Avocados have been on trend for years now, and we get why: they’re creamy, delicious, and unlike most other things that are creamy and delicious, they’re actually really good for you. Like they’re higher in potassium than bananas, and they’re packed with antioxidants like vitamins C and E—which protect cells from free radical damage. They’re also a good source of lutein, a carotenoid that helps your skin retain its elasticity.
But while we love the avocado’s natural flavor, when it comes to dessert, we really just want that nice, fatty mouthfeel avocado—not its mildly vegetal, earthy flavor. Fortunately, there are some great dessert recipes that utterly mask the avocado’s flavor, but make great use of its texture. And because it packs so much healthy fat, avocado does a really great job taking the place of butter and oil (without being scarily artery-clogging).
This recipe is our fave of the many avocado chocolate mousse recipes out there because it recommends using two kinds of chocolate powder—both regular and Dutch, or in place of the Dutch cocoa, melted chocolate chips. Generally speaking, we’re of the “porque no los dos?” mindset, or in this case, porque no los tres? We tend to do a combo of regular cocoa, Dutch cocoa, and melted chocolate chips, and it turns out great. Just don’t do regular cocoa powder only, or it’ll taste like avocados.
Salted desserts have been trending for a few years now, and we’re not seeing them disappear anywhere anytime soon. You know why? Because salt is freaking delicious. Add to that the textural crunch that that flaky sea salt provides, and the way it cuts through the sweetness of ingredients like maple syrup and the richness of avocado, and you’ve got yourself a winner. This recipe uses a pretty easy-to-make hazelnut crust, but if you’re strapped for time or are just feeling lazy, a premade pie crust does just fine.
Yes, an actual Italian person would probably slap you in the face for calling this a semifreddo, but whatever, this recipe makes an incredibly delicious dessert that strongly resembles its namesake. Some might argue that a cup of heavy cream may negate the health benefits of an avocado-based, but those are the same people who bring up blood diamonds when your coworker excitedly shows off her new engagement ring, so whatever.
These honestly taste like chocolate truffles, and while the avocado lends some serious creaminess, you’d have no idea they were in there. Even better, it’s really almost as easy to make as guac, which is one of those foods that’s so simple, you’re still allowed to make after half a bottle of wine.
We’re not even sure what’s holding these things together—there’s no flour or flour substitute, really, unless you want to count almond butter, which… we don’t—but we’ve made them multiple times and they don’t fall apart. They are extremely fudgy, so if you prefer a cake-like brownie, look elsewhere, but if you like the kind that’s a little uncooked-feeling in the center, these are perfect for you.
Most of the recipes here are chocolate-based, which makes sense—chocolate is pretty great at fully masking avocado’s taste. But if you’re not into chocolate, consider two other intense flavors that do a great job: coconut and pineapple. These guys will also knock out all the avocado flavor, leaving you with just that creaminess (cut a bit with the acid of the pineapple).
Another great flavor masker: peanut butter. These cookies are oat-based, which means they’re full of healthy fiber (and can really easily be gluten-free, too). If you’re trying to limit your sugar (which kind of sucks because sugar is delicious, but can be a great little detox for your skin) use the kind of peanut butter that’s just peanuts ground up with salt. It may take your tastebuds a couple tries to get used to, but once you do, you won’t be going back—the sugar-free kind tastes so much more peanutty than than kind you were used to as a kid.