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Frequently Asked Questions

Avocado preparation
How can I tell if avocados are ripe?

Hass avocados are ready to eat when their skin is a purple brown colour (no need to squeeze). See our selection guide for more information

How can I ripen my avocado?

Avocados will ripen in your fruit bowl but to accelerate the process, pop in a brown paper bag and include a banana or apple. These other fruits give off ethylene gas, which is a ripening agent. To find out more click here

How can I store avocados?

Uncut ripe avocados can be refrigerated for a few days. Once cut, lemon juice and vinegar can be used to stop from browning or puree with lemon juice and freeze. For more information on storage click here

How do I stop avocados going brown when I cut them open?

There are a number of ways to combat oxidisation on the freshly cut flesh of avocados: store in an air tight container or cover the flesh in lemon juices or wrap in glad wrap.

Eating avocados
When can babies start eating avocado?
Avocado is the perfect baby first food. They are the ideal flavour, consistency and nutritional content. Avocado's smooth, creamy consistency, neutral flavour and excellent nutritional content makes it one of the first fresh fruits your wee one can enjoy.  They are a great source of calories, high in healthy fat and help the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) from foods eaten with them. Additionally, avocados are very low in sugar and sodium and contain good amounts of developmental nutrients, such as folate and vitamin E, and are gluten-free. A ¼ avocado serving has 4 grams of unsaturated fats, which are known to be important for normal growth and development of the central nervous system and brain. Find out more about the nutrition of avocados here

I have a great avocado recipe can I share it with you? 

Absolutely, we love to see new avocado recipes. Please send it to communications@nzavocado.co.nz

Can you eat the brown bits in avocado? 

Avocados should be eaten when the skin is brown and the flesh is a green – yellow colour. Once the fresh starts going brown the avocado is starting to rot. If there is a small amount of brown fresh the green part can still be eaten but it’s best to avoid eating brown flesh.

Can I use avocado oil instead of olive oil or vegetable oil? 

Yes, avocado oil is very healthy and great for the eyes, skin and heart. It’s great as a 1 to 1 substitute for savoury recipes, sauces and dressings. For baking we would recommend using fresh avocado as a substitute for oil or butter. Due to their mono and polyunsaturated fat content, avocados are a great substitution for foods rich in saturated fat.

Can I use avocado instead of butter?

Yes, avocados are a great substitute for butter on toast, sandwiches and in baking. Using avocados instead of butter helps to lower the calorie count and add nutrients into your baking. Use ½ the amount of mashed avocado for the substitute. Check out our baking recipes here

Can you eat avocados during pregnancy? 
Yes, definitely. Avocados are full of folate which is essential during pregnancy and vital for healthy growth and development for all ages. Find out more here

Health and Nutrition
Are avocados good for you? 

Avocados are packed with almost 20 nutrients. They are a nutrient-dense fruit that plays a major role in healthy diets, contributing almost 20 vitamins, nutrients and phytonutrients. Also, avocados are an excellent source of healthy monounsaturated fats, are cholesterol-free and have naturally low levels of sugar and sodium. 

Are avocados fattening?

The body needs fats as they are vital for good health and avocados are an excellent source of healthy monounsaturated fats.  There has been a steady rise in the popularity of adding healthy plant sources of fats such as avocado to well-balanced diets. Wherever you find fat, all three types of fat will be present: monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated but just in different amounts. In plant foods such as avocado, the majority of the fat is the healthy kind: 60% monounsaturated fat and 12% polyunsaturated fat. Half an avocado contains 15g of monounsaturated fat and 3 g of polyunsaturated fat.

How many calories in an avocado?

One-half of a medium avocado (83.5g) has 893 Kilojoules or 213 calories and contributes nearly 20 vitamins and minerals making it a good nutrient choice. See more about the nutrition qualities here

Growing Avocados
How can I grow avocado seeds?
Avocado seeds are relatively easy to sprout and is a great project for kids. 
  1. Remove the seed from the avocado and clean the flesh from it
  2. Skewer the seed around the centre with four toothpicks ensuring you locate the small bump at the bottom of the seed.
  3. Place seed on a jar of water with the tooth picks resting on the rim, ensuring the bottom half is submerged.
  4. Sprouting can take between 2 and 8 weeks. Once the sprout reaches about 20cm pot in soil.
Why isn’t my avocado tree producing fruit?

Avocados trees grown from seeds can take up to 12 years to start producing fruit. There are many environmental reasons that trees may stop producing fruit such as dry soil, root rot and pruning faults. For more information please see our orchard management resources here 

When should I pick my avocados?
Avocados are unusual as they do not ripen on the tree, they only ripen once they picked. If they are picked before they are mature avocados will remain rock hard and never ripen. The best way to find out if your avocados are ready to be picked is to pick one, if it ripens within two weeks then the rest should be ready too.  If it doesn’t ripen then keep checking every couple of weeks. The main harvest season for Hass avocados (the main variety) in New Zealand is September to April. Good sized avocados on most trees in New Zealand should be ready to pick during this time.

Where in New Zealand are avocados grown?
All avocados sold in New Zealand are grown in New Zealand. The main avocado growing regions are Northland and the Bay of Plenty.

Why are there seasonal differences in the supply of avocados? 

Avocados are biennial in their fruit growth; this means that s they have irregular bearing of fruit with seasonal swings in production. One year there will be a large crop and the next the crop may be much smaller. Watch this video to find out more

General avocado questions
Can I use avocado on my skin and hair?

Avocado fruit and oil is very effective as a hair or skin mask, it can help to repair dry hair and moisturise the skin.

Is an avocado a fruit or a vegetable? 

Avocado is often confused as a vegetable but it’s actually a fruit, more specifically a berry. It’s one of the healthiest fruits as it contains almost 20 nutrients, is naturally low in sugar and one only a few fruits that contains protein.

Where in New Zealand are avocados grown? 

All avocados sold in New Zealand are grown in New Zealand the main avocado growing regions are Northland and the Bay of Plenty. Click here to find out more about our avocado growers

When is the New Zealand avocado export season?

The main export season is between August and February but avocados can be supplied year round in New Zealand.

Why do avocados vary in price? 
Demand for avocados in New Zealand has increased as more people discover their amazing health benefits and versatility. Prices for avocados in New Zealand can change as a result of supply and demand. As with all fresh produce, prices fluctuate with the supply throughout the year and avocado volumes vary from season to season. 

Why do I sometimes see such bad quality avocados in the supermarket? 
Avocados need to be handled very carefully - more carefully perhaps than any other fruit in the produce section and as such they do not always get the care they need because they get treated like the other more resilient fruit. If you see poor quality avocados in your local supermarket, we suggest that you speak to the produce staff in the store as they may be unaware of the issue without feedback from shoppers.