Avo good day: superfruit is back — richer, creamier and tastier than ever

The 2024 season has arrived with a bounty of produce and some yummy recipes to inspire a green feast

14 April 2024 - 00:00 By Compiled by Hilary Biller
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Dairy-free avo smoothie.
Dairy-free avo smoothie.
Image: SA Avocado Growers' Association


The avocado is one of nature’s most indulgent offerings: its richness, creaminess and delicate flavour are unparalleled. Avos are not only tasty, but have manifold health benefits too — so it makes sense to include them in your daily diet. 

Monday: next-level nutrients

Fuel your day the avocado way. Avocados are well known for being nutritious, with heart-healthy fats; essential minerals like potassium, magnesium and manganese; and other important nutrients like folate, vitamin K, vitamin E and vitamin C.

Tuesday: heart-health happiness

Embrace heart-smart eating with a daily dose of avos. Avocados are famous for their potential heart-health benefits thanks to their unique nutritional makeup of potassium, fibre, antioxidants like vitamin E, and phytochemicals like lutein and zeaxanthin. 

Wednesday: brilliant blood pressure

An avocado a day to keep blood pressure at bay? A study published in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology found that eating an avo a day can significantly lower blood pressure. Researchers think this is because of the potassium and monounsaturated fat content of avocados. 

Thursday: excellent eyes

See the world in vivid colours, one avo at a time, with vitamins A, E and K, carotenoids, and healthy fats — all of which are vital for preserving eye health and can potentially assist in the prevention of diseases that cause sight loss, such as diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration.

Dairy-free avo smoothie.
Dairy-free avo smoothie.
Image: The SA Avocado Growers' Association

Friday: get that glow

Studies have shown that daily oral avocado consumption may lead to better elasticity and firmness of the skin of healthy women. 

Saturday: good gut feeling

A source of fibre and high in healthy fats, avos may help you get a happier gut. Did you know that eating avocados daily may help the gut make more short-chain fatty acids, a source of energy for the cells lining the colon? This can increase the populations of bacteria that digest fibre, leading to better gut health.

Sunday: feed the mind

From memory to focus, eating avocados can assist in packing a punch for cognitive health, for a sharper, smarter you. One avocado contains 370mg of lutein, a powerful antioxidant that weakens the risk of cognitive degeneration. Lutein accumulates in neural tissues, so it may also boost neurocognition (the processes of linking and reviewing information).


1. The quickest way to ripen an avo is to wrap it in tin foil at 100°C for 10 minutes or more until it softens. Allow to cool in the foil, unwrap and slice. This method may be quick and offer fair texture, but the avo will be a little watery and lacking in flavour.

2. Wrapping hard avos in newsprint works best for me, but this method requires patience. Allow a page of the Sunday Times for two avos, wrapping the paper tightly around the one and then the other. Store the avos in a cool place. The trick is not to forget about them!

3. Pack an unripe avo into a brown paper bag with a banana, which will release ethylene gas that speeds up the ripening process. Depending on the ripeness of the banana, the process can take a couple of days.

4. The flour/paper bag method involves placing a green avo in a sealed brown paper bag and burying it in the flour container. It will take about 36 hours for the avo to ripen. The trick is to remember the buried treasure before both it and the flour spoil!

5. I learnt this tip from a friend, and it works. It’s not about ripening the avo, but rather halting the ripening process when you have many ripe avos. Place the fruit in a bowl, cover it with cold tap water, and then store outside the fridge. The trick is not to leave the avos in the water too long, as they will spoil, so make sure you use the fruit within a couple of days. The water method gives you a much better result than storing avos in the fridge.

Dairy-free Avo Smoothie


Serves 1

Prep time: 10 minutes

1 avocado, chopped

1 banana, sliced

125ml (½ cup) chopped pineapple, optional

A handful baby spinach

180ml (¾ cup) fresh orange juice, plus extra if needed, optional

Squeeze of lemon juice, to taste

1. Freeze the avo, banana and pineapple, if using, overnight in an airtight container. If you don’t have the time to freeze the fruit, use it fresh, adding a few ice cubes.

2. Blitz together all the ingredients until creamy. Thin out with extra orange juice, if preferred, add the lemon juice and serve immediately.

Baked Avocado and Pea Tart

Baked avocado and pea tart.
Baked avocado and pea tart.
Image: The SA Avocado Growers' Association


Serves 8

Prep time: 30 minutes + resting

Cooking time: 30 minutes


125ml (½ cup) mashed avocado

330ml (1⅓ cups) cake flour + extra

5ml (½ tbsp) baking powder

5ml (½ tsp) salt

60ml (¼ cup) cold water


6 eggs

500ml (2 cups) frozen peas, defrosted

125ml (½ cup) crumbled feta

Salt and pepper

1 firm-ripe avocado, halved, stoned and peeled

A handful of fresh basil

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 5mm thickness. Line a greased 23cm x 4cm deep quiche pan with the dough, trimming any overhang. Prick the base with a fork. Top with scrunched baking paper and baking weights, like dried 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, 375ml (1½ cups) of the peas and 80ml (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. 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. Place the avocado roses on the tart with remaining 125ml (½ cup) peas and 45ml (3 tbsp) feta. Top with basil and serve.

Roast veg and avo 'mayo' wraps.
Roast veg and avo 'mayo' wraps.
Image: The SA Avocado Growers' Association

Roast Veg and Avo 'Mayo' Wraps


Serves 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Avo mayo: 

1 avocado

Juice of 1½ lemons, to taste

2.5ml (½ tsp) garlic powder

30ml (2 tbsp) olive or avocado oil

60ml (¼ cup) water

Pinch of salt


4 wraps

2 handfuls mixed salad leaves

375ml (1½ cups) leftover roast veggies, or use leftover roast chicken or sliced braaied meat for a meaty option

1 avocado, sliced

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 (or chicken or meat) and avocado. Top with more avo mayo. Fold both sides of each wrap over the filling. Tie up with kitchen string to hold together.

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