• It’s finally avocado season in South Africa and we spent some time with the South African Avocado Growers’ Association (SAAGA) to find out 5 things everyone needs to know about avocados.

    Everything you need to know about avocados

    FUN FACT ABOUT AVOCADOS: Contrary to popular belief, avocados are not vegetables but are part of the fruit family instead. In fact, avocados are part of the berry family.

    Here are 5 things everyone needs to know about avocados

    1. When is avocado season in South Africa?

    In South Africa, it is avocado season for most of the year (YAY!). The green-skinned cultivars like Fuerte, Pinkerton and Ryan avocados are available from March to August and the dark-skinned avocados like the Hass avocado are available from June to November.

    This not only means that South Africans can enjoy year-long availability; it also reduces the country’s reliance on imports from the Northern Hemisphere.

    Excellent news for South African avocado-lovers is that 2018 promises a good yield of avocados, says Derek Donkin of SAAGA. “We’re delighted to be able to supply one of the world’s most popular fruits – nurtured locally – to South Africans. We can’t wait to see the country finding creative ways to add an avo to breakfast – and enjoying a significant health boost as a result.”

    TRY THIS AVOCADO BREAKFAST RECIPE: Avocado and feta on sourdough toast

    5 Things everyone needs to know about avocados

    2. What are the health benefits of avocados?

    There are many health benefits of avocados! Not only are they easy to prepare, but avocados also contain no cholesterol, are virtually free from sodium, they’re high in monounsaturated fat and avocados are a good source of potassium. This unique combination makes them a powerful ally to assist in the fight against high blood pressure, a common health concern in South Africa.

    READ MORE: 5 Easy tips to keep your heart healthy

    3. How to ripen avocados

    The best way to ripen avocados at home, it to keep them at room temperature until they are ripe.  If you want to accelerate the ripening process, place the avocados in your fruit bowl with other fruit, or better still, pop them into a brown paper bag with bananas or apples. Bananas and apples release ethylene gas which will help ripen avocados quickly.

    4. How to store avocados

    Avocados should be stored at room temperature but, if they are about to ripen, refrigerate until ready to use.

    If you want to store an avocado-half, drizzle some lime or lemon juice on the green flesh and store in a tight container or tightly covered with plastic.

    Don’t want to store your leftover avocados? Make this zesty crushed avocado salsa.

    Zesty crushed avocado salsa recipe

    5. What are the benefits of eating avocados for breakfast?

    While smashed avo on toast, with the zing of lemon, chilli and fresh coriander, has become a favourite worldwide, avocados combined with berries, banana and granola make a delicious smoothie bowl. Alternatively, go the savoury route and slice avocado onto a croissant with slow roasted tomato and feta. Avocado added to an omelette or creamy scrambled eggs combines particularly well with smoked salmon, or chop finely and blend with charred sweetcorn to make a tasty salsa for buttermilk waffles, topped with a drizzle of sriracha sauce.

    We used avocado to make this delicious chocolate smoothie

    The Chocoholic smoothie bowl

    Avocados have a delicious flavour and creamy texture, which blends well with many other ingredients but, they’re also great on their own – simply add a dash of lemon juice and pepper – and you have a meal!

    Also try these delicious recipes with avocado:

    Avo mousse with Cajun prawns

    avo mousse with cajun prawns things eveyone needs to know about avocados

    Griddled sourdough with steak, marinated radish and avocado

    griddled sourdough with steak and avocado 5 Things everyone needs to know about avocados

    Avocado and yoghurt dip

    Avocado and yoghurt dip - 5 Things everyone needs to know about avocados

    Find more avocado recipes here

    And one of the last things everyone needs to know about avocados – how to make avocado roses. We show you how in our step-by-step guide to avocado roses.

    How to make avo roses things everyone needs to know about avocados

    Imka Webb

    Imka Webb is a freelance digital marketing expert and the digital editor of Food & Home Entertaining magazine.  www.imkawebb.com