On May 20, Visit Oceanside, Green Oceanside, the South Morro Hills Association, and Feeding the Soul hosted San Diego-based food writers, news media, community members and fellow growers at the grove owned by Mraz Family Farms in South Morro Hills, CA.
The avocado industry estimates that 123 million pounds of Hass avocados will be consumed for Memorial Day weekend activities. In anticipation of this exceptional consumer demand — and the demand for California avocados throughout the summer holidays — the California Avocado Commission has developed the “United Plates of America” promotion.
California avocado fans aren’t shy about their love for the fresh fruit — they eagerly share photos of their favorite California avocado meals or selfies of themselves in front of Commission posters on their favorite social media platforms. This season, the Commission is asking California avocado growers to share their love of California avocados too.
Road trips are synonymous with summer in America, so we’re getting our culinary kicks across Route 66 for our United Plates tour! From the rolling plains across the Midwest to the towering peaks and plateaus of the Southwest to the unique views along the California coast, these regions have one thing in common: flavorful foods that pair perfectly with California Avocados. So roll down the windows, turn up the radio and get ready for a tasty trip along America’s most iconic highway!
All-American Favorites Throughout the Midwest
Route 66 dips in and out of America’s heartland, through sprawling prairies and vast highlands. Along this route, you’ll find rustic charm and plenty of delightful dishes to dive into. Whether you’re enjoying a hot dog and a baseball game in Illinois, cooling off with frozen custard in Missouri, kicking back and barbecuing in Kansas or indulging in a smoky steakhouse burger in Oklahoma, California Avocados can be easily, and deliciously, incorporated into Midwestern meals.
Savory Spices and Diverse Dishes in the Scenic Southwest
As Route 66 winds through the deep canyons, rocky deserts and remarkable mountain ranges that make up the Southwest, you’re witnessing history in motion. From prehistoric rock formations to small towns where cowboys once roamed, there’s no shortage of sights to be seen in the Southwest. And there’s also no shortage of foodie favorites! Taste-test traditional Tex-Mex in Texas, turn up the heat with chiles in New Mexico and savor the smooth spices in tortilla soup from Arizona. The ideal companion to each of these culinary creations? California Avocados, of course!
Fresh Fare and Flavor Fusion Along the California Coast
As our Route 66 road trip comes to a close, it’s fitting for us to end in the state where our avocado story began: California! All across the Golden State, you’ll find meals filled with fresh fare, seasonal produce and cutting-edge cuisine. Borrowing from global trends and fusing flavors is a major part of California’s culinary DNA, with chefs in every city adding their own special twists to each creation. Another fundamental part of foodie culture in California? Using local and regional ingredients to create healthy meals, which is what makes California Avocados a key component of California cooking. But as we’ve seen along this Route 66 taste tour and through our United Plates state-by-state exploration, you don’t have to be in California to add our avocados to the mix.
In our gastrointestinal tract, there are over 1,000 separate bacterial species that can reach a total number in the tens of billions. Not all of these bacteria are bad. Most of them are the “good” or “helpful” type of bacteria, also known as probiotics. So, what are probiotics? They are live acting organisms that help keep the digestive system in a happy, healthy place. Having a healthy gut with the right balance of good bacteria can change the entire health of our bodies.
As probiotic bacteria absorb fiber, they generate acids. One of the acids, proprionic acid, reduces production of cholesterol. Probiotic bacteria have been shown to break down cholesterol and use it for energy. It has been suggested that prebiotics intake may: exert protective effects to prevent colon cancer; reduce inflammation and symptoms associated with inflammatory bowel disease; lower some risk factors for cardiovascular disease; enhance the bioavailability and uptake of minerals, including calcium, magnesium and possibly iron; and promote satiety and weight loss and prevent obesity.
5 ways to help reboot your gut
Eat Probiotics: Yes, you can eat these good bacteria, especially Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium which have been linked to various health benefits. These types of living bacteria are found naturally in food, especially in fermented dairy products such as yogurts, aged cheeses and kefir. They also are found in non-dairy foods such as miso and tempeh (a type of soy). A great way to start adding probiotics to your diet is to begin your day with a breakfast smoothie made with yogurt or kefir, snack on a chunk of parmesan cheese paired with an apple, or switch your chicken stir fry night to tempeh stir fry.
