(Baptist Health) – Nothing brings joy quite like a perfectly ripe avocado. When the knife gently glides through the bright green buttery fruit, you know you’ve succeeded in picking the right one at the right time.  

Over the last two decades, avocado consumption has skyrocketed, for a good reason. The avocado is considered a “healthy fat” and a great source of vitamin C, E, B6, potassium, fiber, magnesium and folate. Adding avocado to your diet in moderation (beware of the calories) can be an excellent way to get in essential nutrients, reduce heart disease risk, and feel fuller longer. 

While the avocado is probably best known for its starring role in our favorite Mexican side dish, guacamole, it’s also gained popularity as a spread for toast. It’s arguably one of the most versatile fruits since it can be consumed as a meal or snack, almost any time of day. 

We’ve found five simple recipes you can try if you want to add avocado to your diet. 

Avocado Egg Cups 

These cups make a very satisfying and filling breakfast. It also allows you to get creative with your toppings. Once you slice the avocado in half and remove the seed, use a spoon to make a slightly larger well for your cracked egg (or egg whites) and any of your favorite toppings like black olives, green onions, shredded cheese, crumbled bacon, diced ham, or chopped peppers. Bake in the oven until the eggs are cooked to your liking, and you’ll have a picture-perfect treat for your next brunch. 

3 Ingredient Avocado Salad 

If you’re into guacamole but not all of the chopping, try this 3 Ingredient Avocado Salad that you can use to top tacos, any lean protein like fish or chicken, or a green salad or eat alone. It’s so simple but fresh and delicious! 

Avocado Ranch Dip 

Who doesn’t love dipping raw veggies or pita chips into ranch during the summer? This recipe swaps the sour cream or mayo typically used for homemade ranch dip for greek yogurt, which is higher in protein and lower in fat and cholesterol. You’ll still get the same tangy flavor and creamy texture. Like the avocado salad, this dip calls for just a handful of simple ingredients and minimal effort. If you have a food processor, this dip will be ready in no time! 

Chickpea, Avocado, and Feta Salad

We think the chickpea is highly underrated. Much like the avocado, it is versatile and can be used in salads, wraps, soups and more. They have plenty of health benefits because of their low glycemic index and high levels of nutrients like fiber, potassium, and iron. Chickpeas also contain choline which plays a role in learning, mood and memory. The salty feta, citrusy cilantro and squeeze of lime in this Chickpea, Avocado and Feta Salad will surely boost your mood, as well. 

Sugar-Free Avocado Mug Cake 

Single cake serving in a mug has been popular for years, thanks to the microwave and countless viral videos. But have you ever made one with an avocado? What we love about this Sugar Free Avocado Mug Cake is that you can make it low-carb and gluten-free. You can also get creative and swap the vanilla extract for coconut, orange, or lemon extract to give this quick dessert a summer vibe.