If you’re trying to reduce food waste and have a few overripe avocados sitting on your counter, there are a number of recipes you can use them in — both food-related and not. One chef shares six of her favorite ways to make use of this fruit.
It’s no secret that avocados are known for going bad pretty quickly. Pinning down the exact moment your avocados are just right for eating can feel like an impossible task.
But what happens if your avocado does overripen before you use it? First, it’s important to figure out whether it’s actually gone bad. There are a few ways to tell:
- the rind might become super mushy when you lightly press on it, it might look black depending on the type of avocado, or even grow a bit of mold on it
- when you check under the stem, the color is brown
- the flesh has turned brown or black
If your avocado has gone past the point of being ripe, don’t worry — there’s still plenty you can do with your purchase. From something delicious and sweet that you can whip up in the kitchen or a moisturizing skin mask, check out my six favorite ideas, below.
Avocados contain vitamin E, potassium, lecithin, and many other nutrients that can nourish and moisturize the skin. Avocado may help to decrease inflammation and sooth conditions such as eczema, acne, and psoriasis.
That said, make sure to test a small patch of skin first to make sure it doesn’t aggravate your skin further.
This mask adds raw honey, making it naturally antimicrobial and packed with antioxidants. People with dry skin types are likely to benefit the most from this mask.
Personally, I love using this mask in the winter months when the cold air really leaves me dry, flaky, and itchy. I use this once a week while watching TV. After 15 minutes my skin is hydrated and glowing!
- 1/2 overripe avocado
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. cold-pressed olive oil
- 1 tbsp. oats
- 1 tbsp. raw honey
- 1 egg white
- Juice of 1/2 an orange
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a fork.
- Apply to skin and wait 15 minutes, then wash off.
This mask is great for those with brittle hair, thanks to avocados being packed with vitamins like A, D, E, and B-6, which can help to protect and strengthen hair.
You can also toss in a few drops of lavender essential oil, which is a natural treatment for the scalp and has been found help to keep dandruff and itchy skin away. It also smells good, too!
Make sure to not use hot or warm water to wash your hair after using the mask — this will cook the egg in the mask, and you’ll be stuck with tiny egg bits in your hair. You’ll also want to make sure to blend all the chunks so you don’t have guacamole in your hair either.
Your hair will feel so smooth and luscious, you won’t regret this mask!
- 1/2 ripe avocado
- 1 egg yolk
- lavender essential oil (optional)
- Mix all ingredients in blender until smooth.
- Apply to hair and let sit for 20 minutes.
- Rinse out and wash hair with shampoo and conditioner.
- Let your hair dry naturally to prevent frizz.
When your avocado has turned brown, what better way to disguise it than adding lots of chocolate? Turn your sad avocado into something wonderful like gluten-free avocado almond brownies!
- 2 cups overripe avocado
- 2 cups almond flour
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup raw honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 3 1/2 oz. dark organic chocolate, chopped and divided
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with parchment paper. You can use a bigger dish if you want to make more than 9 servings.
- Add the avocado, almond flour, and eggs to a food processor. Turn it on and stream in the coconut oil. Let the food processor blend for about 60 seconds, or until very smooth.
- Add cocoa powder, coconut sugar, honey, baking powder, vanilla, and salt. Blend until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed.
- Add half of the chocolate and pulse five or six times until it’s mixed.
- Transfer batter to the prepared baking dish and smooth into an even layer. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate and almonds evenly over top of the brownies.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs.
- Let the brownies cool completely before transferring to the fridge for at least 4 hours before cutting into squares. Enjoy!
If you’re hoping for glowing skin, this smoothie is a great place to start. Foods rich in antioxidants, which remove toxins from the body and fight inflammation, fiber, and healthy fats — like avocados — can help your skin stay moisturized.
This smoothie is a great way to help your skin stay young and fresh. Not to mention it’s a great postworkout snack.
- 1 overripe avocado
- 1/2 medium ripe banana
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 1 cups frozen blueberries
- 1/2 tbsp. chia seeds
- Throw all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
- Divide into glasses and enjoy!
If you’ve ever wondered if there was any way to reuse the pit, you’re in luck. Avocado seed tea can help boost your digestion after a big meal. It’s packed with antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant benefits.
- 1 avocado pit
- hot, boiling water
- Chop avocado pit.
- Immediately place chopped pit into a tea infuser and place in mug.
- Pour boiling water over it and steep for 3–4 minutes. Remove chunks and enjoy!
If you’re looking for a healthier salad dressing, avocados are a great option as they make a yummy creamy salad dressing binder. Next time you’re looking for something to dress up your greens, why not try making your own vegan cashew avocado dressing, packed with nutrients, and fresh herbs?
Makes: 1 to 1.5 cups
- 1 overripe avocado
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tbsp. tahini
- 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 3/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 cup chives, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
- In a high-powered blender, combine everything except the chives and parsley.
- Blend until smooth and creamy and transfer into a jar.
- Stir in the parsley and chives until well distributed.
- Cover the jar and store in the fridge until ready to use.
- You can store the dressing in a jar for 3–4 days in the fridge.
Julia Chebotar is a natural foods educator, chef, health coach, and wellness expert. She believes that a healthy lifestyle is about balance and encourages her clients to consume organic and seasonally vibrant produce. Julia helps clients create habits and that have a big impact on health, weight, and energy. Connect with her on her website, Instagram, and Facebook.