Eat Fermented Foods: The fermentation process of vegetables enables the growth of the probiotics. Adding fermented vegetables to your diet will increase your probiotics as well as your vegetable intake. This is also a great way for vegans or people with lactose intolerance to get probiotics. Pickled vegetable products such as sauerkraut and kimchi are sources of fermented probiotics.
Eat Prebiotics: Now, you shouldn’t limit your intake to just probiotics. As humans, we need food to function. And just like us, probiotics need fuel to function and most importantly, multiply. This is where prebiotics come to play. Prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrate fibers found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables. However, not all fibers are created equal as prebiotics must meet certain criteria. These fibers must be resistant to digestion and be able to be fermented by the bacteria in the intestine. There are many types of prebiotic fibers including fructo-oligosaccarides (FOS), inulin, oligofructose and galacto-oligosaccardes (GOS) which are found specifically in asparagus, artichokes, leeks, onions, garlic, bananas, soybeans, whole wheat foods and even California Avocados!
California Avocados are a good source of dietary fiber, with 11% dietary fiber per 1/3 serving or 50 grams 30-40% of which are prebiotic fiber. Avocados also are a healthy superfood with good fats and contribute nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. To have a healthy gut, you need to have a good balance of bacteria. To do that, you need to add both prebiotic and probiotic foods. Try my latest recipe Creole Jambalaya with California Avocado Yogurt Sauce, using both probiotics and prebiotic foods.
Fiber Up: Fiber has always been good for your gut and health regardless of probiotics or prebiotics. Higher intakes of dietary fiber are linked to less cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, lower diabetes risk and lower body weight. Dietary fiber is one of the foods that can help control your hunger by making you satisfied for longer periods of time and therefore eating less. Soluble fiber is found in apples, oatmeal, beans, barley and Brussel sprouts, among others. Insoluble fiber “cleans you up” and makes you regular, resulting in a healthy gut. These fibers are found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. So go at it!
Clean Up: It is not difficult to change the balance of your gut bacteria and create conditions that are conducive to bad bacteria. A poor diet that is paired with low intake of pre-and probiotics, allows the bad bacteria in our guts to grow and multiply. So limit the intake of high sugar, high fat, fried foods, processed and high refined carbohydrates because the bad bacteria always love having a party in your gut with these foods.
Summer is synonymous with fresh fare, making seafood a seasonal staple on both the East and West coasts. From crab caught off the coast of New England to the succulent salmon found in the cool waters of the Northwest to the tender tuna from the warm shores of Hawaii, there is no shortage of ocean eats in the United States. To find out which coastal cuisine catches your eye (and your stomach,) we’re diving into a seafood showdown! Whether you’re team East Coast or team West Coast, one thing is certain: Adding California Avocados to your meal is always a good idea.
Sustenance by the Sea
Massachusetts, also known as the Bay State, mixes rich colonial history with some of the best modern-day fishing ports in the world. Thanks to its prime location on the Atlantic, Massachusetts serves up some of the finest shellfish around. Though Hawaii is the youngest state, its cultural traditions have had a major impact on the culinary community. Seafood is plentiful in the Pacific, allowing Hawaii to bring scrumptious saltwater fish to the table. Regardless of which you prefer, California Avocados can enhance these enticing eats.
Crab is a culinary king in communities of both the Northeast and the Northwest. In the mid-Atlantic state of Maryland, crabs are abundant in the Chesapeake Bay and along the coast, making the crab cake a regional classic. King crabs are the crustacean champions in Alaska, with the majority coming from the cool waters of Bristol Bay. The sweet, tender meat from these crabs is used in unique dishes across the globe. Coastal allegiances aside, California Avocados mix well with crustacean creations from any region!
Aptly nicknamed the Ocean State, Rhode Island has sandy beaches, large bays and a long tradition of shellfish dishes. Though the state is small in size, it more than makes up for it with a bounty of savory seafood served in unique ways, like scallops in chilled soup! In the Pacific Northwest state of Washington, foodies can find a fusion of flavors that mix fresh fish with Asian influences to create delicious dishes like salmon rice bowls. Whichever bowl you vote for at the ballot box, adding California Avocados to your dish is a great idea 100 percent of the time.