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What’s the Difference Between California and Florida Avocados?

One is higher in fat; the other is (a lot) higher in calories.  Find out which is which.

By
Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS ,
April 26, 2011
Episode #136

Which Kind of Avocado is Better?

In terms of flavor and texture, California avocados are richer, creamier, and more avocado-y.  They tend to make better guacamole, for example.  The one time when I prefer the Florida variety is in grapefruit and avocado salad, which is, not surprisingly, a classic Florida recipe.   In this dish, I think the Florida avocados work better because they hold their shape much better and don’t get slimy. 

Why Are Avocados Good for You?

Adding avocado to your salads can vastly increase your absorption of nutrients from the vegetables in the salad.

In addition to being rich in monounsaturated fats, avocados are also a good source of vitamins C, E, K, folate, and fiber. Not only are they nutritious themselves, but they make other foods more nutritious as well. As I explained in a previous article, adding avocado to salads can vastly increase your absorption of nutrients from the vegetables in your salad.  Nice trick, huh?

Related Content: Get More Nutrition From Your Vegetables

More Good Ways to Enjoy Avocados

Guacamole, which is basically mashed avocado, makes a terrific dip for raw veggies. To lighten it up and add extra nutrients, you can add chopped tomatoes or tomatillas or even stir in some prepared salsa.  Not only does this make the guacamole more nutritious and not quite as calorie-dense, but the avocado enhances your absorption of the carotenoids from the tomatoes or salsa you add to it or from the raw veggies you dip in it.

(If you already have my new book, look for my recipe for Tomatilla Guacamole on page 207. If you don’t already have it, what are you waiting for?)

Try using a little mashed avocado instead of mayonnaise on a sandwich or even as the basis for a creamy salad dressing. 

Related Video content:  How to Make the Perfect Salad Dressing

How to Ripen and Store Avocados

Avocados are usually hard when you buy them and you want to let them ripen before you cut them open. (Once cut, they will not get any riper.) They taste best when they’re allowed to sit at room temperature until they are slightly soft, but not mushy.  Once they’re ripe, they get overripe quickly, so eat them up as quickly as you can. You can hold a ripe avocado for a few days by putting in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. 

If you need to store half an avocado, rub the cut surface with lemon juice or olive oil and then wrap with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap is in contact with the surface, and store in the fridge.

Ripe avocados are also great for your skin and hair! Check out these 5 Homemade Beauty Products you can make from avocados. 

Have a great week, and eat something good for me!

RESOURCES: 

Nutrition information for California Avocado
Nutrition information for Florida Avocado

Avocado image from Shutterstock

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