Back to Basics: Creamy avocado basil sauce

Sauces can transform even the simplest of dishes such as chicken and vegetables or pasta into something quite extraordinary that you are excited to eat. This creamy avocado basil sauce is the next instalment in my ‘Back to Basics’ series as it’s a sauce that can be easily made and stored to enhance almost any dish.

Vibrant green ingredients

Four basic ingredients is all that is needed to create this delicious sauce: avocado, fresh basil, lemon juice and garlic.

Smoothy, creamy sauce

The avocado provides this sauce with a creamy texture and beautiful green colour. This fruit is also packed with heart healthy fats and fibre – so enjoy its health benefits by adding it to multiple dishes.

Full of good fats and flavour!

This sauce takes on a pesto like flavour due to the fresh basil and the lemon juice prevents the avocado turning brown. It also provides the sauce with a hint of zestiness.

Mixed through zucchini pasta

Enjoy this creamy sauce mixed through lightly cooked zucchini noodles or ‘zoodles’, gluten free pasta, served with chicken or salmon, or with vegetables crudités.

Creamy avocado basil sauce

Makes approximately 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients into a food processor.
  2. Process for 3-5 minutes or until smooth.
  3. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Enjoy!

Notes: this sauce does not heat well so add it to a dish once cooked, not whilst its cooking.

Are there any particular ‘basic’ dishes you’d like to see in the ‘Back to Basics’ series?

Raw chocolate orange tart

Last Friday night some family friends came over for dinner. I’ve been working more than usual lately so my Mum looked after the main meal and I was asked to create a dessert.

I’ve really been loving oranges at the moment so I went back through some of my older posts for flavour inspiration and came across the cacao orange chia balls. Just remembering the flavour of these balls, I was immediately inspired to create this chocolate orange tart!

Base ingredients

Instead of nuts I used buckwheat groats in the base to provide a crunchier texture to contrast the creamy filling. Buckwheat groats can be purchased from most health food stores or the health food section in your local supermarket.

All pressed in…

Once processed, you’ll find the buckwheat doesn’t breakdown as much as nuts but don’t be alarmed. To ensure the base is all pressed into the tart pan, use the back of a wet spoon. When the tart is placed in the freezer the coconut oil solidifies so it will keep it altogether.

Earthy filling ingredients

I love the burst of orange and cacao that you have from the very first bite . There is a subtle earthiness in the filling that comes from the walnuts and cinnamon.

Smooth and creamy filling

You might be surprised to see avocado as one of the filling ingredients. It is actually beneficial for two reasons: 1) it makes the filling creamy, and 2) it is full of good fats for your body – it’s a win-win really!

Decadent, earthy tart! Ready to be demolished!

This tart will keep in a sealed container in the freezer for up to two weeks.

Raw chocolate orange tart

Serves 8

Ingredients:

Base
  • 1 cup buckwheat groats*
  • 10 fresh medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil
Filling
  • 2 cups walnuts*
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 TBSP orange zest
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 TBSP 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 avocado
Decorate
  • Extra orange zest
  • Shaved chocolate (optional) –  once the chocolate is set, shave by using a vegetable peeler

Method:

  1. Place all base ingredients in a food processor and process for 3 minutes or until crumbly.
  2. Press into a 28cm rectangle tart pan which has been lightly greased with coconut oil and lined on the bottom. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  3. Place walnuts, cacao and cinnamon into a Vitamix or food processor and process for 3 minutes.
  4. Add almond milk, orange juice, orange zest, coconut oil, vanilla, maple syrup and avocado and process for 5 minutes or until smooth.
  5. Pour into frozen base and even out with a spatula then place in the freezer for 1 hour, or until solidified.
  6. Remove tart from freezer and from the tart pan.
  7. Decorate with extra orange zest and shaved chocolate, cut into 8 slices and serve. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • You can substitute buckwheat groats for almonds.
  • You can substitute walnuts for cashews for a less earthy flavour (I haven’t tried this as yet but should still provide the same consistency).

