June is California Avocado Month! And even though the Avocado is a featured food during the month, you can enjoy avocados all year long.
This is the best time of year for California Avocados, which are in season from spring through fall. California grows about 90% of the nation’s avocado crop and they do it with the help of approximately 5,000 small family farms located throughout the state.
Our avocados are top notch because the growers put so much care into how the trees are nurtured, planted, and harvested. California avocados are picked at the peak of freshness, so you know you’re getting quality fruit when you see that California label!
When it comes to nutrition, avocados are one of the few things many food experts feel comfortable labeling a superfood…because:
- California avocados are a nutrient dense. One-fifth of a medium avocado (1 oz) has 50 calories and contributes nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and beneficial plant compounds.
- California avocados contribute good fats to your diet – this is key since the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 focus on fats is now about what types and not how much you get
This season we created a 7-day meal plan using some of the amazing recipes from the California Avocado Commission. If you think avocados are just for guacamole, you will want to check out some of these innovative meal and snack ideas.
It’s safe to say you probably need more avocado in your life – and this 7-day meal plan has it all…if we do say so ourselves!
For more information about avocados, nutrition and the Dietary Guidelines, check out The Scoop blog post by friend and fellow dietitian Andrea available here.
To see the 7-day plant based meal plan featuring LOADS of California Avocados, see below or click here.
As you’ll notice on the shot above, the titles of the recipes are bold and underlined. You can click on the title; it will open in a new page so you can see the recipe and instructions.
Each recipe explains how long it will take to prep and cook. It also provides nutritional highlights per serving for calories, fat, fiber, sodium, and carbohydrates. You can also see a complete list of all nutrient information, per serving.
Perhaps your local grocery store doesn’t sell California avocados and the only ones you can find are hard. Here are instructions on how to choose an avocado and how to ripen them so you can enjoy them quicker.
When selecting a Hass avocado, you want to look for one that is has the classic pear shape. You also want to avoid any avocados that have bruises, have loose skin, or if the end shows decay. If the avocado doesn’t feel the same firmness all the way around, it is better to choose a different fruit. When testing the ripeness of an avocado, it is best done squeezing firmly in your hand with your palm instead of using your fingers.
If your store doesn’t have ripe avocados available, buy the softest ones you can. Place them in a paper bag with either an apple or a kiwifruit, or both, and place the closed bag on the kitchen counter. These fruits produce ethylene gas which is used to ripen bananas, avocados, and other fruit. By putting the avocados and apples/kiwifruit in the bag, you are containing the ethylene and helping the fruit to ripen quicker.
It is important that you do not try to microwave or put avocados in the oven to ripen them. The fruit may ‘seem’ ripe, but it really is not. The avocado will taste unripe and will not have the buttery, nutty flavor that is loved about avocados.
If you find that all the avocados at the store are too ripe and you won’t be using them for a few days, you can place them in the refrigerator right away to slow down any further ripening. Remember: Room temperatures encourage ripening, cool temperatures slow ripening down.
Here are some products that will make cutting, slicing, and storing avocados much easier.
Avocado Slicer, Stainless Steel 3 in 1 Avocado Tool,Kitchen Tool Perfect for Avocado Toast and Guacamole,Safely and Ease to Use
MOTZU 2 Pieces Avocado Saver with 5-in-1 Avocado Slicer, Avocado Holder with Rubber Strap to Secure Your Food & Keep it Fresh, Green
This all-in-one tool will split, pit, and slice avocados. The stainless-steel pitter removes the pit with one quick twist. The slicer will slice the pitted avocado into seven pieces. It has a soft, comfortable grip and is dishwasher safe.
Avocado Slicer, Stainless Steel 3 in 1 Avocado Tool, Kitchen Tool Perfect for Avocado Toast and Guacamole, Safely and Ease to Use
This tool by Albeste allows you to cut an avocado, pit it, and then scoop the avocado out easily. It is made with food-grade stainless steel with a serrated edge for cutting but that is also safe to touch.
MOTZU 2 Pieces Avocado Saver with 5-in-1 Avocado Slicer, Avocado Holder, with Rubber Strap to Secure Your Food & Keep It Fresh, Green
This set has two avocado savers and a 5-in-1 slicer. If you only eat half an avocado, you can easily place the avocado cut-side down to limit exposing the avocado to air. The set can also core an apple with this tool.
This avocado safer pod by MSC International is shaped like an avocado and will store leftover avocado to stay fresh and odor free. It is BPA free and dishwasher safe. It is 5×3.8×2 inches and weighs 2 ounces.