheese. “Along with consistency, this will also give you the same green appearance as avocado — with a great taste,” Pinky Cole of Slutty Vegan told TODAY. You can also mix in some garlic for a heart-healthy kick, up the spice factor with chili flakes or make it creamer by adding more cheese.
If you're vegan, ditch the cheese for a dairy-free cheese, like one made from cashews. “This a great substitute because the cashew is going to replicate the fat from the avocado, and the pesto is going to brighten it up and really make it pop," said Zucker.
Creamy ricotta cheese? Yes, please.
Obviously cheese isn't a vegetable and it's not vegan — although almond milk ricotta and tofu ricotta can be readily found at most health food stores. Ricotta is a fresh and creamy cheese with a texture that's similar to cream cheese but much lighter in taste. It's also quite fluffy and very spreadable. Ricotta can also be mixed with either sweet or savory toppings, making it a versatile stand in on toast.
Give peas a chance!
If you didn't enjoy peas growing up, it's time to give them another look. An updated take on classic mushy peas can come together quickly, and will provide a decadent spread for toast or a great topping on a variety of proteins or pasta. "This is quite simple — [cook] frozen peas (about 1 pound), throw in some cilantro, garlic, onion and lime. After you smash it altogether, throw in a tomato and season with salt, chili pepper, or any seasonings you like," said Cole. From there, it's also easy to make an even greener puree. Cole recommended adding spears of asparagus and Greek yogurt to boost the flavor profile even more.