As with all fruits and vegetables, wash avocados before cutting. Check out our tips for how to choose and use California Avocados

Have you ever felt like the food police? 

You know what I mean, right? 

Labeling foods as “good versus bad” and banning those that don’t fit into a societal mold of what we’re “told to eat”. 

Well my friends, don’t surrender! I’m here to tell you that as a registered dietitian nutritionist, you can certainly incorporate all the foods you love in a balanced and variety-filled meal plan without feeling any shame or guilt. 

One way I help people who may have a hard time realizing that they can still enjoy, say, a delicious creamy salad dressing or for heaven’s sake a chocolate brownie, is by showing them different ways they can boost the nutritional quality of a dish without sacrificing flavor or satiety (the feeling of satisfaction after eating). I like to think of this philosophy as bridging the healthy with happy when it comes to nourishing the body.

For instance, Fresh California Avocados provide a great alternative to swap into your favorite recipes that increase the overall nutrition of the dish. In just 1/3 of a medium avocado (50 g), there are 80 calories with nearly 20 vitamins and minerals. Plus, California Avocados are naturally sodium-, cholesterol-, and trans fat-free. 

Since avocados are a heart-healthy* superfood that provide “good fats” to one’s diet, swapping them in place of butter in your baked goods provides less saturated fat per serving. For reference, 1/3 of a medium avocado (3 tablespoons) can be swapped in place of 2 tablespoons of butter in baked goods to lower the saturated fat by 15 g. You also reduce calories by 140 and cholesterol by 60 mg (butter has 200 calories and 60 mg of cholesterol, avocado has 80 calories and 0 cholesterol).


But, California Avocados’ versatility doesn’t stop with baked goods. Replace the mayo in a traditional egg salad recipe with California Avocado Mayo to increase the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients like vitamin A, D, K and E! 

And, what’s more, Fresh California Avocados are vegan, and totally dairy-, nut- and gluten-free. They are a creamy, nutty, satisfying ingredient that boosts flavor for people with special dietary needs and restrictions, and can be swapped in recipes for a variety of foods. Here’s a good example of one of my newest simple swaps in which I replace the nutty flavor of tahini paste (ground sesame seeds) traditionally used in Mediterranean cooking with California Avocado.  


My recipe for Mediterranean Falafel Salad shows how versatile California Avocados can be by using them in a fresh and unexpected way. The recipe calls for avocado in both the falafel mix and salad. Whip these up for a summer picnic or quick weeknight meal for the entire family to enjoy, worry free and flavor full! 

Curious on how you can get more creative in your kitchen with avocados? Be sure to check out the comparison charts here for more great ideas on how to swap Fresh California Avocados into your recipes! 

 *While many factors affect heart disease, diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Elizabeth Shaw, MS RDN CLT CPT

Elizabeth (Liz) Shaw is a nationally known nutrition expert and owns a nutrition communications business and private practice in California. Liz has been a dietitian for over 10 years, an adjunct professor for over 7 years and is a certified personal trainer. She is a four-time author, with titles including the Instant Pot Cookbook For Dummies, Air Fryer Cookbook For Dummies, Fertility Foods Cookbook, and the Stress-Free IVF Nutrition Guide! A guest on local and national television, she serves as a spokesperson for many different agencies, discussing the importance of food and nutrition as key players in leading a healthy life through sound, evidenced based nutrition. You’ll also see Liz frequently quoted as a national nutrition expert in the news for publications such as Prevention, Oxygen Magazine, Shape, and others.

What she loves most about her current position is that she gets to connect with consumers and help dispel nutrition myths daily! You’ll find Liz sharing regularly over on her popular Instagram feed @shawsimpleswaps, and on Pinterest, Facebook , and LinkedIn. She believes all foods can fit in a balanced lifestyle and shares these tips via her blog, Shaw’s Simple Swaps, and in her work as a national spokesperson for health and food organizations.

Liz is a registered dietitian nutritionist for the California Avocado Commission. Their content on the California Avocado Commission website and/or blog are part of their partnership with our organization.

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