July 31 is the day to celebrate one of America's favorite fruits, the Avocado. It's National Avocado Day! Avocados are versatile, tasty, and rich in vitamins that are great for you, so no wonder it deserves its own holiday.
National Avocado Day Background
National Avocado Day is celebrated on July 31 as it marks the peak of the avocado season in California. This unofficial holiday was created by Model Meals, a company that endorses sustainable farming and healthy foods. The company's founders wanted to dedicate a day to avocado, as they see it as an essential superfood in many people's lifestyles.
Avocados are considered a superfood because of all the health benefits they offer. They contain healthy fats and Omega 3 that help with insulin resistance and are beneficial in fighting Alzheimer's. They are also a great source of vitamins E, C, and K, preventing and repairing damage.
Avocados arrived in the United States through Henry Perrine, a horticulturist, who planted the first avocados in Florida in 1833. Their commercialization started in the 1950s when they became more widely available in supermarkets, and people would use them in salads.
However, avocado consumption in America has skyrocketed since the 2000s, and they are now common food in restaurants and households and are consumed in salads and dips for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. There are many different ways of cooking them as well. Millions of avocados are bought every year in the United States!
Five Brilliant Things to Do with Avocados
Avocados are a versatile and delicious fruit that can be used in various dishes. So here are five brilliant avocado recipes to get your mouth watering!:
Avocado Toast: Toast some bread, add some mashed avocado, and flavor with salt, pepper, and other toppings (be creative!)
Guacamole: Start with mashed avocados. Mix in chopped onion, diced tomato, jalapeño (if you're feeling brave!), lime juice, and cilantro to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper, and serve with tortilla chips.
Avocado Salad: For this healthy choice combine salad greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion. Whisk lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper together to make a dressing. Drizzle the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss gently to combine. Arrange the avocado slices on top of the salad.
Avocado Pasta: Cook the pasta. In a blender or food processor, combine avocados, basil leaves, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss the cooked pasta with the avocado sauce until well coated. Garnish with cherry tomatoes, grated Parmesan cheese, or pine nuts.
Avocado Smoothie: Avocados also make a refreshing smoothie, just scoop the flesh of an avocado into a blender then add a banana, spinach, almond milk, and honey or maple syrup. Blend until smooth and creamy, serve on ice, and enjoy!
Celebrate National Avocado Day
Go all out for this holiday and have an avocado for every meal!
Try some adventurous avocado recipes: Start simple with dishes like avocado sushi rolls, but then maybe try more experimental dishes, like avocado chocolate mousse, avocado ice cream, or avocado fries. There are plenty of recipes available online.
If you happen to live in California, you could visit the California Avocado Festival, also known as Avofest. This is an annual music festival with, of course, plenty of Avocado.
You could host an avocado-themed party: Gather your friends and family for an avocado-themed gathering with avocado-themed decorations such as avocado-shaped balloons and tablecloths. Avocado margaritas anyone?
Amazing Avocado Facts
Did you know avocados are actually berries? While they are commonly thought of as vegetables, they are technically a fruit. To be precise, they are single-seeded berries.
According to the United States National Cancer Institute, one-half of an avocado contains 19 milligrams of glutathione which help in the normal functioning of your immune system.
A study conducted in 2018 showed that avocados help decrease the level of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or bad cholesterol in your body.
Avocados are a nutrient powerhouse, packed with essential nutrients. They contain fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E, various B vitamins plus potassium. In fact, avocados contain an even higher amount of potassium than bananas!
Although avocados are generally available in markets all year round, their peak time for growth is April to July in California.