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Recipes for Beauty: Avocados

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Avocados taste so rich and creamy, it’s almost hard to believe they’re so good for us—and our skin. They’re also chock full of vitamins C, K, and E; C boosts collagen and elastin production, while K and E, both antioxidants, protect against damage from free radicals. And a diet rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, which avocados are full of, can help hydrate and reduce inflammation caused by acne or rosacea.

Depending on where you live, you might find more than one kind of avocado in the produce section. The two most common are Hass and Florida. Florida avocados are much larger than Hass, with a smooth skin and milder flavor. They also contain less fat, so they have fewer anti-inflammatory properties. The recipes below can be made with any variety, so pick your favorite, or whatever looks good at the market.

TIP: To quickly ripen an avocado, place it in a brown paper bag with an apple, tomato, or banana. It should ripen within 1–3 days.

Good for a Party: Classic Guacamole

(Serves 6)

  • 3 avocados
  • 1 small white onion
  • 1 vine-ripened tomato
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 4 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • Hot sauce (optional)

In a large bowl, mash the avocados. Finely dice the onion, tomato, and jalapeno (remove the ribs and seeds to make it less spicy) and mix well with the avocado mash. Stir in lime juice, cilantro, and hot sauce. Serve with tortilla chips or cut-up veggies.

Hearty Breakfast: Hash Brown, Avocado, and Egg Stacks

(Serves 4)

  • 2 lbs potatoes, peeled
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Hot sauce

Grate the potatoes and onion and place in a large colander. Sprinkle with salt and let drain in the sink for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, add 2 Tbsp of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and mix well. Form the mixture into four patties. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the patties, covered, until brown and crispy, about 6–8 minutes per side. Cook the eggs to your liking (try poached for a healthier dish) and then top each hash brown patty with avocado, egg, and hot sauce to taste.

Fast and Easy: Fish Tacos with Mango-Avocado Salsa

(Serves 4)

For the salsa:

  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno (ribs and seeds removed), diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper

For the tacos:

  • 4 filets flaky, white fish (e.g. tilapia or flounder)
  • 4 Tbsp cajun or blackening seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 8 small corn tortillas
  • 1 cup sliced red cabbage or coleslaw mix (optional)

In a medium bowl, stir together the avocado, mango, jalapeno, red onion, lime juice, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Next, sprinkle both sides of each filet with cajun or blackening seasoning. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and cook the fish 2–3 minutes per side. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Meanwhile, to soften the tortillas, wrap them in a damp paper towel and microwave for about 30 seconds. Top each tortilla with pieces of fish, red cabbage or coleslaw, and mango-avocado salsa.