I love avocados. I don’t eat them that often. The price is pretty high on the east coast, about two to three dollars an avocado. When I use to work at a restaurant I would take them all the time, my bosses would charge me less or nothing at all. Once I left I faced the harsh reality of paying retail for avocados.
Then there are the draughts in California. I mentioned on my blog about how almonds use up lots of water, and I therefore tried to cut down on my almond consumption. I subbed soy milk for almond milk, and made rice milk at home (instead of almond milk). Yes, I was buying and making almond milk each and every week.
So what about avocados? How much water do they use? The answer: a lot, but not as much as almonds.
A huge portion of avocado production in the United States happen in Southern California. Then when the United States season ends for avocados, Chili starts their season. And just like Southern California, Chili is going through their own drought.
Being an East Coaster I have an option that is better for the environment: the Florida Avocado. Yes, there are several different types of avocados, though Haas is clearly America’s favorite. The avocados grown in Florida have a smooth green skin, a much larger size, lower fat content, and less calories. Because of the lower fat content, there is a larger amount of water, and a milder flavor. There are a few things I’ve learned about this variety, and will share to anyone who wants to make a more eco-friendly decision.
Their Cheaper (for me at least)
It’s hard not to choose the Florida avocado over the Haas on price alone. One haas avocado is $2.50 a piece while the Florida avocado is $2 each. Sure it is only about fifty cents less, but the Florida avocado is about double the size of a Haas. I can find some cheaper Haas avocados in “bulk bags” but only gets down to about $1.75 each, which still is more expensive due to size. Part of the cheaper price is because cheaper transport, New Jersey is closer to Florida than California or Chili.
Sometimes it is Called a Slimcado (get over it)
You might see this in the store with stickers claiming it is a “slimcado.” I think this label can hurt and help sales. Yes, it has less calories and less fat, which for some people is important. But on the flip side, some people care more about those healthy fats and having non-GMO foods. The name gives a vibe that this is a Haas avocado that has been altered to fit a specific demand in the market. It isn’t. This is a species of avocado that grows in the West Indies, and has been around for years.
Let it Sit For a Few Days to Ripen
When I first tried these guys I hated it. I mean disgusted. I knew I wasted my money. A few years went by and I figured why not give them a second chance. Over the years I learned more tricks about keeping and picking Haas avocados, so applied those rules to the Florida avocado. So I sat my new avocados on the counter and waited a few days. The difference in taste is huge. Many reviews online had people saying they hate Florida avocados, but I think people are just eating unripe fruit. The color of the skin may change color, depending on the variety. The main way to tell if your Florida avocado is ripe is my checking if the flesh is soft. When it is ripe, toss it in the fridge to eat later, or consume in 2-3 days.
It Just Doesn’t Make Guac (sorry)
I think we all love guacamole for it’s velvety and fatty consistency. I’ve tried using a Florida avocado several times, and failed. I kept getting guac that was over powered by other flavors, garlic, salt, lime, etc. I also got a weird watery spread, that just didn’t seem right. If you grew up eating guac from Florida avocados, then you might think it is the only way to eat guacamole. If Haas avocados shaped your guac standards you will just be disappointed. Keep in mind other recipes that use raw blended avocados for a thick food like puddings, probably will need modifications.
Since there is less fat in Florida avocados they are much firmer and keep their shape. There has been many times where I’ve made a salad and added avocado chunks, only to have them mush up when tossing it. The other day I used my Florida avocado in my sushi rolls. They ended up being the most beautiful sushi rolls I’ve ever made since the avocado flesh was firm enough to cut up. So if you want the flesh to stay together I would recommend the Florida variety over Haas.
Still Tastes Great In Shakes
Some of my favorite shakes use avocados. But I never actually make them because of price. Well, the Florida avocado easily subs in, and one fruit can last all week. Even with the lower fat content, the it’ll still delivers that thick velvety quality that you look for. Since Florida avocados are bigger I would “halve” the amount used in the recipe. For example if a shake calls for half of an avocado, use only a quarter of a Florida avocado.