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Selection

Florida avocados can be sent to your door by contacting one of our growers on our Fruit pages (LINK), or at your local grocers. If your grocer does not have Florida avocados, be sure to ask for them by name!

Avocados are picked from the tree when they are mature, but not yet ripe, so unripe avocados will be quite hard. The fruits will slowly ripen after picking, either at the market, or in the relatively warm temperatures on your kitchen counter.

At the store, look for an even unblemished texture, uniformly hard or soft over its entire surface and those that feel heavy for their size.  Avoid any with bruises or soft spots.Do not keep your unripe avocado in the refrigerator, as it will NOT ripen properly once it has been chilled to the low temperatures of the fridge.

Ripening

To ripen an avocado, simply place it on the counter and wait about 3-5 days. You can speed up the ripening process by placing your avocado in a paper bag, include an apple or banana (which give off ethylene gas that hastens the ripening process), and close it. This should cut the ripening time to about 1-3 days. The added time it takes to ripen your avocado, will mean that you will need to plan ahead to insure that the avocado is ripe for your use.

Handling

To get to the avocado meat, slice it lengthwise all the way around to the pit. Then gently twist each side in an opposite direction to separate the halves. The pit should remain in one side. Slip a large spoon in between the skin and the meat and scoop out the tender flesh or peel and slice, chop, or mash!The flesh of the avocado will slowly darken when exposed to the air, so you may want to sprinkle some lime or lemon juice to prevent the color change. The darkening doesn’t affect the flavor, but it is not as pretty. You can also slice off any darkened bits with a knife.

Storage

Remember, do NOT store an UNRIPE avocado in the refrigerator, as it will not ripen properly, if at all, after you remove it. Let the avocado ripen on the counter first, either leave it uncut, or cut it, sprinkle with lime juice, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and THEN store it in the refrigerator. It should last about 5-7 days.

Florida avocados can also be frozen for about 3-6 months.  Freeze them as a puree (with a few drops of lemon juice to prevent them from browning), rather than in slices, as the texture will change in the freezing process, but the flavor will still be great.

Counts and Weights

An average size Florida avocado yields approximately 2½ cups diced fruit.

1 lb. fresh avocado = 2 1/2 cup chopped = 1 1/2 cups pureed

Nutrition

Florida avocados are lower in calories and fat than other varieties of avocados, and are rich in vitamin A and potassium. However, all avocados are one of the highest sources of fat in the fruit and vegetable group, BUT.. it is the healthy, monounsaturated fat.

One quarter cup of a Florida avocado (approx. ¼ lb, pureed) contains:69 calories 6 grams fat 1.3 grams protein

5 grams carbohydrate

200 milligrams potassium

3 grams fiber

Source: USDA NDB Number: 09039

Recipes

Most of us are familiar with using avocados in our guacamole recipes, but there’s a whole other world out there in which the avocado shines!

Here are just a few ideas to try with Florida avocados:

  • salads,
  • sushi,
  • on toast sprinkled with salt and pepper,
  • mixed with rice as a side dish,
  • sliced in half and filled with tuna, shrimp or chicken.
  • combined with eggs in scrambled eggs, tortillas or omelet’s.

Avocados also are delicious in sweet recipes such as

  • milkshakes,
  • added into ice creams,
  • fruit salads,
  • just sprinkled with sugar or
  • mixed with milk and sugar!

Generally, avocado is served raw, because heating can cause the avocados to become inedible.

Below are a few recipes to try with your Florida avocados!

Fruit-Stuffed Avocados

2 avocados, halved and pitted

1 orange, tangerine or pummelo peeled, sectioned

½ cup sliced strawberries or other berries

½ cup chopped mango, papaya, or pineapple

2 carambolas, seeded, sliced

Yogurt-Honey Dressing (serve on the side)

½ cup low fat plain yogurt

1 teaspoon honey

1 tablespoon skim milk

Blend together ingredients for yogurt-honey dressing and chill. If preparing this in advance, sprinkle avocados with lime juice, fill with cut fruit and chill; or cut the avocados just before serving and fill with prepared fruit. Serves 4.

Krome Guacamole*

2 cups avocado, diced

3 teaspoons lime juice

½ oz. blue cheese

3 squirts tabasco sauce, or salsa, to taste

½ tsp salt

Make a paste of blue cheese, seasoning, and a small amount of the avocado. Add the diced avocado to the paste mixture, mashing with a fork. Serve as a dip for chips, as a sandwich filling, or as a salad dressing.

*Original recipe from William Krome, Homestead, Florida.

Chilled Avocado Soup

2 large green peppers

2 green onions

2 large ripe avocados

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 teaspoon salt

2½ cups low fat milk

4 tablespoons plain low fat yogurt

dash paprika

Mince peppers and onions and put in blender. Add peeled avocado pulp. Add lime juice and salt and blend. Very slowly add milk and blend. Chill. Serve with a tablespoon of yogurt on top and with a dash of paprika for color. Serves 4.

Avocado Spaghetti Salad

1 pkg. (8 oz.) spaghetti

2 avocados, peeled, seeded, and diced

1 can (6 oz.) tuna, drained

2 sliced tomatoes

1 green pepper, cut in strips

1 small onion, diced

4 Tbsp. light mayonnaise

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

salt and pepper to taste

Prepare spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and chill. Mix mayonnaise and Worcestershire sauce with salt and pepper. Combine spaghetti, onion, avocado, and tuna. Lightly mix in mayonnaise. Serve cold on lettuce and garnish with tomato and green pepper. Serves 6.

*Reprinted with permission from The Rare Fruit & Vegetable Council Cookbook by the Rare Fruit and Vegetable Council of Broward County, Inc., Davie, Florida.

Footnotes

Avocado Ice Cream

(Makes 1/4 gallon)

  • 3 avocados (2 cups)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1arge can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup lime juice

Whip avocado pulp, lime juice and sugar in blender or food processor. Pour the avocado mixture into the ice cream maker and add the whipping cream, and the condensed milk. Freeze and churn until ready.