California Avocados Are in Peak Season for Spring and Summer Snacking

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April marks the arrival of California Avocado season and now is the perfect time to enjoy the delicious flavor of this premium fruit in a variety of dishes – including those essential afternoon snacks.

Americans’ snacking is on the rise, with snacks making up about half of all eating occasions, according to a recent report from the Hartman Group. The good news is that snacking can be part of a healthy eating plan, as snacks can provide energy between meals and supply essential nutrients. According to data from the USDA, snacks provide more than one-third of the total daily fruit intake for men and women. Nutrient-dense California avocados are the perfect addition to any snack.

Registered Dietitian Katie Ferraro, MPH, RD, CDE has partnered with the California Avocado Commission to create four delicious, easy snack recipes featuring California avocados. These recipes demonstrate a handful of ways that avocados can be incorporated into a healthy diet. Avocados provide “good” fats and nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Avocados act as a “nutrient booster” by enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha- and beta-carotene as well as lutein, in foods that are eaten with the fruit.

“Every year, I look forward to the California avocado season, because they lend themselves to so many different preparations,” said Ferraro. “For this summer, I’ve created a collection of snacks recipes that are as easy to put together, as they are delicious.”

Each of Ferraro’s recipes contain less than 100 calories per serving and are perfect for on-the-go snacking. For these recipes and others created by CAC’s various Registered Dietitian partners, visit CaliforniaAvocado.com.

BLT & Avocado Potato Bites
Recipe created by Katie Ferraro, MPH, RD, CDE for the California Avocado Commission.

This updated twist on a BLT uses roasted potato slices as the “bread” with a creamy avocado topping, and bacon, lettuce, and tomato. Use purple or red baby or new potatoes for added color. To save time, use commercial bacon bits and microwave the potato slices for 5 minutes instead of roasting. This delicious snack provides 30% DV vitamin C.

Serves: 2

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
• 3 baby potatoes (3/4” in diameter each)
• 1/4 ripe, fresh California avocado, halved, seeded and peeled
• 2 leaves butter lettuce
• 5 cherry tomatoes, quartered
• 1 Tbsp. bacon bits

Instructions

1. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 450 degrees F.

2. Spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

3. Slice potatoes into 4 slices per potato. Spread potato slices on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until golden.

4. Mash avocado and spread on slightly cooled potato slices.

5. Top each with torn lettuce and one-quarter cherry tomato.

6. Sprinkle bacon bits on top.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 90; Total Fat 3 g (Sat 0.5 g, Trans 0 g, Poly 0 g, Mono 1 g); Cholesterol <5 mg; Sodium 50 mg; Potassium 460 mg; Total Carbohydrates 13 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Total Sugars 2 g; Protein 3 g

California Avocado Cucumber Cups
Recipe created by Katie Ferraro, MPH, RD, CDE for the California Avocado Commission.

A melon baller turns an English cucumber into a quick snack cup idea in this easy and delicious recipe. Dice the red bell pepper small enough and mash the avocado thoroughly to fit through the plastic bag corner when filling the cucumber cups. With 4 grams of fiber, 470 mg of potassium and 60 percent DV vitamin C in just 90 calories, these snacks will keep you fueled throughout the rest of your day!

Serves: 2

Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes

Ingredients
• 1 English cucumber
• 1/2 ripe, fresh California avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
• 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
• 1 Tbsp. lime juice
• 1 Tbsp. diced cilantro
• 1/2 tsp. cumin
• 1/4 tsp. salt

Instructions

1. Chop off ends of cucumber and discard. Cut cucumber into 12 equal-sized round slices (approximately 1” width slices). Using a melon baller, scoop out center of cucumber slices, leaving enough cucumber on the bottom for the base. Set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl, mash avocado and add bell pepper, lime juice, cilantro, cumin and salt. Stir to combine.

3. Place avocado mixture in a small, sandwich-sized plastic bag. Snip off one bottom corner of bag and squeeze avocado mixture into hollowed-out cucumber slices.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 90; Total Fat 6 g (Sat 1 g, Trans 0 g, Poly 1 g, Mono 4 g); Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 300 mg; Potassium 470 mg; Total Carbohydrates 11 g; Dietary Fiber 4 g; Total Sugars 4 g; Protein 2 g

Jicama Avocado Slaw on Rice Crackers
Recipe created by Katie Ferraro, MPH, RD, CDE for the California Avocado Commission.

Coleslaw takes an Asian turn with this savory jicama avocado slaw atop rice crackers. Peel the coarse outer layer of jicama to reveal a crunchy, nutritious addition to this cabbage-less slaw. Using soy sauce without gluten and rice crackers makes for a savory, gluten-free snack. As an added bonus, this delicious snack is an excellent source of vitamin A (40 percent DV) and vitamin C (20 percent DV).

Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes

Ingredients
• 1 Tbsp. lime juice
• 1 tsp. sesame oil
• 1 Tbsp. gluten-free soy sauce
• 1/4 cup rice vinegar
• 1 tsp. sugar
• 1/2 ripe, fresh California avocado, peeled, seeded and diced
• 1 cup shredded jicama
• 1 cup shredded carrots
• 12 medium-sized round rice crackers

Instructions

1. To make dressing, whisk together lime juice, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar and sugar.

2. Combine dressing with avocado, jicama, and carrots.

3. Spoon slaw on to crackers.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 100; Total Fat 4.5 g (Sat 0.5 g, Trans 0 g, Poly 1 g, Mono 2.5 g); Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 330 mg; Potassium 280 mg; Total Carbohydrates 14 g; Dietary Fiber 4 g; Total Sugars 4 g; Protein 2 g

Power Hour Pick-Me-Up Smoothie
Recipe created by Katie Ferraro, MPH, RD, CDE for the California Avocado Commission.

Cayenne pepper and fresh ginger give this low-fat avocado smoothie the afternoon pick-me-up you need! The mango adds 25 percent of your daily value for vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant. You can freeze your own mango cubes, or purchase pre-frozen from your grocery freezer aisle. Add more or less water depending on desired thickness.

Serves: 2

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes

Ingredients
• 1/4 ripe, fresh California avocado, seeded, peeled and diced
• 1 Tbsp. minced ginger
• 1/2 cup frozen mango cubes
• 1/3 cup plain, nonfat yogurt
• 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
• Cayenne pepper, to taste
• 1 cup water
• 1 cup ice cubes

Instructions

1. Combine all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth.

2. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 90; Total Fat 3.5 g (Sat 0 g, Trans 0 g, Poly 0 g, Mono 2 g); Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 25 mg; Potassium 270 mg; Total Carbohydrates 13 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Total Sugars 9 g; Protein 5 g