Before I became a vegetarian, I didn’t really like vegetables. Sure, I ate the standard carrots, celery, cauliflower and broccoli, but that’s about it. In fact, I wasn’t very adventurous at all when it came to food – fearful of the unfamiliar, hesitant to experiment with something new. It wasn’t until I eliminated meat and fish that I truly expanded my culinary horizons and today, the types of food I’ll consume has increased exponentially.
One of my favourite ‘new to me’ foods is avocado. I first sampled it on a bagel with cream cheese and cucumber at a teeny café in downtown Seattle, where I had gone on a day trip with a friend from journalism school.
Once back in Vancouver, I tried replicating it on my own with little success. I didn’t realize how an avocado ripens, and assumed the bright green ones were ready to eat while the dark ones were past their due date. Now that I know what to look for (dark avocados with pliant, but not too mushy skin), I enjoy them on an almost weekly basis.
I was immediately drawn to Joy the Baker’s inventive avocado pound cake. What a great idea! I made a few alterations to this recipe to make it gluten-free, plus I wasn’t crazy about all the sugar, so I used a half-sugar, half-honey mixture. When I make this again I’ll experiment with even less sugar, likely reducing the granulated sugar all together.
Perhaps because I used a strong honey, this tasted like an avocado crossed with my grandmother’s honey cake. I wasn’t sure if the avocado would even stand out, but you could definitely taste it in this one.
Avocado Pound Cake
Adapted from Joy the Baker
½ cup millet flour
¾ cup sorghum flour
¼ cup tapioca starch
¼ cup yellow cornmeal
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup unsalted plus 2 tbsp vegan margarine, softened
¾ cup sugar
½ cup honey
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup almond milk mixed with a splash of vinegar
Flesh of one ripe avocados, mashed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan and set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl, sift together flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat vegan margarine on medium speed until softened and pliable. Add the sugar and honey and beat until light and fluffy, about four minutes. Add the avocado and beat another minute to incorporate. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure that everything is thoroughly mixed.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating one minute after the addition of each egg. Beat in vanilla extract. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half of the flour mixture, all of the almond milk, and then the rest of the flour mixture. Beat just until combined. Scoop the batter into the loaf pan.
Turn the oven down to 325 degrees F. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely.