Fresh California avocados will be featured in unique limited time offer Baja Fresh and La Salsa menu items during the height of the California avocado season. As part of the promotions, each foodservice chain will showcase the new California Avocados brand logo on menu boards, cash register wraps and in social media posts from mid-April through the end of June.
The Scoop Blog is an essential piece of the California Avocado Commission’s (CAC) digital presence. Hosted on the www.californiaavocado.com consumer website, the blog provides California avocado fans with season updates, lifestyle posts, nutrition information and recipes for every meal and snacking opportunity.
Cinco de Mayo is the perfect time to get together and enjoy the company of friends and family while chowing down on favorite noshes. I personally love the Cinco de Mayo time of the year because seasonal fruits and veggies are coming to market (like California Avocados) and you can showcase the freshness through unique recipes and pairings.
If you prefer to keep your tequila in your glass and out of your guac, this avocado margarita from Dara at CookinCanuck.com is just what you’re looking for. “This avocado margarita may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of standard cocktails,” says Dara. “But let me tell you something… this is one of the best blended margaritas I’ve ever had the pleasure to guzzle down.”
This festive fajita salad may be more involved than the traditional caesar or house salad, but relish in the fact that it could serve as the main attraction on any Cinco de Mayo menu and still knock your guests’ sombreros off with flavor. With grilled skirt steak, shrimp or chicken and special recipes for Jalapeño Butter and Serrano Vinaigrette included, you can customize this recipe specifically to your guests’ flavor profiles or dietary restrictions.
Delicious Mexican-inspired quesadillas from renowned chef Mary Sue Milliken. With ingredients like roasted chicken, black beans, green onions and chipotle chiles, your guests will thank you for the deliciousness as they round the serving table for seconds.
Set those processed, frozen taquitos aside because making fresh homemade taquitos is easier than you might think! Maximum flavor and spice paired with a creamy California Avocado dipping sauce that complements the heat and cools the palate.
Celebrate California-style with a twist on the burrito bowl, complete with cilantro lime rice and delicious avocado ranch dressing. You can vary this bowl in hundreds of ways – it’s the dressing that makes the difference!
This award winning, consumer-submitted recipe brings together easy-to-find ingredients in a colorful way that’s perfect for a Cinco de Mayo theme. It’s a make ahead recipe so you can enjoy time with your guests, then wrap up the menu with this refreshing dessert.
Traditionally Al Pastor style tacos are made with slow cooked pork. In this version we use a yellowtail jack available locally to pair with the ripe California Avocados. The marriage of the traditional accompaniments with a modern twist will surely impress family and friends at any BBQ or dinner party!
Did you know that avocados make a great first baby food? The texture, the taste, and the incredible nutrient profile are perfectly ripe for little hands and mouths just starting out on solid foods!
MEETING NUTRITION NEEDS
Breastmilk and/or infant formula is just fine for providing all the nutrition your baby needs up until six months of life. At the six-month mark though, healthy babies need to start being introduced to complementary foods. Complementary foods are those other than breastmilk or infant formula that provide nutrients. Babies should continue receiving breast milk or formula during this complementary feeding period with amounts gradually reduced as solid food intake increases. They will still get much of their nutrition from breastmilk or formula for the rest of their first year of life; but, these new foods help a baby learn how to eat and, also provide valuable nutrients during this period of incredible growth, as an infant usually triples their body weight between birth and their first birthday.
MORE BANG FOR YOUR BITE
From a nutrition standpoint, avocados make so much sense as a first food. They are one of the few foods that provide a lot of “bang-for-your-bite.” That’s because avocados contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals and they are one of the few fruits that are packed with good fats that help with babies’ brain development.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says that complementary foods should be “rich in energy, protein, iron and zinc,” and some of the plant-based options they recommend include “hummus, tofu, well-cooked legumes and mashed avocado.”
FLAVOR AND TEXTURE
Flavors and textures play an important role in a baby’s transition to solid foods. Avocados are a neutral-flavored food and a ripe avocado is a great texture for a baby just starting out learning how to eat.
HOW TO SERVE AVOCADO TO YOUR BABY
A healthy baby who is six months old, can sit on his or her own relatively unassisted and who is exhibiting an interest in food and other signs of readiness-to-eat is perfectly capable of handling slices of ripe avocado.
Try offering a few slices on the high chair tray and see how your baby reacts. This first reaction will be to explore, experiment and play around with the food ─ getting most of it anywhere but in his mouth! And that’s ok, since the process of introducing complementary foods is as much about HOW we feed as it is WHAT we feed. Allowing the baby to try to pick up the avocado, to feel it and put it in his mouth is an important part of learning to eat.
If you are spoon-feeding your baby, you can mash avocado and offer it by spoon. For older infants, another great way to offer avocado is to spread it on whole grain toast or low sodium rice cakes.
And don’t worry if your baby doesn’t eat a lot! Babies have small stomachs and don’t need to eat a lot of food at one time. The American Academy of Pediatrics reminds parents that a six-month-old baby may only eat 3-4 tablespoons of food at a time. So don’t worry if most of the avocado that you offer ends up on the floor!
PERSISTENCE PAYS OFF
You may have to offer a food to a baby 10-15 times before he or she accepts it. The problem is many parents and caregivers stop after two or three tries. Persistence pays off when it comes to introducing complementary foods. Give your baby a LOT of opportunities to try a variety of foods. Research shows that babies who are exposed to the greatest number of foods in the first year of life are less likely to be picky eaters later when they are toddlers.
Citations & Bibliography
American Academy of Pediatrics. (2017). Infant Food and Feeding. Retrieved March 1, 2017, from American Academy of Pediatrics.
American Academy of Pediatrics. (2011). Nutrition: What Every Parents Needs to Know. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.
Comerford, K., Ayoob, K., Murray, R., & Atkinson, S. (2016). The Role of Avocados in Complementary and Transitional Feeding. Nutrients, 8 (5), 316.
Kathy, C. (2010). Complementary feeding for infants 6 to 12 months. J Fam. Health Care , 20, 20-23.
Mallan, K., Fildes, A., Margarey, A., & Daniels, L. (2016). The Relationship between Number of Fruits, Vegetables, and Noncore Foods Tried at Age 14 Months and Food Preferences, Dietary Intake Patterns, Fussy Eating Behavior, and Weight Status at Age 3.7 Years. J Acad Nutr Diet , 116 (4), 630-7.
Melina, V., Craig, W., & Levin, S. (2016). Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Vegetarian Diets. J Acad Nutr Diet , 116 (12), 1970-1980.
Picciano, M., Smiciklas-Wright, H., Birch, L., Mitchell, D., Murray-Kolb, L., & McConahy, K. (2000). Nutritional Guidance Is Needed During Dietary Transition in Early Childhood. . Pediatrics , 106, 109-114.
Ventura, A., & Worobey, J. (2013, 23 R401-R408). Early influences on the development of food preferences. Curr Biol.
One of my favorite dishes to whip up when I need to serve something on the fancier side, but am short on time, is cauliflower steaks. They take 30 minutes to prepare, but I love the way they look and they are super versatile. You can pair them with all sorts of flavors and side dishes and have a fantastic meal. My favorite way to cook cauliflower steaks these days is to first pan-sear them and then finishing cooking them in the oven. This way you get a bit of caramelization going (and flavor!) with the pan-searing and then transferring them to the oven to finish cooking frees up your hands, and your stove top, so that you can be working on side dishes or on a sauce to serve with your cauliflower steaks.
Another favorite trick of mine is to mash up some California Avocado with a bit of lemon juice and water, then use that mixture in place of oil to brush the steaks with before cooking. The steaks cook up beautifully and you get a different flavor and color than if you used oil.
A favorite condiment of mine, especially now that spring is here, and slightly warmer weather, is gremolata, and it goes perfectly with a good cauliflower steak. Gremolata is a classic Italian condiment, typically made with a mixture of minced parsley and garlic and grated lemon peel. Because cauliflower steaks are lighter and less rich than the braised veal shank that gremolata traditionally goes with, I add the rest of avocado, leftover from making the mixture to brush onto the cauliflower steaks, to my gremolata, as well as a squeeze of lemon juice to prevent browning, and some salt to make all the flavors pop.
Bright flavors and colors, and whips up in about 30 minutes, this dish is sure to impress!
Avocado Cauliflower Steaks with California Avocado Gremolata Recipe
Makes 2 to 3 servings
For the avocado cauliflower steaks:
1 large head cauliflower
1/4 ripe fresh, California avocado (Note: you will use the rest of the avocado in the gremolata)
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
5 – 6 teaspoons cold water
Salt and Pepper, to taste
For the avocado gremolata
1/3 cup finely minced flat-leaf parsley
Zest, finely grated, of 2 lemons
5 cloves garlic, crushed and finely minced
3/4 avocado, finely chopped
Squeeze of lemon juice
Salt, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Carefully remove the outer leaves of the cauliflower and tri the steam, while leaving the core intact. Using a large chef’s knife, cut the cauliflower from the top down to the stem end into 3 “steaks” that are about ¾-inch thick.
Mash 1/4 of the avocado with the lemon juice until it is as smooth as possible. There will still be some small chunks. Begin adding 1 teaspoon of cold water at a time until your avocado mixture can be brushed on to your steaks. (5 – 6 teaspoons cold water) Brush both sides of the cauliflower steaks with the avocado mixture, then season each steak on both sides with salt and pepper.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, then sear the cauliflower steaks, one at a time, until the edges begin to turn golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Carefully transfer the steaks to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Roast the steaks in the preheated oven until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
While the steaks are cooking, mix all of the gremolata ingredients together, then set aside.
Transfer the cooked steaks to individual plates and spoon the gremolata over them. Serve immediately.