by guest blogger Stephanie Eckelkamp, senior associate editor at Prevention magazine
Sure, everyone loves a perfectly ripe avocado—they’re vibrantly green, ultra photogenic, and tender yet firm enough to hold their shape when sliced and diced. But anyone who has ever bought one knows that they’re also fickle beasts. Wait a day too long, and you’ve got a depressing overripe situation on your hands.
But all hope isn’t lost! While an overripe avocado may not look the most appetizing, it’s still edible (you know, as long as it doesn’t have actual mold on it). Just trim away the very dark areas and use it in recipes or as a DIY beauty treatment.
Here, we rounded up 8 of the very best ways to save your overripe avocado from the compost pile.
1. Add them to scrambled eggs
Perhaps the easiest way to use an overripe avocado is by simply mashing the flesh, whisking it with eggs, and cooking up the mixture up in a frying pan. (This tip comes courtesy of my dad, who has recently developed an avocado obsession after years of proclaiming his disdain for this veggie-like fruit. I knew he’d come around.)
2. Whip up a batch of uber-moist brownies
Overripe or not, avocados can give baked goods like brownies a deliciously rich flavor and moist texture without the less healthy oils and fats. Try it out in this Clean Eating Avocado Brownie recipe by blogger Maiah Miller. They’re even grain-free, making them A-OK for your Paleo dieting pals.
3. Fry up some crispy plant-based fritters
Super ripe avocados—think: brown and a bit stringy—can still be saved if you’re planning to cook them. This Avocado Fritter recipe from the blog A to B to Sea features some seriously ugly avocados, along with ingredients like oats, walnuts, onions, apples, hummus, and a variety of spices, as the star of a seriously beautiful-tasting meal.
4. Make a rich and creamy salad dressing
We love this simple salad dressing recipe from Rodale Wellness that helps you make the most of an overripe avocado: Combine equal parts mashed avocado flesh and plain organic yogurt, add a pinch of cumin, a pinch of chili powder, and salt to taste. Enjoy over greens.
5. Make drool-worthy chocolate pudding
Slightly mushy avocados are perfect for making creamy chocolate pudding. And this pudding recipe from Blissful Britt combines two overripe powerhouses in one: Avocado and banana, along with ingredients like honey, cocoa, almond milk, chia seeds, and vanilla extract for authentic pudding flavor and texture. Eat it as is, or spoon into pop molds for a healthy fudgesicle.
6. Cook up creamy pasta sauce
Just try to resist this seemingly indulgent pasta sauce. Sauté some onions and garlic with your choice of spices; then stir in some chopped olives, fresh diced tomatoes, and overripe avocado. Simmer until flavors meld and sauce thickens, then pour over pasta.
7. Revitalize damaged locks
Hair looking a little dull? An avocado can fix that, thanks to its moisturizing fats and high content of hair- and skin-nourishing vitamin E. Combine 1 avocado, ¼ cup olive oil, and 1 Tbsp lemon juice. Mix it all up, apply to hair, and let all that goodness soak in for 20 to 30 minutes. Then wash it all out with your normal shampoo.
8. Brighten up dull skin
If it’s your face that needs some pampering, avocado’s nourishing properties can help you out. Try out this Honey Avocado Face Mask from the blog Nutrition Stripped, which features an array of ingredients that help moisturize, tone, and brighten tired skin: oats, apple cider vinegar, honey, and lemon juice.
Stephanie Eckelkamp is a senior associate editor covering food and nutrition at Prevention magazine and is also a certified holistic-health coach. She’s obsessed with her pup, Milo, and loves to get a little crazy in the kitchen. For more from Stephanie, visit StephEckelkamp.com.
Originally published on EatClean.com