Hey, you there, throwing out the avocado seed! Stop it, because today we’re going to teach you how to eat an avocado seed. Yes, you heard that right: It’s possible to nosh on that big seed in the center of an avocado.
Photos via CakeSpy unless otherwise noted
Preparing your avocado seed
The avocado seed itself isn’t much of a culinary delight. I can tell you this because in the name of science, I took a small bite of it.
It tastes vaguely of avocado fruit, but with a far more starchy and somewhat bitter flavor. Because of this, the avocado seed is best utilized as a mix-in with other foods.
To make it easier to incorporate into foods, we’d suggest grinding or mincing the seed. Here’s how you get the seed ready.
Wash the seed. Use water (no soap!) to make sure that you remove any remnants of the fruit that may be clinging to the seed. I did this using a clean paper towel.
Let the seed dry completely. You can do this by simply letting it sit at room temperature overnight, or you can speed up the process by putting it in a 200 F oven for about 2 hours, or until the skin begins to loosen and the seed becomes softer.
Crush the seed. Because the round, smooth texture of the seed makes it hard to handle, it is helpful to crush the avocado seed before chopping or transferring it to a blender.
An easy method for crushing the avocado seed is to a paper towel over it (or put it in a sturdy freezer bag), and use a kitchen mallet or an impeccably aimed rolling pin to crush the seed. It won’t totally disintegrate the seed, but will divide it in half and soften the seed so that it is easier to cut into pieces. The skin should come off easily once the seed has been crushed.
Grind or mince the seed. Once the seed has been crushed, you can chop it into smaller pieces and put it in a blender or food processor, or simply mince with a chef’s knife.
Note: Depending on how long you let the seed sit before you grind it, it may turn orange! This is normal. Just don’t confuse it with taco seasoning!
Once your avocado is ground or chopped, you can use it in your cooking. Here are some suggested ways:
How to eat an avocado seed: four ways
How much avocado seed should I use?
Because of the slightly bitter flavor of avocado seed, you might want to start out with modest quantities. Instead of plopping the entire seed in your recipe, try adding a tablespoon, and add more to taste.
Slip it in a smoothie
Spoon a tablespoon of crushed avocado seed into your next smoothie. Not only is this an easy way to drink your nutrients, but the flavor of the avocado seed actually works fairly well with smoothies, balancing the sweetness of fruits. Try it in mocha-flavored protein smoothie!
2. Add it to a sauce
Strongly flavored sauces, such as mole or pesto, are an ideal place to use your avocado seed, as the bitterness will add an interesting umami element to the dish without overtaking the other flavors of the sauce. Kale pesto would be the perfect recipe to try!
3. Make some hearty whole-grain bread
The next time you’re making a hearty rye or wholesome, whole-grain loaf of bread, add a tablespoon or so of crushed avocado seed. It will give your bread a unique flavor that works in harmony with whole grains.
4. Enjoy with yogurt
Stirring in a small amount of ground avocado seed with yogurt, nuts and berries is a great way to mask the slightly bitter flavor and add a pleasant contrast to the sweet and tangy ingredients. Why not try it with some homemade yogurt?
Is it really worth it to eat an avocado seed?
If you search around the Internet, you may find some conflicting information about the purported benefits of eating the avocado seed.
A 2013 study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania showed promising signs that consumption of avocado seeds could improve high cholesterol and help treat of hypertension, inflammatory conditions and diabetes. However, the same study admitted that the research isn’t quite comprehensive at this point.
Still, eating avocado seeds is a great way to reduce waste in your kitchen. Plus, some reports say that the majority of antioxidants found in avocados actually live in the seeds. You’ll also get beneficial fibers, which keep you fuller longer.
The decision is ultimately yours. If you decide that avocado seed consumption isn’t for you, you can still make use of the seed by using it to plant a tree! The California Avocado Commission website offers a handy tutorial.
Make eating your veggies fun again!
Discover fresh techniques and delicious recipes for vegetable dishes you’ll actually crave in this online video class.