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California avocado season is officially here, with fresh delicious fruit available now through summer. From smoothies and salads to dips and desserts, everyone’s favorite California avocados are packed with flavor and nutrients, a versatile must-have ingredient for your springtime meals.

In celebration of the new season, the California Avocado Commission encourages consumers to experience all that California avocados have to offer, while sharing some knowledge along the way. To ensure you make the most of this delicious fruit, CAC is rounding up the top five things to know about California avocados, so you’re prepared all season long:

  1. Although you may see avocados in stores all year round, it’s important to know that California avocados are only available from spring through summer
  2. Look for California on the label to ensure you’re enjoying locally grown California avocados. And if you can’t find conventionally grown California avocados, don’t forget to check the organic section!
  3. Locally grown California avocados are meticulously cared for by about 3,000 growers and picked at their peak, resulting in fruit that is consistent in taste and texture. Since they are grown close to home, California avocados go from tree to table in just a few days
  4. California avocados are a sodium- and cholesterol-free heart-healthy superfood. The greatest concentration of beneficial carotenoids is in the dark green fruit of the avocado closest to the peel. To get to the heart-healthy nutrient-dense fruit directly under the peel, peel the skin from the avocado, instead of scooping. Learn more about CAC’s “nick and peel” method here
  5. From salads to desserts, CAC’s website offers unlimited access to unique and versatile recipes featuring in-season California avocados, such as this Dungeness Crab Stuffed California Avocado recipe and this Strawberry, Watermelon, Avocado and Mint Smoothie recipe, perfect for the warmer months

“We’re all pros when it comes to eating avocados, but knowing where to find California avocados and understanding the benefits of buying local are the first steps to a consistent experience,” said Terry Splane, vice president of marketing of the Commission. “We hope you find these tips helpful the next time you’re shopping for California avocados, and we encourage you to take advantage of fresh, in-season California avocados to help elevate every meal for any occasion.”