Exploring Avocado: It's Not Just for Guacamole
They Got This Part Right
In 2015, the California Avocado Commission paid for an advertisement on Super Bowl Sunday. The premise was this—God was featuring the first ever team draft, with areas of the globe vying for claim to various flora and fauna. Australia chose the kangaroo. Madagascar selected the lemur. And Mexico received the avocado.
I don't know where the Creator placed the Persea americana, but the oldest evidence of them in history was found in a cave in Puebla, Mexico which, according to scientists, dates back to the year 10,000 B.C.
In 2015, a total of 2.14 billion pounds of avocados were sold in the United States—a 16 percent increase over the 1.85 billion pounds sold in 2014.
“That means 293 million more pounds were sold in 2015 vs. 2014,” Escobedo said.
But They Got This Part Wrong
The Super Bowl ad worked its magic and 2015 avocado sales went through the roof. Emiliano Escobedo, executive director of the Hass Avocado Board, says that “Ten million more pounds of were sold in February 2015 vs. February 2014.”
But what was displayed as the herald of the avocado? A simple bowl of guacamole.
Although guacamole might be the primary use of avocados on Super Bowl Sunday, they are capable of so very much more.
How to Tell When An Avocado Is Ripe
Did you know that avocados do not begin to ripen until they are removed from the tree? That’s good news for those of us who love fresh avocado but do not have an avocado tree in our back yard.
But how do you know if the little green fruit in your store is ready? Yes, they should “give” slightly when squeezed, but how many times have you cut open an avocado to find that it is way too ripe—that instead of a soft pale yellow green the flesh is brown and discolored?
I have an app for that! The next time you select an avocado find the stem end—the place where it attaches to the tree. You should be able to pop off that little belly button with your fingernail. If it doesn’t budge, the avocado is under ripe. If it comes off and the flesh underneath is brown, it is over ripe. But, if you find that the color underneath is green, that avocado is, in the words of Goldilocks “just right!”
Fun Facts about Avocados
- 43 percent of U.S. households buy them each year
- It's a fruit, not a vegetable
- Nicknamed “alligator pear” because of its bumpy skin
- One tree can produce up to 500 fruits annually
The Good Stuff
- Avocado Nutrition Facts—Hass Avocado Calories, Cholesterol & Fat Information
Explore all Hass Avocado nutrition facts including information on avocado cholesterol, avocado calories & avocado fat. Avocados contribute nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and beneficial plant compounds that can contribute to the nutrient quality of
List of Recipes in this Article
- egg salad
- chicken avocado burger
- avocado hummus
- avocado lime salad dressing
- chocolate avocado frosting
- cucumber, lime, and avocado soup
- Carb Diva's cobb salad
Julia Mueller is a photographer, cookbook author, recipe developer, and the genius behind the blog "Roasted Root." She replaces the traditional mayonnaise in an egg salad with mashed avocado. Before you hit the "fat alert" panic button, keep in mind that
- Recent studies show that the cholesterol in eggs does not contribute to heart disease, and
- Avocados contain the "good" fat that lowers bad cholesterol
Chicken Avocado Burger
Julie of Julieseatsandtreats works in the telecommunications industry, is a wife, mother, and (somehow) finds time to take amazing photos and write a blog.
In this recipe, she replaces yummy fatty beef with yummy and less fatty avocado and ground chicken to make chicken avocado burgers for her family.
Jaclyn of Cooking Classy created an avocado hummus that I think you will love, even if you are an avowed hummus-hater. The avocado in this recipe gives the dip a creamier consistency and a pale green color.
Avocado Lime Salad Dressing
Jocelyn of InsideBruCrewLife (...it is a requirement that all bloggers first names begin with the letter "J"?) had a craving for salad dressing that could not be denied. She explains how she drove to Wal-Mart sans makeup, wearing sweat pants, a knit hat covering her messy hair...just so she could buy the ingredients needed. I'm glad that she did. This avocado lime salad dressing is really good
Chocolate Avocado Frosting
Margaret is a photographer (obviously), graphic design educator, and creator of the blog veggieprimer. She is an advocate for a plant-based diet and has developed a creative way to replace the dairy (milk, cream, butter) in chocolate frosting without sacrificing taste or texture. Yes, she uses avocado.
Cucumber, Avocado, and Lime Salad
Several months ago I introduced you to Marjorie Druker, executive chef and owner of the New England Soup Factory, and Clara Silverstein, author and former food writer/editor at the Boston Herald. Together they wrote New England Soup Factory Cookbook, an amazing collection of stories, photographs, and recipes from the famed restaurant which has been in business since 1995. Here is their idea for creating a creamy cold soup for those hot summer days:
- 10 ripe avocados, peeled and quartered, pits removed
- 2 English cucumbers, peeled and diced, divided
- 1 bunch scallions, diced, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- juice of 3 limes
- zest of 2 limes
- 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 2 cups light cream
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 4 dashes Tabasco sauce
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Place avocados in a 6 to 8-quart stockpot. Add half the cucumbers and half the scallions.
- Add the olive oil, lime juice, zest, stock, cream, cilantro, Tabasco, salt, and pepper. puree the soup in the pot using a hand blender or working in batches with a regular blender until smooth and creamy.
- Stir in the remaining cucumbers and scallions. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
Carb Diva Cobb Salad
Last week my friend Bill Holland challenged me to come up with some easy and creative ways to use quail eggs. Those cute little orbs were fried and placed atop sweet potato hash; they were baked; they were skewered with grape tomatoes, cheese, and olives; and lastly, they were hard cooked and used in a Carb Diva cobb salad:
Carb Diva Cobb Salad (makes 4 servings)
For the dressing:
- 5 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
For the salad:
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 2 cups diced cooked chicken or turkey
- 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1 10-oz pkg. arugula or spinach leaves
- 1 cup garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 8 quail eggs or 2 chicken eggs, hard cooked
- 1 ripe avocado, cut into 16 slices
- 4 slices bacon or turkey bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
- 1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
- 4 green onions, tops and white part, finely sliced
Make the dressing:
- Combine lemon juice, oil, and mustard in a bowl; stir with a whisk until blended. Set aside.
Make the salad:
- Season chicken with smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- Add arugula or spinach leaves to a bowl containing salad dressing. Toss to coat.
- Divide mixture among 4 salad plates. Top each serving with chicken, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, halved quail eggs (or diced chicken eggs), bacon, avocado, Gorgonzola cheese, and green onions.
And Because You Asked...
Basic Guacamole Recipe
- 2 ripe avocados, mashed
- 1 small onion, finely minced
- 1 jalepeno, finely minced (optional)
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 medium tomato, seeds removed, diced
Questions & Answers
© 2016 Linda Lum