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California Haas avocados, with their dark green alligator-like skin, buttery flavor and creamy flesh, are in season right now. Supplies are plentiful, which means good prices for the consumer and opportunity to use them in a myriad of ways. If you’re an avocado lover, you’ll enjoy viewing the many recipes at the California Avocado Commission’s (CAC) website at www.californiaavocado.com, such as the one here for Cumin Glazed Ribs with California Avocado Pineapple Salsa, created by chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger. In addition, if you’ve never made your own guacamole, now’s the time to try America’s Test Kitchen’s recipe for Chunky Guacamole – an especially nice accompaniment to a homemade fajita meal. When you purchase an avocado, give it a slight squeeze – it should have a little “give” when gently pressed. Whether you are planning to cut an avocado into slices, or mash it for guacamole, you’re still going to have to remove the pit. To do that, wash the avocado and dry with a paper towel, then cut lengthwise around the pit. Once you’ve cut around the pit, twist the halves to separate, then gently lift out the pit, from the bottom, with the tip of a spoon. To prevent the avocado from discoloring, lightly sprinkle with a little lemon or lime juice, then remove the skin with a knife. Nutritionally, research shows that avocados are a great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, the kind of fat that may help raise levels of HDL (the good cholesterol), while lowering levels of LDL (the bad).

Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at kitchenade@yahoo.com.

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