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Celebrate 10 Years of California Avocado Month this June

(NewsUSA) - - Ten years ago, the California Avocado Commission first observed June officially as California Avocado Month and is excited to continue celebrating this long-standing tradition. As an ode to the past ten years, the Commission has enlisted the culinary talents of Southern California-native Chef Nyesha Arrington to create delicious and seasonal recipes that prominently feature California avocados, which are grown by about 3,000 California avocado growers with groves from San Diego to Monterey.

Arrington has been celebrated throughout her career for using farm fresh, locally and responsibly sourced ingredients, which made her the perfect partner to craft customized dishes for this celebratory anniversary.

"It's hard narrowing down the recipes when California avocados have countless possibilities! However, I love when they are paired with complementing flavors. These California avocados definitely hold their own by leveling up any dish and giving an extra wow factor, making it a California chef's key ingredient," Arrington says.

Meticulously cared for and picked at their peak, California avocados are a heart-healthy superfood that provide "good" fats to one's diet. Inspired by how the bountiful flavor and nutrition pair perfectly, Arrington's Grilled California Avocado & Peach Salad showcases fresh and light flavors perfect for those warm summer nights. The recipe features fresh California avocados and peaches, grilled to perfection, layered on a bed of arugula and crispy quinoa, then paired with a tangy and delicious pistachio-arugula vinaigrette.

To view other mouthwatering creations, including Arrington's California Avocado Crab & Tuna Stack, or to learn more about California avocados, visit CaliforniaAvocado.com.

For even more celebration, check out Shop.CaliforniaAvocado.com to grab this season's newest merch just in time for California Avocado Month.

Grilled California Avocado & Peach Salad

Recipe created by Nyesha Arrington for the California Avocado Commission

Serves: 4

Prep time: 35 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 65 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup black quinoa
  • 2 ripe, Fresh California Avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
  • 2 medium firm peaches, seeded and halved
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, for frying
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, separated
  • 1 (5 oz.) package wild arugula, 1/2 cup reserved for vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup no-shell chopped pistachios (optional)

Pistachio-Arugula Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup wild arugula
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach
  • 5 no-shell pistachio nuts
  • 1 1/2 tsp. creamy Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. honey (local if available)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil (may substitute extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper, or to taste

Instructions

  1. Prepare quinoa according to package directions. Drain well using a fine strainer and spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Let stand, tossing occasionally until dried, about 30 minutes.
  2. While quinoa dries, place all the Pistachio-Arugula Vinaigrette ingredients in a blender. Blend on medium speed until combined. Set aside.
  3. Once the quinoa is thoroughly dry, heat oil for frying in a large skillet on high until waves begin to form in oil. Carefully add the quinoa, reduce heat to medium and fry until puffed, approximately 30 seconds. Drain the quinoa in a fine strainer to remove excess oil and transfer to paper towels. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
  4. On a tray or baking sheet, place avocados and peaches cut side up, drizzle with olive oil and lightly season the avocados with salt.
  5. Heat grill to medium high, add avocados and peaches cut side down, reduce heat to low and grill until tender and slightly charred (peaches 5 minutes; avocados 2 minutes).
  6. To assemble salad, toss arugula with a small amount of the vinaigrette and place on the platter. Next, sprinkle quinoa on the platter.
  7. Cut avocado and peaches into wedges and place onto the platter.
  8. Drizzle with vinaigrette.
  9. Garnish with chopped pistachios if desired. 

California Avocado-Inspired Charcuterie Boards Brighten Up the Spring Season

(NewsUSA) - Whether you're creating a beautiful avocado rose or whipping up a creamy avocado dip, California avocados are the must-have ingredient for your springtime charcuterie boards, sure to impress any guest! Whether you fancy savory or sweet, adding California avocados to your charcuterie board can help take your hosting skills to the next level. Plus, your guests will love that you included the California avocado trifecta -- taste, texture, nutrition. With fresh and delicious fruit available now through summer, the California Avocado Commission encourages consumers to get creative in the kitchen and experience the great taste and creamy goodness that in-season California avocados have to offer.

Featured on the Food Network, Hallmark Channel, E! and more for her impressive charcuterie boards and entertaining skills, food stylist Meg Quinn joins CAC in celebrating the season by developing a drool-worthy charcuterie board inspired by California avocados, a heart-healthy superfood. One-third of a medium avocado (50 g) has 80 calories and contributes nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, making it a nutrient-dense choice.

