2024 avo season is officially here! What will you cook up this year?

by Tia
92 views

You’ve seen them, those social media influencers, the pro cooks, the home cooks, the health cooks, the dad cooks, the busy mom cooks, the varsity-just-learning-how-to-cook cooks…they’re all chopping, slicing and dicing in front of the camera. Guess what their #1 ingredient is? Avocados, which are ripe here, right now as the 2024 avo season opens!

Ok, to be fair, that’s a bit of a stretch. The foodie ingredients most likely to make waves on social media this year, according to Time magazine’s survey of industry insiders, are Asian ingredients like black sesame, ube and milk tea.

But this survey, and almost every food trend prediction list for 2024, emphasises the continuing strong demand for plant-based meals, and the sustained use of wholefood vegetables – i.e. vegetables that have not been highly processed – in restaurant and easy make-at-home dishes.

The growing trend of using vegetables in drinks is also gaining popularity, with the Time survey noting that ‘mixologists worldwide are embracing meal profiles for drink flavours’.

South African grown avocados fit directly into all these trends. They are a quintessential ingredient in plant-based meals; they are complete wholefoods, in that they can be used as is without processing; they make decadently creamy drinks; and they’re totally Insta-worthy (just check out the trending #avocadobread to see what we mean!).

This points to the extreme versatility of avos, and how easy it is to ‘add an avo’ to breakfast, lunch or supper dishes, as snacks or meals in their own right, and as toppings or something special on the side.

Research undertaken by the SA Avocado Growers’ Association (SAAGA) last year showed that the popularity of avos among consumers had surged in recent years, transitioning from being considered a luxury ingredient to becoming a household staple in many South African homes.

This shift is being largely driven by the increasing recognition of avos’ health benefits, and the multitude of ways that consumers can ‘add an avo’ to pantry staples or leftovers to create affordable family meals across all of our beautiful cultures.

Avos are high in heart-healthy fats, vitamin K and biotin, free from cholesterol and sodium, and can form part of a successful energy-controlled diet for weight management. They’re also considered a value-for-money ingredient, as a little goes a long way.

SAAGA’s research also revealed that, even though the average cost of all foods has increased, consumers consistently prioritise avocados, regularly including them in their shopping lists. Consumers’ avo purchase behaviour has evolved from impulse buying in 2012 and 2016 to planned purchases in 2021 and 2023. Shoppers particularly love ripe and ready avocados, with 66% being willing to pay more for this convenience.

SA avos are available almost all year round: creamy, green-skinned varieties from March until October, and nutty dark-skinned avos from March until November. Both green and dark-skinned avos are equally delicious and nutritious.

So, what will you cook up this year? All you need is a recipe, a camera, a hashtag…and to add an avo or two to create your own viral foodie sensation!

For further information and avo recipes, visit www.avocado.co.za , like us on Facebook @iloveavocadoSA and follow us on Instagram @iloveavossa

Dairy-free Avo Smoothie

(Yoghurt substitute)

Vegan friendly!

Serves 1

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 125 ml (½ cup) chopped pineapple
  • Handful baby spinach
  • 180 ml (¾ cup) orange juice + extra
  • Squeeze of lemon juice, to taste

Method:

  1. Freeze the avo, banana and pineapple overnight in an airtight container.
  2. Blitz together all the ingredients until creamy. Thin out with extra orange juice, if preferred. Serve immediately.

Tip:

If you don’t have time to freeze the fruit, blitz them fresh with a handful of ice cubes.

Avo Pastry Tart

(Butter substitute)

Vegetarian friendly!

Serves 8

Preparation time: 30 minutes + resting

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

FOR THE AVO PASTRY

  • 125 ml (½ cup) mashed avocado
  • 330 ml (1⅓ cups) cake flour + extra
  • 7.5 ml (½ tbsp) baking powder
  • 2.5 ml (½ tsp) salt
  • ±60 ml (¼ cup) cold water

FOR THE FILLING

  • 6 eggs
  • 500 ml (2 cups) frozen peas, defrosted
  • 125 ml (½ cup) crumbled feta
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 firm-ripe avocado, halved, stoned and peeled
  • Handful basil

Method:

  1. For the pastry, blitz the avo until smooth. Mix through the flour, baking powder, salt and just enough water until it comes together in a ball. Dust a surface with extra flour and knead until smooth. Cover in plastic wrap and rest for 20 minutes.
  2. Roll the dough out into a circle of 5 mm thickness. Line a greased 23 cm x 4 cm deep quiche tin with the dough, trimming any overhang. Prick the base with a fork. Top with scrunched baking paper and baking weights (like dry beans). Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200° C. Bake the tart case for 10 minutes. Remove the baking paper and weights and bake for about 5 minutes or until light golden.
  4. For the filling, blitz the eggs, 375 ml (1½ cups) of the peas and 80 ml (⅓ cup) of the feta. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into the tart case and bake for about 30 minutes or until just set. Cool to room temperature.
  5. Make avo roses by placing one avocado half cut side down on a cutting board. Slice through the width into very thin slices.
  6. Fan out the avocado slices into a straight line. Begin at one end and gently roll up into a spiral rose shape. Repeat with the remaining avo half.
  7. Place the avocado roses on the tart with remaining 125 ml (½ cup) peas and 45 ml (3 tbsp) feta. Top with basil.

Roast Veg and Avo ‘Mayo’ Wraps

(Mayo substitute)

Vegan friendly!

Serves 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

FOR THE AVO MAYO

  • 1 avocado
  • Juice of 1½ lemons, to taste
  • 2.5 ml (½ tsp) garlic powder
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) olive or avocado oil
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) water
  • Pinch of salt

FOR THE WRAPS

  • 4 wraps
  • 2 handfuls mixed salad leaves
  • 375 ml (1½ cups) leftover roast veggies
  • 1 avocado, sliced

Method:

  1. For the avo mayo, blitz together all the ingredients until smooth.
  2. For the wraps, spread the avo mayo in lines down the middle of the wraps. Top with leaves, veggies and avocado. Fold both sides of each wrap over the filling. Tie up with kitchen string to hold it together.

Variation:

For a meaty option add 250 ml (1 cup) shredded leftover roast chicken or sliced braaied meat.

Load shedding tip:

The mayo can be made a day ahead. Alternatively mash the avo and beat in remaining ingredients until smooth.

You may also like

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!