Simple avocado spread
It's been nearly five years now since I decided to adopt a vegetarian diet. 2012 was kind of a turning point for me - I had been struggling with some health issues for some time and one day it just hit me: the food that I was consuming was directly linked to my health. You're probably thinking, obviously, Katherine! I suppose it's not always that clear-cut. That year I spent nine months as a vegan, bid farewell to gluten and started taking care of myself by exercising regularly and being mindful of what I put on my plate. My vegan days taught me how to cook with all kinds of different fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains, and to be open-minded about new and sometimes strange ingredients (like nutritional yeast!) What I discovered was that a plant-based diet could be so rich, versatile and delicious, and it left me feeling great. Later that year I moved to Nice in the south of France, so I'm sure that you can imagine what happened to my experimentation with veganism - I was living in the land of cheese! I'm happy to say that for the most part, my good habits from those days stuck and I now enjoy a life filled with fruits, vegetables and whole foods, along with the occasional indulgent slice of morbier or comté. Everything in moderation, right?
Looking back, it actually surprises me how long it took me to get on the vegetarian bandwagon. I have always been very interested in environmental issues, so much so that when I went to university I decided to study environmental science with a focus on climate change. With the growing body of evidence linking greenhouse gas emissions to animal agriculture, it really should have happened sooner for me. In any case, we all take different paths to bring us to the present moment.
When I first started following a vegetarian diet, one of the foods that I gained a greater appreciation for was the avocado. I had always loved them, those green and glorious globes, but somehow I was only eating them in the form of guacamole with tortilla chips. What I didn't realise was that they make a great substitute for butter in sandwiches or wraps, they add a luscious creaminess to smoothies and are the perfect topping for a bowl of piping hot vegetable chili. I hear that you can even make a decadent chocolate cake with them!
Lately, one of my favourite ways to enjoy avocados is to make this very simple spread and slather it on toasted brown rice and sunflower seed bread. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Simple avocado spread
This simple avocado spread makes a great simple breakfast or afternoon snack. If preparing this ahead of time, make sure to cover the surface of the spread (e.g. with cling film or by filling your storage container to the top and sealing it well) so that it's not in contact with air. This will prevent the surface from turning brown and preserve its lovely green colour.
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1/2 lemon, juice
- Pinch fine Himalayan rose pink crystal salt
- Large pinch chili flakes (if you like spice), plus more for garnish
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Toasted bread, to serve (gluten free if needed - I like brown rice and sunflower seed bread)
- Crudités, to serve
Cut the avocados in half. Remove the pits by inserting the edge of a knife horizontally into the pit, then gently twisting it to loosen the pit. Score the inside of the avocados lengthwise and then horizontally to create small cubes - this makes it easier to mash the avocado afterwards. Use a spoon to scoop out the cubed avocado flesh into a small bowl. Pour over the lemon juice, add the salt, chili flakes and ground pepper. Mash with a fork to combine. Serve on toast topped with extra chili flakes, with crudités... or simply by the spoonful - it's your call!
Serves two as a main, four as a side.