"Entertaining is my passion, and there's nothing better than incorporating fresh, locally sourced produce on board creations," said Quinn.

"I love to add vibrant colors and versatile ingredients, which is why in-season California avocados pair beautifully with other flavors, elevating any dish and recipe. As the girl that adds avocado to every order, it only makes sense that I add them to my boards as well."

You can channel Quinn's creativity when you prepare her savory California Avocado, Cheese & Charcuterie Board, featuring a mouth-watering California Avocado Goat Cheese Dip with Crispy Prosciutto and served alongside a variety of meats, cheeses and fresh, colorful produce. To view Quinn's other board creations, such as her California Avocado and Fruit Board featuring Chocolate California Avocado Dip and Honey Citrus California Avocado Dip, or to learn about California avocados, visit CaliforniaAvocado.com.

California Avocado, Cheese & Charcuterie Board featuring California Avocado Goat Cheese Dip with Crispy Prosciutto

Recipe created by Meg Quinn for the California Avocado Commission. 

Serves: 4 

Prep time: 35 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes

Ingredients 

  • California Avocado Goat Cheese Dip with Crispy Prosciutto (see make-ahead recipe below)
  • 2 ripe, Fresh California Avocados, halved, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 7.5 oz. Brie wedge
  • 11 slices Spanish Manchego
  • 8 oz. white cheddar cheese, crumbled
  • 2 oz. sliced dry salami
  • 1.5 oz. sliced soppressata pepper-garlic salami
  • 4 oz. salami secchi, sliced
  • 1 (5.3-oz.) package dried oranges
  • 2 bunches seedless red or purple grapes
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • 1 cup olives
  • 1/2 cup whole peeled almonds
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 15 crostini or pita crackers

Instructions: Make the dip following directions below. Place on serving board or tray, and artfully arrange the California avocado slices, cheeses, meats, fruits and remaining ingredients around the bowl, filling in any gaps.

California Avocado Goat Cheese Dip with Crispy Prosciutto

Ingredients

  • 2 slices prosciutto
  • 1 ripe, Fresh California Avocado, seeded, peeled and cubed
  • 4 oz. plain goat cheese softened to room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp. sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper, or to taste

Instructions: Preheat oven to 400 degreeF. On a parchment-lined baking tray, line up prosciutto without overlapping, and cover with another sheet of parchment paper and another baking tray. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until crispy; do not overcook or burn the prosciutto. Remove and cool.

Combine remaining ingredients in a food processor, and pulse until combined and smooth, scraping down sides as needed; do not overmix. Alternatively, mix remaining ingredients in a large bowl, with a fork until smooth. Transfer dip to a serving bowl and crumble crispy prosciutto on top.

Sweeten Your Springtime with Chilean Grapes

(NewsUSA) - Spring has finally sprung, and with it comes a blossoming of spring gatherings, Easter and Passover celebrations and other activities.

Fresh, juicy grapes are an easy, healthy snack, and Chilean grapes are ready to sweeten your springtime.

"The easiest way to eat grapes is just to rinse and eat fresh," says Karen Brux, managing director for the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association.

"No peeling, coring or cutting. Just rinse and go," she adds. Chilean grapes also score points with kids as a packable lunch or snack. Try mini kebabs with grapes and cheese cubes to add flavor and fun to any lunch box, Brux suggests.

There are so many easy ways to get creative with grapes:

  • Boost your breakfast. Try grapes with granola, yogurt and honey to get your morning off to a sweet start.
  • Make salads more satisfying. Cut grapes in half, and add to your favorite green or grain salads for some added crunch and juicy goodness.
  • Sweeten up snack time. Mix fresh grapes with nuts and dark chocolate, or freeze them to get mini popsicles.
  • Make savory more special. Chilean grapes add a unique twist when paired with goat cheese on a pizza, or as a crostini appetizer topping alongside prosciutto and basil.
  • Dazzle your desserts. You can make a gorgeous grape tart with just a few ingredients: a store-bought crust, a mixture of mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar and whipping cream and fresh grapes for the topping. So simple, but it will look like you spent all day in the kitchen.

