South Africans are really lucky to have avocados available almost all year round, thanks to our farmers growing both green-skinned and dark-skinned avos. That means a nearly year-long supply of these two equally delectable (slightly addictive!) fruits.
Buttery, creamy green-skinned avo varieties include Fuerte, Edranol, Ryan, Reed and Pinkerton, and are available from March until October. Hass, Maluma Hass, and Lamb Hass are all rich, nutty dark-skinned avos that are available from March until November.
Although avocados may vary in colour, shape, and size, they are all extremely beneficial and versatile.
With a shape as interesting as its unmatched flavour, the jeweled green of an avocado tantalizes from toast to tamarind-avo foam.
June is World Avocado Month as proclaimed by the World Avocado Organization (WAO), of which South Africa is a member, and that means it’s time for some fanfare and fun, time to take your avocado obsession on a culinary adventure!
Yes, salads, sarmies, burgers and pizza should never be served without crescents of fresh, creamy avocado but there’s a whole world of interesting new morsels that need your consideration.
It’s hard to think of another fruit as versatile as an avocado when it comes to snacking and mealtimes, morning, noon and night. Mashed, diced, sliced or puréed, it’s always a delight, with a generous ability to make all other ingredients taste that much better.
The avocado is an inspiration, with a shape, colour and chorus all its own. Embrace it as your meal muse today and add an avo!
Both dark-skinned and green- skinned avos can be included as part of a healthy eating plan as they are virtually sodium free and are sources of potassium (half an avo provides 420 mg of potassium). Their high monounsaturated fat content may help to reduce blood cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease when used to replace saturated and trans fats in a balanced diet.
Both types are incredibly useful in building healthy immune systems. For a start they’re a source of fibre (5.3 g fibre per 100 g), which is excellent for good gut health. Gut bacteria regulate the immune system and protect against invading pathogens that cause disease. In fact, more than 65% of our immune system ‘lives’ in our gut. Dark and green avos are also high in copper (33%) and contain the antioxidants lycopene and beta-carotene, all of which support, maintain and regulate immune function.
When it comes to getting creative in the kitchen, dark-skinned and green-skinned avos shine equally brightly, as there’s no end to their uses in snacks, light meals, starters, main meals, desserts, bakes and even sweet treats.
On the shelves right now are Fuerte avos (March to July), known for their typical pear shape and buttery texture; Maluma Hass avos (March to July) distinguished by their rich, nutty taste; and Hass avos (May to October), revered for their creamy, slightly nutty taste.
As a green-skinned avo, Fuerte remains green when ripe, while the dark-skinned Maluma Hass and Hass avos turn purple-black when ready to eat.
No matter what you’re indulging in this winter, add an avo – green or dark – for double the deliciousness!
Ideas to Add an Avo
The South African avocado season is currently in full swing with dark-skinned (Hass-type) and green-skinned avocados on supermarket shelves everywhere. So don’t hold back, load your trolley and allow your inner chef unrestricted kitchen privileges.
Ever tried avo mayo – or avo-nnaise? Just purée avo with a drop of oil and some lemon juice – it’s a delicious and healthier substitute when making potato salad and chicken mayo.
Or consider adding avo to a sweet chocolate purée instead of cream. Yes, really! Combined with maple syrup, real cocoa powder, coconut and a host of other alternatives, avocado adds the creamy quality needed for the silkiest, most flavoursome fruit dips and chocolate sauces!
Avocado and chocolate hummus with cinnamon roasted chickpeas and avocado chocolate mousse are must-try options – get Googling for recipes. And avocado’s mild flavour and beautiful satiny texture make it an obvious choice to enhance everything from cheesecake to banana bread. Imagine blueberry avocado muffins with dukkah sprinkle…decadent!
Allow your avos to make friends with unusual ingredients – avo and wasabi, for instance, make the most divine savoury ice treats, or guacamole as an alternative to creamy sauces for dolloping on braaied steaks and stirring through pasta.
And we promise, once you’ve tried a little shaved avo on a hot waffle with honey and ice cream or blended it into a smoothie with banana and chocolate peanut butter or a handful of frozen berries, you’d be evangelical about its adaptability.
It will even transform your regular winter repertoire: blitz it into soups at the end of cooking to thicken and add unbeatable creaminess and smoothness; or up your game on the ordinary curry sambal of onion and tomato with cubes of silken avocado coolness – your bunny chow will thank you!
But don’t stop there. Avocado is divine sliced thinly onto that Cape Malay staple of pickled fish, or as part of a herby-fruit chutney alongside bobotie. Bake eggs with fresh chilli in the gleaming green avo halves, make avocado the fourth essential in a BLT or whip it into your favourite blended cocktail – tropical avocado margarita anyone?
|Issued For:||South African Avocado Growers’ Association (SAAGA)|
|Issued By:||Protactic Strategic Communications|