Avocado Tour


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Last weekend I was invited by the California Avocado Commission on an Avocado Tour.

Many avocados

I was with about one dozen other Southern California bloggers.

We toured one of California’s leading avocado packing houses, West Pak.

Avocado factory overhead

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.

Hass Avocados 5 stages of ripeness poster

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.

Avocados on assembly line

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.

Greg and Rachael in action about to capture the perfect shot of rolling avocados.

People in hairnets videoing avocados

There was also a grove tour with an avocado growner and a lunch showcasing the versatility and flavor of fresh California avocados.

It was fun to see behind-the-scenes glimpses of the farm-to-fork journey of avocados and also catch up with some of my favorite SoCal bloggers.

Avocado halves

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)

Open Avocado, Cream Cheese, and Salsa-Stuffed Puff Pastries

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.

Avocado, Cream Cheese, and Salsa-Stuffed Puff Pastries

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.

Vanilla Avocado Banana Ice Cream

Cheater’s Guacamole

3 minute recipe. No veggie, onion, or garlic chopping required.

Guacamole on chips

Vanilla Avocado Banana Smoothie in a Bowl

Sweet, creamy, pudding-like. Or thin it out a bit more and drink it with a straw like a smoothie.

Vanilla Avocado Banana Smoothie in a Bowl

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.

Raw Vegan Chocolate MousseRaw Vegan Chocolate Mousse

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.

Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse

As part of the tour, we were each given five avocados in a goodie bag to take home.

I’ve been enjoying them.

Avocado half


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

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.


  1. I’m going on a blogger’s tour of Madison, WI in the beginning of June. We are touring a whole bunch of farms/cheese making facilities. I can’t wait! (I LOVE cheese :)

    1. I grew up in MN and then Chicago. Very familiar w/ farm tours and…cheese! Sounds like a blast!

  2. I eat them straight up with a spoon. I used to eat them with saltines, just cut open use the saltine as a scoop. I also LOVE them mashed on a toasted corn tortilla, with a little lime juice and some sea salt. I love them so much, I really don’t like to add too much that just complicates the taste.

    Since I’m a huge biology nerd, I knew all this, but it is great to see people learning out in the natural avocado habitat! I am incredibly jealous of your proximity. I used to have an avo tree in my backyard in Hawaii. The avocados were really watery (they weren’t Hass), but they were free, so you know I ate them. A LOT.

    1. Simple is best with most anything, really. There’s a time and place for doctored up desserts but with fruits/veggies, keeping them basic and not masking the flavor or overcooking is my preference. Which is sort of how I ended up “raw”…I have always eaten that way but for a few years it had a special name. Now, it’s just…eating, normal. Combined with…doctored up desserts of course :)

  3. Woah – what a fun field trip. I adore avocados and am always looking for new ways to work them into my cooking and baking. Love the avocado ice cream recipe – I’ll be trying that soon. Wish I could have joined you!!!

    1. I wish you could have joined us, too. You are so creative with all your avo/southwestern/mexi eats and recipes!

    1. Simple is good and that looks delish. How cool your parents have an avo tree, too!

  4. I have been to the Tillamook Cheese Factory (multiple times since it’s on the way to the beach). Avocado is awesome in smoothies. Makes them so thick and pudding-like. Yum!

  5. I am green with envy! JK…thanks for sharing some avocado recipes – just in time for cinco de mayo!

  6. What a cool day trip. I really like that avocado ripening poster … Great pic!

  7. What a lovely tour and a great post Averie! And I was thinking of making something with avocado last night, I need something light after those doughnuts! :) I do love to go to a farms, factories, for a tour. It gives me an opportunity to see how food gets to my table and what routs could be avoided. I have no idea what I am going to make from avocado yet, I will go with a flow. That spark of creative me always (almost) leads me in the right direction. :)
    Happy Friday Averie! :)

  8. Omigosh, awesome! Just look at all those gorgeous green orbs. TELL me you got to take some home with you!

  9. i LOOOOVE me some avocados!! i’ve been eating at least a half of one almost every day lately. :)

  10. Did you get to wear a hair net?! I HOPE SO.

    It’s like Laverne and Shirley but with avocados!

    1. Oh you know it girl. I am sure there are pics of me with my spiffy net on :)

    1. I thought you and Rachael were fabulous looking…thanks for being cool with the picture :) Happy Cinco de Mayo. Hopefully it involves avocados..and a drink!

  11. When my boys were little, we took them to https://www.harleyfarms.com/ and they got to milk the goats! It was so much fun! We were dressed much like you all were, with the plastic caps and all and we got to assemble some cheese at the end with their famous edible flowers. My kids were actually raised on fresh, unpasteurized goat’s milk from a farm that was about 10 minutes from our home and to this day, they still drink that type of milk in their cereal. :-)

    I do like Avocados, but for some reason, maybe because they are so rich, I can only tolerate about 1/3 of an avocado in any given day. Too much makes me feel almost nauseous, but I LOVE them. Especially served as guacamole with lime and fresh pico de gallo. Good stuff! My kids and avocado? Eh…not so much! I bet they will appreciate when they are older! :-)

    Yay – it’s Friday! Have a great weekend, my friend!

    1. What a great story about the goat farm and that your kids were raised on it and still drink that type of milk. There are some people I know in San Diego who have access to fresh milk like that but you have to know someone who knows someone type of thing. When Skylar was a toddler, she had goat’s milk from the grocery store from time to time.

      Interesting about the avocado and how you react…everyone is so different!