Even if your summer adventures are looking a little more local and low-key these days, there’s still plenty of opportunities to make small-scale celebrations special. From picnics to beach hangouts to backyard barbecues, incorporating the outdoors into mealtime is a proven mood-boosting activity. Add a generous spread of healthy food to your sunshine and fresh air scene, and you’ve got some full-force rejuvenation at work.
While most barbecue spreads leave much to be desired in the arena of actual (or any) nutrition, we love cleaning up classic recipes by taking out the junk, and instead leaning on whole foods and superfoods to do the heavy lifting in flavorful appeal. As this time of the year usually leads to things like potato salad practically flying off the shelves, what better moment to learn how to make your own energizing recipe variation: an Avocado-Potato Salad.
This dish is straight from the pages of Smart Plants, and is one of the (many!) true hidden gems found in the recipe collection inside the book. (Confession: it’s actually a personal favorite of chef Julie’s.) Instead of dousing potatoes in a bath of mayonnaise, the recipe uses creamed avocado: a cholesterol-free fruit that’s rich in monounsaturated fats, heart-healthy potassium, and even the amino acid tyrosine, a precursor nutrient to pleasure-inducing dopamine. (Now you know why avocado makes you feel so “happy”!)
Laden with fresh herbs, this simple side dish is an excellent accompaniment for all kinds of main dishes fresh off the grill, simple sandwiches, or even a summertime salad. Armed with delicious “food tools” like this comforting recipe, what’s stopping you from making this summer your healthiest yet?
Interested in more brain-boosting nutrition? Check out our popular introduction course: Natural Nootropics 101
WATCH HOW WE MAKE THE AVOCADO POTATO SALAD FROM SMART PLANTS:
AVOCADO POTATO SALAD PREP TIPS:
Homemade potato salad is a simple endeavor, and so much more rewarding than any store-bought variety. Our avocado version is especially easy to execute with these quick tips:
Watch the timing on the potatoes. Over-steamed potatoes will not hold their shape well, and disintegrate into a mash when tossed. (And under-cooked potatoes are no one’s friend!) Be sure to check the consistency of your potatoes at the lower time of the cooking range—they should be soft when pierced with a fork—and continue cooking for an additional minute or two only if needed.
Mash well. Give the first avocado a very good mash to create a creamy sauce for the potatoes to be tossed in. There will be plenty of texture coming in from other ingredients and the second, chunkier avocado.
Toss gently. Mix the potatoes with a gentle hand to help them retain their shape and avoid smashing them. Fold in the last avocado lightly as well—just enough to incorporate it into the mixture.
Make fresh. This potato salad is best made within hours of serving time, but can be assembled up to a day in advance. Note that the longer the salad sits, the more its color will fade (flavor will be unaffected). Be sure to give a day-old recipe a stir to reincorporate any moisture that has separated.
MORE AMAZING AVOCADO RECIPES:
Avocado Potato Salad
The only thing that’s better than a regular potato salad is this avocado-infused variation! Rich with avocado sauce, creamy avocado chunks, fiber-filled chia seeds, and loaded with vibrant fresh herbs, this may be the smartest potato salad you ever meet. Recipe reprinted with permission from Smart Plants, by Julie Morris.
Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 20 mins | Total Time: 25 mins Servings: 4-6 Author: Julie Morris
1½ pounds red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 large avocados, divided
¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup minced fresh dill
¼ cup minced dill pickles (about 2 spears)
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil. Add the potatoes and cook them until they’re tender when pierced with a knife, about 8-10 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander over the sink, and rinse them with cold water. Let the potatoes continue to drain and cool in the colander while working through the next steps.
2. Scoop the flesh of one avocado into a large bowl. Use a fork to mash it into a smooth paste. Add the almond milk, lemon juice, mustard, salt, chives, and dill to the bowl. Mix well.
3. Add the potatoes, pickles, and chia seeds to the bowl and toss to combine with the avocado “sauce.” Pit, peel, and dice the remaining avocado, and gently fold the small chunks into the potato salad. Transfer the salad to a serving dish and enjoy immediately, or refrigerated for up to 1 day, covered.
Superfood Boost: To glean enhanced cognition via a natural nootropic, add 1 teaspoon of schisandra berry powder while mixing the mashed avocado with the almond milk, lemon juice, mustard, salt, chives and dill.
Reprinted with permission from Smart Plants (c), 2019 by Julie Morris, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc