Cathy Isom tells us why Americans are eating more than double the amount of avocados, compared to a decade ago, and the creative way they’re adding them to meals. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
15 years ago the average American consumed about two and half pounds of avocados. Today it’s seven and a half pounds of the versatile and creamy fruit.
Los Angeles consumes the most avocados—some 300 million annually—but other big cities, like New York, Dallas, Phoenix, and Houston are catching up. The most tangible explanation is that the rise of avocados in the United States in the past decade include loosened import restrictions – and the increased awareness of the healthful benefits. Numerous studies have linked consumption of the fruit to healthier overall diets. Additionally, Americans consume a record amount avocados on Super Bowl Sunday – right around 140 million pounds.
Avocados grow on trees and ripen after picking.
When you’re in the produce aisle and not sure how to pick them, Amanda Barnes, a Registered Dietitian with Giant Foods says there is a technique to picking the perfect avocado.
“you want to pick an avocado that is semi soft to the touch not too soft. And it naturally ripens over time or you can speed the process up by putting it in a paper bag with like a banana or an apple.”
Barnes describes the flavor profile of the avocado for anyone who has never tried them.
“they’re really creamy. They’re a little bit on the sweet side. So it’s not tart. I would say it’s on the scale of sweet.”
You can eat them by themselves – but most people prefer them to be combined with other foods and flavor – including guacamole – and avocado toast:
“it’s simply just a cut avocado – mashed up with a little bit of lime juice – salt and pepper and then you spread it on a little piece of toast and put all different kinds of topping on it – whichever your preference is.”
There are a million avocado possibilities – soups, sandwiches, dips, and frosting?
“So I’ve put it in the blender with some cocoa powder and I’ve made a cake with a chocolate avocado frosting.”
You can find some great avocado recipes by going online and typing in What’s cooking USDA and type in Avocado.