Monday, November 21, 2011

Avocados for Thanksgiving?!

Winter avocados and late-season Hass avocados make a great addition to your Thanksgiving table. Zutanos and small Bacon's are just ripening - and can add color, flavor, creaminess as well as loads of protien, vitamins, minerals and much needed fiber to your traditional turkey dinner. 
The Diva suggests you think about adding avocados like this:
(a) - add to your salad for extra fiber
(b) - make a delicious, healthy cream for the top of your pumpkin soup
(c) - create a healthy mousse with nutmeg & avos for a light dessert
If you want to be really "out there" with avocados - you can mash them up and add to your mashed potatoes! They add a delicate flavor (and they make the potatoes green! -- maybe a better idea for the day after Thanksgiving... ;-)
Add avocados to your Thanksgiving feast!
AFTER Thanksgiving - adding some slices of Zutano, Bacon or a late season Hass to your turkey sandwich really ups the deliciousness factor PLUS can help with your digestion the day after! 
Speaking of digestion - a tea made from the leaves of Mexicola avocados can help your liver and kidney de-tox from a "big holiday" of eating and drinking. 
For more info on heritage avocados (Mexicola, Zutano, Bacon), recipes, and avocado leaves for tea - please visit

Thursday, November 10, 2011

How to Ripen an Avocado


Now that you know Winter Variety Avocados are on their way (Zutano, Bacon, Fuerte - YUM!) here is the answer to the most common question the Avocado Diva hears:
"How do I ripen my avocado?"
Ripening Tips for Avocados:
(1) you CAN refrigerate them (in the crisper is best). Don't do it for too long (no more than a week or 10 days at max). This will extend their life. NOTE: commercially grown fruit is often given a "gassing" to ripen them before they go to the store. It's not harmful, but it will effect the length of time they can stay in a fridge. Whereas if you get them from the Diva or a Farmer's market or your neighbor - they will last longer.
(2) To ripen put on the counter in a cool, warm place (not hot).
(3) To ripen faster - put fruit together (several avos, or add apples/bananas to the bowl). They give off a chemical together that ripens themselves faster.
(4) To ripen FASTEST - put in a thick sided cardboard box or heavy paper bag (double a Trader Joe's bag, for example) - and add a big bunch of YELLOW bananas - fold it closed (staple it) and put in a warm, dry spot (like a sun ray!) The Diva has been able to ripen avocados for dinner that way... (not always -- but sometimes!) At the MOST they will ripen from rock hard to edible in 2 - 3 days.
The Diva ships you avocados RIGHT from the tree - so they DO arrive priority mail - very hard still.  We also ship a detailed instruction sheet on how to ripen them (so you can choose - to ripen them all at once -- or "string them out" over a few weeks and enjoy your avocados for a long time!)  We also send you a special "Diva ripening bag" to help you get started.  Why not order a box today? Or better yet, join our "Diva Club - and help save Heritage Avocado Trees - plus be the FIRST to get the best of the best for that month.  We love our Diva Club Members!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Winter Avocados ALMOST Here...

Winter Avocado Variety: Fuerte - Delicious! 

Did you know there are "summer" avocados and "winter" avocados? They are an interesting fruit -- with over 500 varieties in California alone. There are over 1,500 kinds world wide. 
Most people only know about the "classic" summer fruit -- Hass.  (It's pronounced like it's spelled folks... my kids feel like they get a pass on a cuss word...) 
ANYWAY - right now, in November, we are between the two seasons. But soon -- like in the next 10 days or so -- the first of the winter fruits will start to be ready for pick'n. 
Here is what will become available soon:
First - Zutano
Second - Bacon
Then - Fuerte
These are classic, thin skinned, "green", winter varieties. They start out with little oil - so they are lower in fat and calories - perfect for salads and to whiz up in the blender for protein filled smoothies or frothy desserts (add milk and sugar).
As the season progresses into January and February - they gain more and more oil and flavor.  I personally LOVE Bacon avocados - they are a large, beautiful, light green flesh that makes for perfect slices - and delicious sauces too!
So keep your eyes out for Winter varieties soon.
If you find California Hass or Lamb - they are VERY late season and will be REALLY FULL of oil -- maybe even starting to turn (e.g. - they can get rancid!) -- so taste test them -- and if they are good - CHOW DOWN! They will be super rich!
(P.S. -- Most of the avos in the stores are now from Chili and Mexico -- scrawny little things that have shipped a long, long way in not the best conditions (sometimes).  So be patient -- and wait for the cream of the Winter crop!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Rattle Snakes - Bow Chicka Wow Wow

Photo by Plato Skouras - Happy Camp Canyon, Moorpark, CA
Check out this amazing and slightly creepy snake couple. Then watch the video link below. It was taken by my neighbor this past weekend while he was riding his bike in Happy Camp Canyon - a local trail here in Moorpark. (Less than 3 miles from the Diva's headquarters).  Happy Camp is surrounded by -- gulp -- AVOCADO ORCHARDS! 
(P.S. - watch second 38 when they REALLY get into it! - Ugh!!)
The snakes are either 2 males fighting and marking their territory. Or they are a male and female - well - doing what males and females do. He said he didn't get close enough to find out what their genders were. (Can you blame him?!)
Back to me and my needs - as the Avocado Diva -- I am always walking through orchards with ranchers - looking at trees and fruit. And - I am terrified of snakes. I always wear "hardy" shoes - but now I am getting some tall boots. Boots that cover my ankles. And most of my calves. Shudder.  
Just yesterday I was tromping around an orchard in Somis. (Thank GOODNESS we picked yesterday - these Santa Ana winds are TERRIBLE on heritage avocados - the winds knocks them into each other and rips their thin, non-bumpy skins causing scars. The fruit is not harmed, but they don't look as pretty).
So I asked the orchard owner (in a nervous voice) --- "Well -- ever see snakes?". She answered "Nope - been here over 21 years - no snakes!".  In less than 10 minutes - we saw 2 red tailed hawks flying over us --- fighting -- over a snake in one of their claws.  GREAT. 
Less than 10 minutes after that, I spot -- you guessed it -- a snake.  "Huh!" says the rancher.  "You probably called it out - by mentioning a snake."  GREAT. (It was a black racer - not a rattler. And it was dead. But still -- it was a snake. Shudder.)
Anyway -- snakes are part of the Diva's world -- she'll do just about ANYTHING to help save our heritage avocado trees. But she'll be doing it with boots on from hence forth. 
(No snakes were harmed in the making of this blog post. However, the red-tailed hawks - they chowed down on one - after ripping into two pieces - high above the Diva's head in that orchard...) 

"Snakes. Why does it have to be snakes?" -- Indiana Jones AND the Diva both quote the same thing...