Celebrate the Magic of California Avocados.
By Emily McKay Johnson, Associate Editor
Chefs and foodies alike, get ready for California Avocado Month which begins TODAY, June 1st. Menus across California are celebrating this magical fruit, not only for its postive health benefits as a source of Omega-3 and Vitamin E, but also for its resiliency to thrive in spite of the prolonged drought.
“Avocados are at their peak of the season,” said Jan DeLyser, vice president of marketing for the California Avocado Commission (CAC), “so we’re in very good supply and their eating quality is just second to none.”
Avocados are so diverse, they can be incorporated into daily menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, beverages and even desserts. Consider celebrating summer gatherings with chocolate avocado pudding, avocado ice cream or, perhaps, even an avocado cake. Links to recipes are included at the end of the article.
Would you believe California avocados can be used as a butter alternative—with 300 fewer calories per quarter cup serving?
Despite entering year five of the drought, California and its farming industry received enough rain in the northern part of the state this year to replenish reservoirs and actually increase this year’s avocado harvest. Roughly 4,000 growers on approximately 53,000 acres have harvested 392 million pounds of avocados.
“We actually have more fruit this year than we had last year,” acknowledged DeLyser. “Our growers are continuing to be good stewards of the resources that are available to them and able to produce avocados for us all to enjoy throughout the summer months.”
The CAC’s collaboration with chefs around the country to feature California avocado items, helps support growers of the tree-bearing fruit in the state. Approximately 90 percent of the nation’s avocado crop comes from fertile, California soil, mostly on small family farms, which can ensure the avocados are carefully handled and inspected.