Grapes not only taste great, they are good for you, too! Grapes are a natural source of polyphenols, which help protect cell health and promote cell function. Grapes also are a good source of Vitamin K, which is vital for blood clotting and healthy bones. Finally, the resveratrol in grapes positively influences immune function. That's a whole bunch of healthy for 90 calories per 3/4 cup serving.

Hungry yet?

Visit fruitsfromchile.com for more tasty recipes, and look for grapes from Chile at your local retailer through early May.

Homestyle Recipes Take the Cake for Gifts, Fundraising

(NewsUSA) - As the holiday season approaches, so does the dilemma of holiday and year-end gift-giving. Whether you are seeking something for a friend, family member, or long-absent colleague, edible gifts are a can't-miss choice, and the range of tasty treats goes far beyond a prepacked gift basket.

Like many big ideas, Hahn's Old Fashioned Cake Company started small.

"All our cakes are baked fresh daily, and feature extra-large handmade crumbs," says owner Andrew Hahn, whose mother and father started Hahn's Old-Fashioned Cake Company in her kitchen.

The current selection of crumb cakes was inspired by an old family recipe that Mr. and Mrs. Hahn often made for friends and neighbors.

Word got out, and an expanding circle of crumb-cake fans began requesting cakes. A business was born, and it has been family-owned and operated for more than 35 years.

Key features that set Hahn's crumb cakes apart include:

  • Quality. Hahn's crumb cakes are made fresh daily, with fresh eggs to create a moist base with optimum texture. They are popular not only as individual sales, but sell well in delis, coffee shops, and gourmet food markets.
  • Convenience. Hahn's cakes are packed to ship or enjoy right away. For those lucky enough to live locally, curbside pickup and delivery are available in a limited radius through DoorDash and GrubHub.
  • Crumbs. Crumbs and more crumbs. For those who can't resist picking the crumbs off a crumb cake, Hahn's has you covered.

The company recognizes the crumb-obsessed, and fills that niche with a Can of Crumbs or a Bucket of Crumbs. These ready-to-eat crumb treats are considered by many to be the best part of a crumb cake, and the bucket lends itself to easy shipping and gift-giving as well.

Crumb cake flavors include the original plain crumb cake (with plenty of crumbs), raspberry walnut, apple, and chocolate. There's something for brownie lovers, too; the company bakes a classic, fudgy chocolate brownie of the same caliber as its cakes.

Hahn's Old-Fashioned Cakes also offers fundraising opportunities for schools, churches, and non-profit organizations.

Visit crumbcake.com for more information.

High-Powered Blender Makes Soups and More a Breeze

(NewsUSA) - - A surge in home cooking was a ripple effect of more time spent at home last year. However, even with more emerging options for carryout and delivery, many people continue to embrace the fun and challenge of making more of their own food at home, and they want the right tools to match their culinary ambitions.

A deluxe blender can be a true workhorse in the home kitchen. The best models are powerful, versatile, and capable of making everything from smoothies to soups, hummus, and even frozen treats and peanut butter.

The Braun TriForce Power Blender is a powerhouse that does the heavy lifting for meal prep. With 1600 watts of power that performs at four times the speed of previous blenders, the TriForce Power Blender brings extra ease and convenience to fit the bill for home cooks who are still juggling working from home with food prep and are unmotivated by the idea of leftovers for lunch to take to newly reopened schools and offices.

Customization also sets the Braun TriForce Power Blender apart. The unique iTexture Control and automated settings include a soup setting that simultaneously heats as it blends, 10 manual speed settings, and multispeed pulse functions that allow for maximum customization and creativity.

"The seamless intuitive interface makes it easy to quickly master recipes," says Stephanie D'Introno, the Communications Manager for Braun Household. "With the range of settings, you can effortlessly emulsify the toughest ingredients such as hearty root vegetables and dense chunks of ice, ensuring that everything from silky smoothies to savory spreads are equally enjoyable based on your preference."

An easy interface lets prospective chefs choose from six food programs (smoothie, soup, chop, ice crush, frozen dessert and spread) and three different textures (smooth, medium, and course), to create 18 possible blends that will suit any palate.

Other innovative key features include a triangular jug design to reduce waste by keeping ingredients from getting stuck in corners, and a German-forged Precision Edge blade for durability and performance over years of use.

