Who doesn’t like avocados?! What’s not to like?! They are delicious on everything…eggs, enchiladas, salad…mushed up and scooped up on a chip. I love guacamole. As a California native, I have enjoyed avocados my whole life. This time of year, I go visit my neighbor Rene’ and ask her for some of her avocados since I don’t have a tree of my own. Rene’ has a Bacon avocado tree in her backyard which produces avocados during the mid winter months. Her tree has been abundantly producing since January….and, it has more avocados yet to harvest.
Her gift of Bacon avocados to me got me thinking…how many varieties of avocados are grown? I usually buy the Hass avocados at the market. So I decided to do a little research and visited the California Avocado Commission (CAC) website to learn a little information to share with you.
Avocados are a fruit and the tree is native to the Americas; originating in south central Mexico. In 1871, the avocado was introduced to California and became a commercial crop by the mid 1900s. California now grows 90% of the nation’s avocados with 60% of the production coming from San Diego County.
Come to find out, there are seven varieties of avocados grown in California that are raised for commercial consumption: Hass, Bacon, Fuerte, Gwen, Pinkerton, Reed, and Zutano. These avocados range from one-season harvests to year round harvests such as the Hass avocado…hence…its popularity and deliciousness.
Avocados have numerous health benefits. They are high in fiber, have loads of vitamins, have no cholesterol, and have Omega-3 fatty acids. Yes, the avocado has a good amount of fat, but the fat is the “good fat” that our bodies need and keep us healthy. The avocado supports the inflammatory system, it promotes heart health, regulates blood sugar, and has anti-cancer benefits. That is impressive for a fruit!
On the CAC website there are many recipes that include avocado as one would imagine. I learned that Brazilians eat ice cream made with avocados. And in the Filipino culture, avocados are blended with milk and sugar to make a dessert drink. I had never heard of avocados used in desserts before. So I did a search on the CAC website for “dessert recipes” alone. WOW…for starters, there are recipes for soufflés, pie, ice cream, cheesecake, cannoli, and chocolate mousse. I plan on trying a few of the recipes…especially the ice cream, which includes avocados, cream, eggs, honey, buttermilk, and lime zest. Sounds delicious to me. But for now, I have created a few of my favorite avocado dishes for you to gaze upon. I love the avocado orange salad in the winter since both are so fresh and abundant…some how providing a promise that spring is coming! Can you smell the buttery goodness of the avocado mixed with the sweet zestiness of orange?!
Enjoy! Recipes are attached.
California Avocado Commission