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Last week, I received a beautifully packaged box of Haas avocados from California Avocados Direct, a fourth-generation family avocado farm located near Valley Center, California. When I took a look inside the box to see these little treasures, I was surprised to find eight Beautiful Super Large Avocados. The avocados I buy on the east coast are imported from Mexico and are pale in comparison to their size, texture, and flavor. Let's say the avocados Ben Holtz sent me were extra large and very special.
|Above: Mexican avocados 7-8 ounces. Below: Ben Holtz 10-ounce California avocado|
Over the years, I discovered that buying avocados is a mystery. I never know exactly when my avocados will be ripe, and on many occasions I have been very disappointed after waiting several days for avocados to ripen, only to discover that they were rotten inside. This can be especially stressful when I try to prepare an avocado dish for the guests without knowing if my avocados will be good or not. In fact, I often buy extra avocados in case some of them are bad (eg mushy, rotten, bruised).
Come in, California Avocados Direct! California Avocados Direct picks up and ships your avocados the same day, so there is minimal handling before it arrives at your doorstep. Ben Holtz, a fourth-generation avocado producer and president of California Avocados Direct, began shipping his avocados to North America last year due to the significant challenges facing the California avocado market (increased water rates, rising cheaper imports that are driving domestic prices (down, California water rationing and water salinity that has reduced fruit size and crop yield).
|Ed and Ben Holtz|
In the box of carefully wrapped avocados, a brochure is included that explains the ripening process of the avocados. I learned a few things. Fresh avocados are harvested green and rock hard, and take 5 to 9 days to ripen at room temperature (63-75 degrees), depending on the time of year they are harvested. Also, there is a 24-48 hour "break" stage when avocados start to soften, but are still too early to eat. If cut during the "break" stage, the avocado will still be too difficult to use, it is important to be patient. However, right after this period, the avocado is perfectly ripe.
|These avocados were carefully packed, and the ripening instructions were very helpful.|
I found this information especially interesting since most of the avocados I bought at the supermarket are already beginning to ripen, and are often overripe. In fact, my biggest problem is knowing when avocados are ready to use.
|Avocados waiting to ripen, day 1|
|The first avocados were ready by day 5; The last of the avocados matured on day 9.|
Although avocados sometimes have a bad reputation for gaining weight, they are actually very healthy. Did you know now that avocados:
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- Provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamins B, and folic acid.
- Having "good" mono and polyunsaturated fats that can help lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease
- They're packed with antioxidants that have been shown to help prevent breast and prostate cancer
- It contains phytonutrients, which are believed to prevent many chronic diseases.
- Contains 60% more potassium than bananas, which helps protect your body against hypertension, heart disease, and other circulatory problems.
- Acts as a "nutrient booster" by allowing the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients (eg, alpha and beta-carotene and lutein) in foods eaten with the fruit
Now, let's start with those gorgeous avocados… As I patiently waited for my avocados to ripen, I began to think of all the different ways I had enjoyed avocados in the past: crushed with a little lemon juice and salt and spread with whole-grain toast. , sliced and served on a diptartina of black beans, chopped and served as a garnish for Cuban black bean soup, in salads with clementines and grapefruit, in mango sauce, avocado, red pepper and, of course, in guacamole.
As I dreamed of what I would do with all these gorgeous avocados, I knew one thing: These huge California Avocado Direct Haas Avocados deserved to be the star of the show, not just used as a garnish. He had eaten avocados for breakfast, lunch, and snacks / appetizers, but not for dessert or a smoothie.
As the avocados began to ripen, I became anxious as I wanted to have a list of ideas to try at their peak of ripeness. He wasn't sure if they would all mature at once or over a period of time. Fortunately, these avocados matured one or two at a time, so I had a chance to really enjoy them and try some interesting ways to serve them.
While doing a little research, I learned that avocados are a fruit and are commonly served as a smoothie in Southeast Asia and Brazil. In fact, in Southeast Asia, avocado smoothies are often served with chocolate syrup or strawberry puree. I never would have thought of making a smoothie or smoothie with avocado, but since it's a fruit, it makes perfect sense. Interesting, how in America, avocado is treated like a vegetable and eaten that way, even though it is actually a fruit. As I made more and more avocado smoothies, I realized how versatile this fruit was. These avocados could not only be eaten thick, sliced, or mashed, but were beaten in a smooth creamy pudding, sauce, or dressing. First I tried a Basic Avocado Smoothie (“Sinh to Bo” as it is called in Vietnam or Avocado Smoothie in Brazil)) Creamy and smooth as silk, this smoothie was thick and delicious, with a velvety mouthfeel. Then, to move a little further, I tried to make a dessert with avocados, something unusual in the American use of avocados, but probably at home in Southeast Asia or Brazil. Somehow, I was thinking about a Lava Flow mix (a pina colada with strawberry puree) that I had in Hawaii years ago, and decided to try doing something similar using avocados.Traditionally, sweetened condensed milk is used to make Sinh to Bo. I made this dairy-free milk using a non-dairy coconut milk drink. This is more like a pudding than a smoothie. If you want a thinner consistency, just add more coconut milk drink. Chocolate syrup is strictly optional, but makes it more kid-friendly.
|Dairy-Free Avocado Smoothie (“Sinh to Bo”)|
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 cup of ice
- 1 cup coconut milk or almond milk So Delicious
- 2-3 tablespoons honey or 1- 1/2 tablespoons agave nectar
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
- organic chocolate syrup, optional
- Mix all the ingredients until smooth.
- If desired, place a few tablespoons of chocolate syrup along the inside edge of the glass. Let the syrup drip down the sides of the glass.
- Place the avocado smoothie in the glass.
I call this Mousse because of the thick, rich texture. This "Mousse" can be enjoyed at breakfast, as a snack or dessert.
Strawberry puree ingredients:
- 8 strawberries
- 1 tablespoon of honey or 1/2 tablespoon of agave nectar
Avocado Mousse Ingredients:
- 1 avocado
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 2 tablespoons of pure coconut milk
- 1 cup coconut milk so delicious
- 3 tablespoons of honey or 1 1/2 tablespoons of agave nectar
- Blend the strawberries with honey until pureed. Divide between 4 glasses.
- Rinse the blender container. Mix avocado, pineapple juice, pure coconut milk, So Delicious coconut milk, and honey until smooth.
- Carefully spoon or pour over strawberry puree.
- Use a wooden spoon handle or toothpick to create smooth swirls as desired.
Serves 2.I received a free box of avocados from California Avocados Direct.com; However, the opinions expressed in this publication are solely my own.
California Avocados Direct.com: Avocado Nutrition
California Avocado Commission: Avocado Nutrition Facts
The healthiest foods in the world: avocados