Put a new spin on family favourites this avo season!
Celebrate the 2021 avo season by adding an avo (or two) to your family’s best-loved dishes, for simple, quick and utterly delicious meals made with love.
If 2020 taught us anything, it was to spend more time doing what we loved, and less time doing what we didn’t. Like enjoying more time together sharing wholesome meals, and less time in the kitchen preparing them. Good thing that the 2021 avo season is in full swing. Why? Because avos are definitely more of what we love and are an easy way to add that something special to any regular family meal!
The buttery, creamy green-skinned avo varieties Fuerte, Edranol, Ryan, Reed and Pinkerton are available from March until October, and the rich, nutty dark-skinned Hass, Maluma Hass and Lamb Hass from March until November.
While we love the fact that South African avos are available almost all year-round, we’re particularly happy that we can get our hands on them in winter due to the immune support they may offer in the colder months.
Did you know avos are high in copper (33%), a source of fibre (5.3g fibre per 100g) and contain antioxidants?
Copper is known to support immune system function. Fibre is essential for good gut health; around 65% of the immune system is housed in the gut, which regulates immunity and helps to protect against invading pathogens that cause disease. Antioxidants are powerful food components that maintain and regulate immune function, and avos contain the antioxidant nutrients lycopene and beta-carotene.
So not only are avos ripe and ready right now, but they’re a source of nutrients, versatile and super quick to add to almost any dish, cutting down on meal prep.
This season’s family dinner must-haves include oven-baked beef, pork or chicken schnitzel topped with Caprese-inspired sliced tomato, mozzarella cheese, basil leaves, and avo slices.
Also on the menu is a fun avo twist on family favourites – mac and cheese, and meatballs. Give your ho-hum mac and cheese a makeover with an avo cheese sauce topped with avo and coriander. Tired of drowning meatballs in gravy to enhance their taste? Imagine meatballs rolled up with avo, spinach and ricotta, baked to perfection, and served with Greek-style yoghurt and fresh lemon wedges.
Avocado Mac & Cheese Recipe
- Serves 4 – 6
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cooking Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 60 minutes
- 500g pasta, macaroni or rigatoni
For the avocado sauce:
- 2 large avocados, peeled and pitted
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tablespoon lime juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the cheese sauce:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 ½ cups low fat milk
- 1 cup strong white cheddar cheese, grated
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 180°C and grease a casserole or oven dish. Cook pasta according to recipe or package directions until al dente (to bring out the flavour of the pasta, add salt to the water).
- For the avocado sauce: Combine all the avocado sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pulse to break up the ingredients, then use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and pulse again until you have a thick, creamy sauce. Set aside.
- For the cheese sauce and assembly: In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat, whisk flour into the butter to form a roux and cook for 1 minute. Whisk the milk into the roux a little at a time until you’ve worked out all the lumps. Bring sauce to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture has thickened, about 6-8 minutes.
- Whisk avocado sauce into milk mixture. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, until sauce has thickened again.
- Remove sauce from heat. Season with salt and pepper. Add pasta to sauce and toss until pasta is evenly coated. Pour into an oven dish or casserole and top with white cheddar. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbling.
- Top mac and cheese with extra diced avocado and fresh coriander or flat leaf parsley and serve immediately.