Editor’s note: This is part 1 of 3 for our “Made in Syracuse” series highlighting game-changers in the local food scene.
It’s 7 a.m. and Tracie Long has just gotten her kids out the door and on their way to school. She looks at her schedule, writes a few emails, and begins her daily commute to the kitchen. Out comes her tools and ingredients for a typical day’s work: six baking sheets, two electric mixers, eggs, whole-grain flour, sugar, and a dozen avocados to slice.
Long is the CBO—or chief baking officer—of Avocadough, a company she founded out of her Camillus home. Stocked with brownies, bars and cookies, Avocadough prides itself on healthier alternatives to your average baked goods. Traditional recipes may call for butter and cream cheese. But, instead, Long loads her desserts with vitamin-enriched avocados, a primary source of natural, unsaturated fat. She also uses whole grains and often swaps in ground dates as a sweetener to cut down on sugar. The result? Mouthwatering, moist cookies and bars containing no preservatives, with lower fat and higher fiber than traditional baked goods. Plus, you can’t even taste the avocado.
“Being in my thirties and on medicine for cholesterol was nothing that I wanted,” says Long. “That was the catalyst for changing my recipes.” Initially, she experimented with substitutions like applesauce, prune butter, and yogurt, but her tastebuds never agreed with the outcome—a cake-like consistency. So with some avocados and the help of her kids as taste-testers, Long began altering traditional recipes to create dense, doughy cookies. When she realized that she had made a product that appealed to health nuts and sweet-tooths alike, Avocadough was born. The result was a hit. Long now has loyal customers who rave about her treats. Emily Roach, an Avocadough fan from the very beginning, says, “Meeting Tracie for the first time was like talking to someone I’ve known for years, and the cookies—fantastic! I’m not one for sweets, but I became hooked.” In addition to online or phone orders, customers can get their hands on Avocadough products at LoFo, Mother Earth Health Foods, Green Planet Grocery, Broadway Café & Arctic Island, and the Syracuse Farmer’s Market. Long, however, is also working towards distributing her products beyond the CNY area: nationwide. “Because the cookies have no preservatives, they have a limited shelf life,” Long explains. “But, my goal when I started the business was to also sell the dough so people can purchase it, prepare it at home and enjoy freshly baked goods.” Until then, Long will continue her day-to-day routine in the kitchen, slicing avocados and adding a hint of green to her clean baked confections. ● —Julie McCullough, contributing writer at Baked.
This story was originally featured in Baked’s Fall 2014 issue. To read more, click here.