Florida avocados, as per the USDA data, have about 25 percent fewer calories and 30 percent less fat per cup than their California competition. For both, the fat is primarily healthy monounsaturated fat. Although similarly packed with essential nutrients such as potassium and folate, Florida avocados have more vitamin C and E than California avocados, but they have less fiber and are slightly less nutrient-dense overall.
Florida avocados also have less than half the oil of other varieties produced in the country. They are mostly grown in Miami-Dade and Collier counties. Florida avocados are available from June through March and are in their peak season right now (July, August, September).
How to buy
Avocados should be heavy for their size, and slightly firm. Use them only when they are ripe, otherwise, they are hard and completely tasteless. To determine ripeness, cradle the fruit in your hand and apply slight pressure; it should give slightly.
Tips for storage
Avocados are highly perishable. Unless you plan to use them right away, it is best to purchase them a little underripe. They can take two to three days to fully soften at room temperature. Once ripe, store them in the refrigerator and plan on using them within three days. Make sure to completely cover exposed avocado flesh with plastic wrap; adding lemon or lime juice will help slow browning.
To safely remove the pit, put the blade of a sharp knife into the pit, twist slightly, and it should come right out. If an avocado is not yet ripe and you need to use it right away, you can prick the skin and place it in the microwave for 40 to 70 seconds on high. This will soften the avocado enough to use. If the skin is brittle and hard to get off, try using a large spoon to scoop the flesh out of the skin.
Flavors well with:
Tomatoes, salads, bacon, sandwiches, seafood, citrus, cilantro
Help get rid of dry skin during those cold winter months by mashing up one half of an avocado and spreading it thickly on your face. Wait 20 minutes and wash it off with warm water. No more dry skin!
Looking for other delicious Florida foods and authentic recipes? Look no further than our Authentic Florida Recipe Favorites here!