September tends to be one of the busiest months of my year, filled with food writer and registered dietitian conferences on top of my duties as a nutrition spokesperson. For the past few days I’ve been in San Diego at the American Dietetic Association Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo, as both nutrition speaker and attendee.
Before I checked into my room a bus whisked me away to tour an avocado grove, a media nutritionist event hosted by California Avocados. I keep these tasty fruits on hand like other people do bananas, so I was thrilled to receive an invite.
The entertainment began on the ride there as The Meal Makeover Moms Janice Bissex and Liz Weiss praised avocados while juggling them.
Lunch couldn’t come soon enough following my morning of travel. I will definitely try preparing this salad of wild baby arugula, roasted beets, goat cheese, and avocados tossed in lemon vinaigrette. We also sipped on iced tea with fresh crushed raspberries.
Janice and Liz demonstrated how to cut an avocado while we enjoyed this chocolate avocado pudding. I demolished every morsel of food on the plates I was served, yet still felt comfortable afterward. That’s the beneficial goodness of real, fresh food.
How to Cut an Avocado
I picked up two favorite take-home tips. First, substitute 1/2 avocado (equaling 1/2 cup) for one stick of butter, when a recipe calls for two. The second tip was to be sure to eat the darkest green part of the avocado (the pulp on the outer edge), which contains the highest concentration of nutrients like beta-carotene.
- The peak season for California avocados is March through September, and up to November for the northern parts of the state. May and June produce the tastiest avocados, which must be the explanation for my frequent guacamole cravings, kicked off annually by Cinco de Mayo. An icy cold margarita poolside doesn’t hurt.
- Avocados don’t ripen until picked, unless hot weather begins the process prematurely on the branch.
- The leaves fall from the avocado tree on an ongoing basis. In California, the leaves remain under the trees, resulting in natural self-mulching.
We returned to the hotel where the information exchange continued.
Spending the day with a group of food-connected people passionate about avocados was a delicious way to kick off the conference.
The swag bags from the grove tour included a stainless steel avocado slicer and signed copy of Liz and Janice’s No Whine with Dinner: 150 healthy, kid-tested recipes from The Meal Makeover Moms. Since I already own both of these I’m excited to give the new ones away to one lucky reader. Just comment here or on my Facebook page and tell me your favorite way to enjoy avocados. To enter, submit your comment by Friday, October 14, midnight Pacific time. Good luck!
Estimated calories: 1085
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