Last weekend I was invited by the California Avocado Commission on an Avocado Tour.
I was with about one dozen other Southern California bloggers.
We toured one of California’s leading avocado packing houses, West Pak.
We learned all sorts of avocado factoids. For instance, avocados aren’t picked ripe from the tree. They begin to ripen after they’re picked.
If you ever need to speed the ripening process of an avocado, put it in a brown paper bag on the counter with a banana or an apple, and that should speed things up. And don’t try to ripen avocados in the refrigerator; it won’t happen.
We also learned that California avocados are hand-grown by nearly 5,000 growers.
The growers take such pride in their crops and are committed to growing avocados of the highest quality.
I didn’t know that California produces about 90 percent of the nation’s avocado crop.
It was fun to see all those avocados rollin’ down the river before being boxed for up for their next stop: grocery stores.
You know you’re hanging out with bloggers when everyone has their cameras, iPhones, DSLRs, and Flip cameras at the ready.
As bloggers, we even double fist. My camera was over my neck and my iPhone was in my hand. The KitchenAid event was the same way. I love it.
There was also a grove tour with an avocado growner and a lunch showcasing the versatility and flavor of fresh California avocados.
Here are a few of my favorite avocado recipes, just in time for Cinco de Mayo:
Avocado, Cream Cheese, and Salsa-Stuffed Puff Pastries (with a vegan option)
Warm avocado, with melted cream cheese, flavored with two kinds of salsa.
Just a touch of sweet from the mango salsa, and a kick from the green salsa verde, work well with avocados.
Vanilla Avocado Banana Ice Cream (Raw, Vegan, GF) Rich, creamy, sweet, and very ice cream-like.
People write to me frequently telling me how much they love this healthier recipe for “ice cream” and that it doesn’t taste like avocados.
3 minute recipe. No veggie, onion, or garlic chopping required.
Sweet, creamy, pudding-like. Or thin it out a bit more and drink it with a straw like a smoothie.
Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse (Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free)
This recipe takes 2 minutes to make and when I bring it to a party, no one ever guesses what the secret ingredient is, and it’s instantly devoured.
People tell me they prefer it to traditional chocolate mousse made with cream, sugar, boiling and baking.
I’m all about the easier, tastier alternatives.
As part of the tour, we were each given five avocados in a goodie bag to take home.
I’ve been enjoying them.
Have you ever been on a farm tour, factory tour, or fun field trip?
It had been years since I did anything like this.
I’m thinking middle school and taking a trip to the fire station. This field trip trumped that one by just a wee bit.
Do you like avocados? What’s your favorite way to eat them?
Thanks for the Kitchen Knives Giveaway entries