“Avocado is the name of the game” – Our old jump rope chant has suddenly hopped into the foodie spotlight. The avocado has gone from being an exotic unknown to a beloved health heartthrob. They have all the fats, vitamins, nutrients that you need. You name it, avocados have it. It has even been recommended to eat an avocado once a day. So lets narrow down some diet options, besides its classic role as a side dip, for the trendy health-bomb that is the avocado.

Photo by Molly Krohe

1) Stuff it up: Cutting an avocado in half may seem intimidating at first by the look and feel of the alligator like skin. The key is watching out for the perfectly round pit and slicing vertically around it, then twisting the two hemispheres apart and voilá! Pop out the pit and you have yourself a luscious, spring green mini avocado bowl to fill with whatever your heart desires. Go healthy: fill it with tomatoes and feta cheese. Or grab the bacon and have a salty-sweet treat. Tuna and seafood salads are also a recommended blend.

2) Avocado over mayo: Or butter, sour cream, or cheddar cheese. Avocados have zero sodium and cholesterol and 50 calories versus the 200 in butter. So on your next sandwich, skip the mayo and slice up an avocado. Even when baking brownies, replace butter with an avocado as a more nutritious option, and you’ve just made healthier brownies!

3) They are not only for eating: You always read about the homemade beauty masks and how they usually turn into an experimental mess. But avocados have the vitamins that your skin needs: vitamin B, K, A, and E – simply put, this alligator pear tones, moisturizes, and heals skin. Look up some age-old recipes, they will not fail you.

4) Wrap it in bacon: Bacon enthusiasts, unite! Slice the avocado up, wrap it in bacon and throw it in the frying pan (why can’t we do this with everything?) Avocados are great when it comes to neutralizing the salty, crisp flavor of the bacon.

5) Smoothies: We tend to forget that, when it comes down to it, the avocado is just a big berry. Perfect for smoothies – avocados go great with mangos and raspberries. Because avocados are seemingly tasteless, they give the smoothies a rich texture, contribute vitamins and don’t take away from the flavor of your other favorite fruits. Blend it up!

Photo by Molly Krohe