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Kiwi love affair with avocados growing stronger

More New Zealanders are declaring their love for avocados than ever before and Nadia Lim has devised a special Valentine’s Day treat that’s sure to tempt any chocolate lover. The latest research conducted by Nielsen Homescan shows 90,000 more Kiwi households are buying avocados than in previous seasons. In fact, New Zealanders bought avocados 5.5 times last season on average (compared with just 4.8 times in 2013-14) so now is a great time to experiment with new avocado recipes. Cook, dietician and avocado lover, Nadia Lim, has created a mouth-watering avocado chocolate ganache cake - a twist on a traditional chocolate cake. "The chocolate ganache on this cake uses avocados and coconut milk as the delicious ingredients that give it its creaminess, however the whole cake is also dairy free!  The cake itself is super moist and rich, with the help of rich avocado oil. "Avocados are simply amazing when whizzed up with melted chocolate, producing a thick, silky, creamy ganache.” Lim says if you’re not planning to eat the cake straight away, you can freeze it before it is iced. But the ganache is best made fresh. "This is a great recipe to try on Valentine’s Day because it is decadent, moist and a total treat.” "Introducing more avocados into the diet of your loved one is a delicious gift,” Lim says. Click here for the recipe. 

Picture perfect at Taste of Auckland

From 5-8 November, a team from NZ Avocado interacted with more than 6000 attendees at the Taste of Auckland festival held at Western Springs, Auckland. Over the course of six sessions during the four days of the festival, attendees who visited NZ Avocado’s stand were treated to an ‘Instagram worthy’ setting where we performed cooking demos, handed out recipe cards and booklets, as well as various delicious and beautiful looking avocado samples.     During the weekend we aimed to connect with avocado loving consumers and inspire them to try new avocado recipe ideas. We also gave them tips on how to pick the right avocado and how to correctly store avocados at various stages of ripeness.   Our stand was designed to look like a real life kitchen – bright, modern and eye catching. One wall of the stand was covered in images of delicious looking avocado dishes, while the other wall depicted a kitchen background with a window looking out onto an avocado orchard. Our Amazing Anytime bright blue was everywhere on our stand, making it one of the first stands that attendees eyes were drawn to as they walked through the festival entrance. The "kitchen” was artfully decorated with avocados displayed in glass bowls, cut flowers in vases, and various complementary ingredients for the samples being shared – making our stand look a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach.  Clean-eating, avocado loving and MotivateMe NZ founder Makaia Carr joined us during the Friday and Saturday afternoon sessions. She spent her time chatting to the audiences about her love for avocados while she demonstrated three trendy avocado recipes – a breakfast smoothie, avocado bliss balls and guacamole.  We had a selfie competition running during the weekend to invite interaction via social media. Visitors to our stand were encouraged to take a selfie somewhere on our stand, post it to social media and use the hashtag #nzavocado – by doing this they went into the draw to win an amazing avocado bliss ball prize pack.  Over 20,000 keen foodies enjoyed the beautiful sunny weather throughout the entire weekend. Those who visited our stand were eager to try the delicious avocado samples we had on offer – avocado with either cherry tomatoes or smoked salmon on toast, an avocado and blueberry breakfast smoothie, guacamole, avocado bliss balls, avocado and white chocolate tarts, and avocado crème filled cherry tomatoes. We had a lot of support from our loyal ‘Friends of NZ avocados’ – Go Nutz, Vogels, and NZ King Salmon – as well as support from new ‘Friends of NZ avocados’ – Beekist, Whitakers, Sujon Berries, RealFoods NZ, Down at the Farm, and Fire Dragon Chillies.   We received fantastic feedback from visitors in regards to our stand and everyone seemed to enjoy the avocado samples they tried – we had people coming back for more! Visitors to our stand had many questions about avocados and were very interested in our industry.

Kick start your kids' healthy eating habits with avocado pizza

School  holidays are a great time to experiment  in the kitchen and encourage your kids to eat new foods – and avocados should be  top of the list of healthy things to try.  Avocados are a nutritional powerhouse and their creamy texture appeals to children of all ages. They are full of fibre to help energise and sustain busy youngsters. Plus they are also sugar-free, low in salt and a source of ‘good fat’ which is important for a healthy heart.  Eating avocados can also help your child’s body absorb more vital nutrients from other foods they consume. Avocados contain more potassium per 100 grams than a banana, and are a source of folate and antioxidants – that’s why they’re considered ‘nature’s superfood’.  While some kids are reluctant to eat anything green, pizza is always a winner. Try this delicious Avocado Pizza recipe to get your kids in the kitchen these school holidays so they can learn how to become healthy Avo-heroes! Avocado and Bacon Pizza Avocado and bacon go so well together on pizza, and this recipe is one that the kids will love to make and eat! Makes 2 pizzas, enough to serve 3-4 people Prep time: 20 minutes 40 minutes rising time for the dough           Cook time: 12-15 minutes Pizza base (makes 4 pizza bases) 1 cup (250ml) warm water 1 tablespoon active dried yeast 1 teaspoon sugar450g high grade flour 1 tablespoon olive oil1 teaspoon salt Toppings 1 x 400g can crushed or pureed tomatoes 1 red capsicum, sliced 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese 2 avocados, sliced 200g bacon, cut into pieces and fried ½ red onion, very thinly sliced To make the pizza dough, put the warm water in a mixing bowl and add the yeast and sugar. Stir gently. Leave in a warm place until the yeast has dissolved and the mixture is frothy. Mix well.  Place the flour, olive oil and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast mixture and mix well to form a dough (note: there may be some left over flour in the bowl once you’ve formed the dough, this is fine). Knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic, then place in an oiled bowl. Cover with a tea towel or clingfilm and place in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk (about 40 minutes). Once it has risen, knock back the dough and divide into 4 even pieces. This recipe uses 2 pizza bases so you can refrigerate or freeze the other 2 pieces of dough (wrapped well in clingfilm) to use at a later date. Alternatively you can cook all four pizzas, and just double the amount of toppings listed above! Preheat oven to 230degC. If you have them, place two pizza stones on separate shelves in the oven to preheat. Alternatively preheat 2 oven trays. Get them really hot (this helps the bases crisp up on the bottom). Lay each pizza base on a sheet of baking paper and roll them out to get a nice thin base. Spread tomato sauce over each base, leaving an edge for the crust. Sprinkle over mozzarella and arrange red capsicum and red onion on top. Carefully lift up the baking paper with the pizza on top and place on hot preheated stone or tray. Cook the pizza until the base is crisp and the cheese is melted and golden, about 12 minutes. Take pizzas out of the oven and arrange slices of avocado and bacon on top. Slice and serve!   About New Zealand Avocado The New Zealand avocado industry is the third largest fresh fruit export from New Zealand. NZ Avocado Growers' Association Inc. (NZAGA) and Avocado Industry Council Ltd (AIC) – collectively NZ Avocado, operates under the Horticultural Export Authority Act to set mandatory industry standards for all fruit exported from New Zealand. NZ Avocado also facilitates access for avocados to off shore markets. NZ Avocado works with the industry to promote New Zealand avocados and provide technical information to all growers of which there are over 1,350 based mainly in the Bay of Plenty and Northland. 

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