Indulgent afternoon snack!

As I’ve been loving the flavour combination of chocolate and orange lately I enjoyed it as an afternoon snack yesterday – see my Instagram and Facebook Page for the recipe!

Cacao avocado coconut spread

Yes… you read the title right, there’s avocado in this chocolately goodness! This is the secret to making it so creamy!

I used avocado as I wanted a chocolate spread that didn’t have too many nuts or sugar in it. This definitely fit my criteria, and as I’m a fan of dark chocolate the bitterness was a welcomed bonus!

All the ingredients

Three contrasting ingredients that come together to make such a delicious spread! Who would have thought?!

All processed!

It is quite a bitter spread, that’s because I only used rice malt syrup. If you prefer a little sweetness, just add some honey or maple syrup instead.

Creamy cacao goodness!

This can be enjoyed with pancakes, on top of porridge, spread on some fruit or even by the spoonful!

Cacao avocado coconut spread

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 avocado, ripe
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 2 TBSP rice malt syrup
  • 4 TBSP almond milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut, shredded or desiccated
  • 2 TBSP almond butter

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Process for 3-5 minutes or until all well combined.
  3. Place in a clean glass jar or a sealed container and store in the fridge for up to 1 week. Enjoy!

Do you use avocados to make dishes creamy?

Sweet potato and parsnip chips

I’ve nearly finished another semester of university! These last few weeks have been very busy with assessment and for some reason I have been craving chips. To satisfy this craving, I made some sweet potato and parsnip chips as a healthier alternative to potato chips. These definitely hit the spot and when served with homemade guacamole and hummus it definitely couldn’t get much better!

These are great served for lunch, as a side to a meal, an afternoon snack or even as nibbles when entertaining.

Scattered for baking

I like to keep the skin on my sweet potatoes and parsnips as it adds texture, however you can peel them if you prefer.

Guacamole

The lime juice really brings out the flavours of the avocado, I prefer to use it over lemon.

Rustic lunch

It is best to eat these chips straight away otherwise they will soften. If there are leftovers, they will keep in the fridge for up to two days in a sealed container.

Sweet potato and parsnip chips

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato, washed
  • 2 parsnips, washed
  • Coconut oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Guacamole
  • 1 avocado, ripe
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Recipe for Hummus

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 210C/450F and line two large baking trays with baking paper.
  • Cut sweet potato and parsnips into 1cm thick chips.
  • Place onto prepared baking trays and coat with just enough coconut oil, salt and pepper.
  • Bake for 15 minutes then flip them with a spatula.
  • Bake for a further 10 minutes or until crispy.
  • Make guacamole whilst waiting by mashing avocado and lime together, then adding salt and pepper to taste.
  • Make hummus as per the linked recipe.
  • Serve chips with guacamole and hummus, enjoy!

Notes:

  • Make sure you don’t overcrowd the baking trays as the the chips will turn out soft, not crispy
  • If you cut the chips smaller than 1cm make sure you reduce the cooking time

Have you been craving anything out of the ordinary lately?

Creamy chocolate mousse

I have been using avocado a lot lately, especially in sweet dishes. It makes them creamier and as it has so many nutrients and good fats I don’t see why not.

This mousse is to die for – the creamy, velvety texture makes the mousse just melt in your mouth! With only three ingredients it is great for an afternoon chocolate delight or for an indulgent dessert!

Velvety mousse!

Creamy chocolate mousse

Serves 1 or 2 

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 TBSP cacao powder
  • 2 TBSP rice malt syrup
  • Cacao nibs for sprinkling

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients in the food processor. Process until smooth.
  2. Place in the serving dish and sprinkle with cacao nibs. Enjoy!

Note: You can substitute the rice malt syrup for honey or 100% pure maple syrup!

Have you ever made mousse with avocado before? If yes, what flavour?