The Next-Level Way To Eat Avocados

The creamy texture and deep green color of avocados makes them perfect in a better-for-you key lime pie, as Sarah Britton discovered while developing the recipes for her new cookbook My New RootsWe swooned when we first flipped through this collection of vegetarian recipes. It's lush, vibrant, and inspiring, which is no surprise — Britton makes healthy eating look easy and Instagram-worthy over on her blog, MyNewRoots.org. If you're up for an ambitious culinary project, like making your own nut milk or growing your own sprouts, this book will show you how. But, there are also plenty of simple, nourishing dishes that are perfect for weeknight cooking. Check out five of our favorite recipes from the book below.

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Photo via My New Roots.
Raw Key Lime Coconut Tarts

Serves 6

Traditional key lime pie is silky smooth, creamy, and rich, and so is this one. But, would you believe that avocados are the star of the show here? Since they are a vivid green, I thought that flavoring avocados with fresh lime to become a tart filling would be just the ticket. Bingo: all the creamy qualities of avocados with the sweet-tart charm of citrus. The recipe for the filling is merely a guide, so adjust the amounts of sweetness and sourness to your liking.

Ingredients:
Crust:
1 cup raw nuts (almonds and pecans are best), soaked for 8 hours if possible
5 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup dates (about 7 large dates), preferably Medjool
A few pinches of fine sea salt
Filling: 
3 ripe avocados, pitted, flesh scooped from their skins
1⁄4 cup pure maple syrup or raw honey, plus more if desired
1 1⁄2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1⁄4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, or more if desired
2 pinches fine sea salt
Grated zest of 1 organic lime

Instructions:
1. Make the crust: Pulse the nuts in a food processor until chunky. Add the coconut oil, dates, and salt, and continue to pulse until the nuts and dates form a solid mass when squeezed together.

2. Line a 6-cup muffin tin with plastic wrap. Divide the crust mixture into 6 golf-ball-size portions and press one into each muffin cup, pressing up the sides as well, to create a tart shell.

3. Put the muffin tin in the freezer to let the crusts harden for at least 1 hour.

4. When you are ready to fill the tart shells, pull up the edges of the plastic wrap to remove the tart shells from the muffin tin.

5. Make the filling: Put the avocados, maple syrup, coconut oil, lime juice, and salt in a food processor and blend on the highest setting until smooth. Taste for sweetness and add more sweetener if necessary. If the avocados are overripe, add more lime juice to taste.

6. Spoon the filling into the tart shells and sprinkle the lime zest on top. Return to the muffin tin for storing and put in the freezer for at least 2 hours.

7. Remove the tarts from the freezer 15 to 20 minutes before serving. 

Photo via My New Roots.
Chunky Banana Bread Granola

Makes 9 cups / 18 servings

To say I’m obsessed with banana bread is an understatement — it’s my kryptonite.
Trying to figure out a way to eat it more often, I came up with a banana bread granola that tastes just like my favorite comfort food, but is a little easier on the waistline. I’ve made many a granola before, but this one beats them all! Not only does it have that rich banana flavor I dream about, but it’s got a chunky quality to it that makes it perfect for snacking on right out of the jar. The secret to making chunky granola is using the bananas as a binding agent, fusing all those tasty ingredients together into crunchy, golden love clusters. Warning: this stuff is seriously addictive!

Ingredients:
1⁄3 cup coconut oil
3 very ripe bananas
1⁄2 cup pure maple syrup
3 cups rolled oats (gluten-free if desired)
1 cup buckwheat groats
1 1⁄2 cups large, unsweetened coconut flakes
1⁄2 cup sunflower seeds
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp fine sea salt
1 cup whole raw walnuts

Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan over low-medium heat. Pour the melted oil into a food processor or blender, add the bananas and maple syrup, and blend.

3. In a large bowl, combine the oats, buckwheat, coconut flakes, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, and salt. Roughly chop the walnuts and add them to the mixture. Pour the liquid mixture over the dry mixture and fold to coat; this mix will be rather wet.

4. Spread the mixture out in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet, and press it firmly with the back of a spatula to ensure that the mixture is compact. Bake the granola for 15 to 20 minutes, until the mix is beginning to brown.

5. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and use a spatula to flip the granola over in large sections. Return it to the oven and flip it every 3 to 4 minutes, making smaller chunks each time, until golden, for about another 15 minutes (for a total of 30 minutes or so). The granola should be dry and crispy. Set the granola aside at room temperature to cool. Do not stir the granola until it is completely cool, as this will help it set into chunks.

6. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.

Photo via My New Roots.
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Dark Chocolate Cherry Overnight Oats

Serves 1 

Although it takes some planning ahead, this breakfast is a very special treat. Take a few minutes before bed to assemble the ingredients, pop them in a bowl or jar, and let sit in the fridge overnight. The next morning, your meal is ready to rock; just toss in some fresh fruit and raw chocolate. This is fast food without waiting in the take-out line! If cherries aren’t in season, simply substitute any fruit you can find — berries in summer; pears, figs, and apples in autumn; persimmons and pomegranate in winter; and so on. Dried fruit works as well.

Ingredients:
2⁄3 cup rolled oats (gluten-free if desired) or any other rolled whole grain
1 cup nut milk of your choice (I like Brazil nut, almond, or hemp), plus more for serving, or 1 cup water or yogurt
1⁄2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (omit if using yogurt to soak grains)
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 1⁄2 tsp raw cacao powder
2 tsp cacao nibs
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
Sliced fresh cherries

Instructions:
1. Fold the oats, milk, lemon juice, and chia seeds together in a jar or bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

2. In the morning, remove from the fridge and fold in the cacao powder, nibs, and maple syrup. Top with the cherries. Add more yogurt or milk if desired. For a pretty presentation, layer the oat and chia mixture with the sliced cherries in a glass jar or bowl. You can also let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes to warm up slightly.

Photo via My New Roots.
Piña Colada Passion Fruit Popsicles

Makes 10 popsicles

The first time I had a (virgin) piña colada was in Jamaica. I was thirteen years old and I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Something about the combination of creamy coconut and smooth, sweet pineapple hooked me, and when I returned to my nontropical life, all I craved was those two flavors. This summer, I re-created that incredible taste of the beach in a frosty popsicle. I added some passion fruit to the blend because it is tangy — almost sour — which contrasts so well with the mellow smoothness of the pineapple-coconut combo. Passion fruit also contains edible seeds that have a delicious crunch and look really beautiful suspended in the frozen pops.

Ingredients:
8 medium passion fruit
3 cups chopped fresh (not canned) pineapple
1 (14-oz) can full-fat coconut milk
2 tbsp pure maple syrup or raw honey

Instructions:
1. Scoop out the flesh from the passion fruit into a small bowl and set it aside. (You will have about 1 cup of total fruit pulp.)

2 . Combine the pineapple, coconut milk, and maple syrup in a blender, and blend on high speed until smooth.

3. Into each popsicle mold, pour a small amount of either the pineapple-coconut blend or the passion fruit pulp, and then alternate between the two until you’ve almost reached the top (leave a small amount of space at the top to allow the liquid to expand slightly in the freezer). Using a popsicle stick or skewer, stir the liquids a little bit to create a marble effect.

4. Insert a popsicle stick in each mold, and freeze until completely frozen, about 4 hours.

5. To serve, run each mold under warm water until the popsicle easily slides out.

Photo via My New Roots.
Raspberry Breeze Smoothie

Serves 1

Do you find yourself buying fresh herbs for a salad or some other dish and ending up throwing out half the bunch? If you’re looking for an use for your herbs beyond a garnish, look no further than your blender. Mint, basil, chervil, lemon balm, and even tarragon are just some of the fresh herbs I’ve been known to toss into my smoothies from time to time. Not only do they add a totally unexpected flavor changeup, they contribute powerful phytochemicals and antioxidants, which help protect the body against diseases.

Ingredients:
1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
1 frozen banana
Handful of fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish if desired
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1⁄2 cup nut milk or water
Pure maple syrup or raw honey to sweeten, if desired

Instructions:
Combine the raspberries, banana, mint leaves, hemp seeds, lemon juice, and nut milk in a blender and blend on high speed until completely smooth. Sweeten to your liking. Add more mint leaves if desired.

Reprinted from My New Roots: Inspired Plant-Based Recipes for Every Season. Copyright © 2015 by Sarah Britton. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.
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