But wait, there's more: The Braun TriForce Power Blender cleans up after itself with a self-cleaning setting and an easy-to-wipe surface.

Visit braunhousehold.com for more information.

Your Local Subway Now Has Biggest Menu Changes in History

(NewsUSA) - What's your favorite Subway sandwich? Well, it's time to visit your local Subway® restaurant and try it again because it just got better. You might even find a new favorite. The company is making the biggest changes to the menu in the brand's history, and your local Subway is ready to share all the new items and serve up a delicious sub sandwich, from the new Turkey Cali Fresh to the All-American Club™.

The Eat Fresh Refresh menu updates include 11 new and improved ingredients, six all-new or returning sandwiches, and four revamped signature sandwiches. Whether you're a classic sub lover, want to double down on protein or enjoy a flavor blast with a new MVP Parmesan vinaigrette, Subway offers endless customization and options for any appetite.

Your local restaurant has been baking great bread for years, and it just got better. Tasty bread is the core to every sandwich. To that end, Subway is adding two new choices -- Artisan Italian and Hearty Multigrain. A panel of world-class bakers spent two years working to perfect the recipes and baking techniques that set their sandwiches apart.

Other new and improved ingredients in the Eat Fresh Refresh menu include new deli-thin sliced ham and turkey, hickory-smoked bacon, smashed avocado, artisan BelGioioso® Fresh Mozzarella from Wisconsin, and tangy MVP Parmesan Vinaigrette™.

One thing that hasn't changed: high-quality, premium 100% wild-caught tuna, sourced from leading global suppliers who remain committed to consistency and safety at every stage of the supply chain. As tuna has always been a fan-favorite, there will be no changes to this sub, as it remains an anchor of the menu with simple ingredients.

You can explore all these new menu items by downloading the updated app available through the App Store and Google Play. The Subway app makes ordering and customization easier than ever with an enhanced dashboard and order tracking features. For added convenience, your local restaurant is rolling out a new Subway Delivery option in select areas for more accessibility and meal-time ease.

"Subway has been serving freshly made, customizable, and better-for-you sandwiches for more than 50 years, and we wanted to give our guests more new and improved flavors that are craveable as well as fresh and customizable," explains Paul Fabre, SVP Culinary Innovation at Subway. "Our new culinary team is delivering monumental updates to the entire core menu so that when our fans come in, they notice everything is better."

Visit subway.com for more information about the Eat Fresh Refresh program, to place orders, or download the Subway app.

New Subway Sandwiches Reinvent the Grilled Cheese

(NewsUSA) - There is no denying that a grilled cheese is the ultimate combination of crunchy bread and gooey cheese. So, if you are someone who considers grilled cheese to be its own food group, you are in luck!

Subway is taking grilled cheese sandwiches to the next level with new Fresh Melts. Guests can enjoy Subway's newest innovation by upgrading their favorite freshly made footlong into an extra cheesy, gooey and grilled sandwich for $1 more.

"Fresh Melts are our latest menu innovation to give guests fresh, smart choices that don't sacrifice taste or flavor," according to Chef Paul Fabre, Subway's senior vice president of culinary and innovation. "Our Melts are unique because they are grilled, not toasted, so we're creating the ultimate sandwich that has crunchy bread, melty cheese, and your favorite ingredients for a perfect bite every time," he emphasizes.

The new menu items are the latest addition to Subway's culinary lineup.

The Ham & Cheese Melt features Black Forest ham, fresh tomato, and Swiss cheese grilled to create an indulgent, freshly made choice. If you've been craving tuna, don't miss the 100 percent wild-caught tuna with mayo, fresh onion and melty provolone cheese in the Tuna Melt. Finally, the Steak & Cheese Melt offers a new twist on a classic favorite, grilled with melted cheese, and loaded with fresh onions and peppers. Of course, bread remains a key element of any sandwich, and Fresh Melts feature Subway's distinctive freshly baked bread, perfectly grilled.

To help melted cheese fans savor and share the goodness, guests who purchase a Fresh Melt online or through the Subway app can order a second Fresh Melt for 50 percent off with promo code BOGO50 at participating restaurants.

Making an indulgent choice is easy and safe with Subway's in-app and online ordering, contactless curbside pick-up and delivery.

Visit subway.com for more information about store locations and menu options, to place orders, or download the Subway app.

 

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