As with all fruits and vegetables, wash avocados before cutting. Check out our tips for how to choose and use California Avocados
While outdoor entertaining is possible almost year ‘round in California, summer celebrations are particularly special! Summer is its own reason to celebrate: the kids are out of school, vacation is on the horizon, and longer days mean more time to savor the American holidays like Memorial Day, the 4th of July or a Friday night because it’s summer in the USA and you deserve to celebrate!
In my humble opinion, the best reason to celebrate the summer is the kickoff of California Avocado season. While technically California Avocado season starts in spring and extends into August, summer is the perfect time to get meal planning with Mother Nature’s goodness!
You see, I love to host friends and family. Summer entertaining tends to be on the casual side, but there still are typical stressors like planning out what to serve and shopping.
To help ease your stress (who am I kidding, mine too!) and bring more FUN to the event, I’ve got just the solution for you!
Enter meal planning with Fresh California Avocados!
California Avocados are the perfect ingredient to make your summer celebrations easy (and satisfying) for all. Not only are they homegrown in the good ol’ U.S.A. (bring on the red, white, and blue — and green! — for the American summer holidays), they are also delicious and good for you!
California Avocados are a heart-healthy and naturally nutritious fruit that can be eaten alone or used in a variety of tasty dishes – from sandwiches to salads to smoothies – all of which can fit into the perfect summer meal plan. Avocados provide naturally good fats, are low in saturated fat, are cholesterol-, sodium- and trans-fat free, meaning even my Uncle Jim following his own diet plan can still enjoy the spread!
With Memorial Day weekend and Fourth of July just around the corner, I’m going to let you in on a little secret with how I meal plan for hosting these holidays: make a grocery list!
A list can serve as a great tool to ensure you aren’t running back and forth to the market while you’re trying to whip up the last few recipes before your mother-in-law walks through the door. It also can serve as a gentle reminder to make sure you are hitting the main macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrates) in your menu to satisfy your guests.
Oftentimes, I hear clients complain about how the American summer holidays can leave them feeling like they’ve completely fallen off their healthy eating regimen. However, meal planning with fresh produce ingredients like California Avocados, will help keep you on track!
California Avocados provide a robust nutrient profile that acts as a “nutrient booster,” meaning when used with other ingredients, they can help increase the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients like vitamins A, D, K and E. I like to make sure my clients are well aware of this superfood- feature so they know they are getting a lot of bang for their nutritional buck when they pick them up at the market!
Because avocados are such a versatile ingredient, you can include them in traditional appetizers, as well as creative main entrees, salads and delicious desserts. As you can see from my sample meal plan below featuring my favorite California Avocado recipes, you can still enjoy the summer recipes you’ve come to know and love. Say “hello potato salad, burgers and cookies” without feeling as though you’ve “fallen off your diet” because when you meal plan with California Avocados, all foods can certainly fit!
Case in point, health conscious bakers can substitute avocado for many traditional baking ingredients, such as butter or shortening. Simply replace these ingredients with an equal amount of avocado (e.g., replace one cup of butter with one cup of mashed avocado) in any muffin, quick bread, and even some brownie and cookie recipes. By substituting avocado, you get the healthy benefits of the fruit and the nutritional value of baked goods may be increased with the fruit’s contribution of nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, along with heart-healthy “good fats” (poly and monounsaturated fats). To show you how to put this in action, stay tuned because there’s a great recipe for 4th of July cookies coming up!
Now, let’s get started. Check out my menu!
California Avocado Recipes for Summer
Is it a summer party without potato salad? I think not! Please your entire crowd with this California Avocado Tri-Color Potato Salad. I’m not kidding when I say even my mayo-loving family preferred this over their traditional recipe thanks to the versatile avocado.
California Avocado Beef and Black Bean Burger
Summer gathers usually involve some sort of burger, so why not take it up a notch and blend that burger with some beans! Using a beef and black bean burger blend, this burger comes together in just 10 minutes to create a crowd-pleasing entree. Plus, when topped with naturally nutritious California Avocados, you can rest easy knowing you’re providing your guests a delicious and good for you option!
Rest assured, you will always find a little something sweet at my summer gatherings and I’m here to encourage you to do so too! Yes, this registered dietitian nutritionist is pro-cookie and thankfully, when using California Avocados, you too can create a heart-healthy treat for all to enjoy, like these festive 4th of July Cookies!
So, you don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy summer’s celebrations, put Fresh California Avocados on your grocery list right now! That way, you can rest easy knowing your meal plan for the American summer holidays will most certainly include the superfood that’s bursting with healthy nutrients and great taste! Plus, as you now know, California Avocados are in season from spring through summer, so you surely don’t want to miss out on the fun!