Almost every December I threaten to scrap all of the Christmas baking, decorating, shopping, wrapping, etc. and take a nice family vacation somewhere warm instead. My kids are in their 20s, so this isn’t really as horrible as it sounds. In fact, they’ve been warming to the idea ever since I talked them into having Thanksgiving in Costa Rica a few years ago. It was heavenly, and I cooked a turkey breast for dinner when we got back. No worries 🙂
As much as I love the thought of escaping to somewhere warm right now, it’s not going to happen again this year. Instead, I’m stocking up on fresh Hass avocados. I know that sounds a little bit crazy, but avocados just put me in a warm weather frame of mind. And they’re quite a bit less expensive than airfare.
Hass avocados are the kind with the bumpy, dark green skin that turns almost purplish when they’re ripe. They’re also known as “the year-round” avocado, because they are usually in your grocery store all year long. You have to love them because not only do they taste great, but they’re also a nutrient dense food – full of heart healthy unsaturated fats, and almost twenty different vitamins, minerals, and healthy phytonutrients.
I adore the creamy delicious flavor and texture of Hass avocados, (usually with a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lime) and I always have a few in my refrigerator. They’re a perfect addition to a salad and of course anything Mexican, for when I do need that warm weather feeling, even in the winter.
I’ve also learned that fresh avocados are not just for guacamole and a quick virtual vacation– they’re also great to bake with, and that’s really why I love them right now. Yes, you can bake with them. You read that right, and if you don’t believe me, just check the Love One Today website.
Avocados are naturally cholesterol and sodium free, and even though they are technically a fruit, they have only 1 gram of sugar per 1 oz. serving. They actually make a great substitute for butter or oil in your favorite baked goods. By swapping the fat in your recipe with avocado, you’ll not only save calories, but also boost the nutrients in whatever you bake. Avocados will also help your body to absorb any fat-soluble vitamins like the vitamin A and beta-carotene in these Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins.
I know you’re worried about pumpkin muffins (or Christmas cookies) tasting like guacamole, but never fear! No one will never know it’s there. It’ll be our little healthy secret, OK?
For more great information on the amazing benefits of avocados, and creative ways to use them, check out Avocado Central, and Love one Today!
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 experience with Hass avocados. For nutrition information on avocados, please be sure to visit the LoveOneToday.com website
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 3/4 cup fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
- 3/4 cup mashed avocado from 1 medium fresh Hass avocado
- 3/4 cup lowfat milk
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts optional
- 2 Tbs honey + 1 stick softened unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, mix together dry ingredients.
In the bowl of a food processor, add cranberries, pumpkin, avocado and milk, and pulse about 5 times, or until cranberries are roughly chopped, and wet ingredients are combined.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, and stir just until batter is moistened. It should be lumpy.
Pour batter into muffin tins.
Bake for about 20 minutes for large muffins, or 12-15 minutes for mini muffins, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Serve warm, with honey butter, if desired.
Mix together honey and butter with a hand mixer or stand mixer.