Avocados are not only good to eat but surprisingly good for your health as well. Rich in the vitamins B, C, K and E, plus they contain more potassium than a banana and no cholesterol or sodium.

Avocados are not only good to eat but surprisingly good for your health as well. They are rich in the vitamins B, C, K and E, plus they contain more potassium than a banana and no cholesterol or sodium. Avocados are also high in fiber and monounsaturated fats. In preliminary studies, a diet high in avocado intake has been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels.

The most popular and common type is the Hass avocado. The Hass produces year round and accounts for over 80 percent of the world’s cultivated avocados and is available locally.

Avocados range from pear-shaped to egg-shaped and even round. They can have varying skin tones from vibrant green to dark black in color. Sometimes they are referred to as the alligator pear due to the bumpy skin and green, pear-like appearance.

To tell if an avocado is ripe, place it in the palm of your hand. It should yield to gentle pressure from the fingers clasping gently around it, but not be mushy or hard. You should not mash or poke them with your fingers, as it can bruise the delicate fruit. Avocados are added to all types of dishes for their nutty flavor and rich creamy texture. If you are not a fan of avocados yet, here are some great family tried and tested recipes to get you started. These are perfect, easy and light dinners for the hot East Texas summer. Enjoy!

The Black bean, Corn and Avocado Salad is a light but stick to your ribs salad, perfect for sultry nights when cooking is out of the question. It also works well on tortilla chips or nachos. Add grilled chicken to make lunch sandwiches or wraps.

Black bean, Corn and Avocado Salad

  • 1 can of black beans, drained and well rinsed.
  • 1 can of southwest style corn, drained and well rinsed
  • 2 Hass avocados diced in small squares
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 a medium red onion diced
  • 1 large tomato diced
  • Juice of 1 large or 2 small limes
  • 2 tablespoons of Pompeian OlivExtra Original Canola & Olive oil blend
  • 1/4 cup of minced cilantro leaves
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

Add all diced vegetables, beans and corn to a beautiful bowl. Mix olive oil, lime juice, salt and freshly ground pepper together in a small separate bowl. Pour over the diced vegetable mixture and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve over romaine lettuce.

Honey-Lime Grilled Shrimp & Avocado Salad

It is delicious and quick to fix if you make the vinaigrette the night before. If a grill is not readily available, stir fry the shrimp in a small amount of olive oil and minced garlic as an alternative.

  • 2 Hass Avocados (peel, pit, and slice right before serving)
  • 1 pound of peeled & deveined shrimp
  • Baby spring salad mix
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • Honey-Lime Vinaigrette (makes about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1.5 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Pompeian Olivextra Original Canola & Olive oil blend

For the vinaigrette, whisk together all ingredients (except for the oil) in a small glass bowl. Continue whisking and slowly pour in the oil. Allow to sit for one hour so the flavors can develop. Rinse the shrimp, place in a bowl, and pour 1/3 cup of the vinaigrette over the shrimp. Marinate for 15 minutes. Skewer shrimp and grill over medium heat, 2 minutes on each side. Place baby greens on a plate, top with thinly sliced red onion, grilled shrimp and slices of avocado. Drizzle salad with remaining honey lime vinaigrette. Serve with fresh grilled baguette slices. Serves 5.

If you are out and about in Lufkin, be sure to stop by the Black Pearl Restaurant, located in The From Heart to Home Vendor Market at 1604 W. Frank Ave.. Try their deep-fried stuffed seafood avocado. This avocado is filled with a cream cheese and fresh herb blend, shrimp and crabmeat, then breaded and deep-fried. Served with a side of beautiful tomato and feta salad all for $9.99, this is sure to please! They are open every day, Sunday and Monday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. -8:00 p.m.