Avocados are an incredibly versatile fruit that can add creamy texture to almost anything, from soups and smoothies to vegan baked goods. With a number of health benefits to boot, avocados can be used as healthy vegan alternatives to fats in baking; simply replace the oil, butter, or shortening called for in the recipe with an equal amount of avocado.
To select an avocado at its peak ripeness, look for a fruit that gives slightly when pressed gently with your thumb. Unripe avocados can be softened within a few days by placing them in a brown paper bag on a sunny windowsill. Adding a banana or apple will speed the process since both produce ethylene gas, but check on the avocados frequently since they can quickly become too soft.
Avocados can be enjoyed alone or with sea salt and ground black pepper.