Monday, February 20, 2012

Avocado Ice Cream

Clockwise from top: Hass, Pinkerton, Bacon, and Fuerte.
I've been eating a lot of avocados lately. A lot.

You see, Virtual Potluck hooked up with SoCal Avocados and they sent each of us a free box of avocados. "What's the big deal?" you might ask, since avocados are easy to get at any grocery store.

Well, sort of true, You can buy avocados at the grocery store. Usually Hass avocados. But SoCal sells a lot of different varieties of avocados  In my box, I got four different kinds. One was the very familiar Hass avocado. Three were strangers.

See how smooth this one is? No bumps.
When the avocados arrived, they were rock-hard. You see, avocados don't start ripening until they're picked. and from what I understand, SoCal (a small family operation) picks and ships right away so your little green friends will survive the trauma of shipping unscathed, and will ripen nicely on your counter.

Need them to ripen sooner? The information that came with the avocado had instructions on how to hasten ripening, as well as information about storage. And there's even more avocado info on the company website. And pretty pictures.

Have you ever cut an avocado open and found brown stringy things in the flesh? Not a single one of the avocados I got had that problem. Not one.

Even the last two avocados that I let get a little riper than I planned on were beautiful inside. Pretty things, and yummy. Did I mention that?

It's not a lighting effect. The inside colors are different.
Besides the Hass, I got Pinkertons, which were larger than the Hass with rough skins, but unlike the Hass, the skins didn't turn black when they were ripe.

Bacon and Fuerte were both smooth-skinned avocados and both stayed green as they ripened. The Bacons were larger and had the mildest flavor of all of them. The Fuerte were much richer in flavor.

It was pretty interesting to try different types of avocados, and trying to figure out which was what. The differences right off the bat were rough vs. smooth skins, and egg-shaped vs. pear-shaped.

Once they ripened, there were more differences, like the darker skin on the Hass. The interior colors were different, too. Some had much larger seeds, and even the color of the seeds was different.

I'm so used to seeing just one - or rarely two - kinds of avocados at the store, I never thought about different varieties and how some might be better suited to particular recipes - like some apples are better for pie and some are better for applesauce. Getting a chance to try these different types of avocados was very very cool.

Since I had so many avocados to work with, I learned a few tricks, like using a vacuum-sealer to keep the cut avocados from turning brown. For some reason, I never thought of freezing them, but now I've got several packages of vacuum-sealed avocado in the freezer.

Speaking of the freezer, I made avocado ice cream. It's sounds a little weird, but it's really good.

Avocado Ice Cream

1 cup avocado meat
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine all the ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth. Or, if you prefer, you can use a stick blender. Refrigerate the mixture until it is well-chilled. Overnight is great.

Churn the mixture according to the instructions that came with your ice cream maker. Transfer to a storage container and store in the freezer.

About SoCal Avocados

I had never heard of SoCal Avocados before we got this project, but I have a feeling they'll be hearing from me again. they've got quite a few other types of avocados that sound interesting, and they're not all available all the time. The avocado of the month club is tempting, too.

Maybe you'd like to try some. I can hook you up. One lucky reader here will get a shipment of avocados from SoCal Avocados - 12 avocados of whichever types are in season. Pretty sweet deal, and it's easy to enter.

Oh, but that's not all! The OTHER Virtual Potluck bloggers also have recipes for you. And if you don't win here, you might win there. Yup, we're all giving away avocados! It's a veritable bounty of alligator pears! For the complete list of participating bloggers, visit Milisa at Miss in the Kitchen.

Contest is CLOSED. The winner is Poodle_power!

Mandatory entry:
Visit SoCal Avocados' website and leave a comment here telling me which type of avocado you would like to try.

Bonus entries (optional):
  • Tweet a link to this contest, and come back here and tell me that you tweeted.
  • Like SoCal Avocdos on Facebook and come back here and tell me you liked them.
  • Follow SoCal Avocados on  Twitter and come back her and tell me that you followed them.
  • Subscribe to SoCal Avocados' emails and come back here and tell me that you subscribed.

And that's it. One mandatory entry and four more optional bonus entries, for a total of five possible entries per person. Contest starts as soon as this post goes up and ends on Saturday February 25 at midnight, mountain time. Good luck!