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California drought sends avocado prices soaring

Guacamole and avocado toast are about to cost you a lot more green. Between an intense heat wave, summer drought and heavy winter rains, California, the nation’s leading avocado producer, has suffered a significant shortfall of fruits this year. Forecasts expect production to plunge as much as 46% to 215 million pounds, down from 401 million pounds in 2016. “We lost fruit that would have have sized up to be this year’s crop,”  Jan DeLyser, vice president of marketing for the California Avocado Commission, a trade group for avocado growers, told the Los Angeles Times. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average cost of an avocado jumped to $1.25 last week — up from $1.14 last year at the same time and just 94 cents at the start of summer 2016. Mexico, the leading international avocado supplier to the U.S., suffered similar weather this year and is able to send fewer boxes across the border, adding…

5 watermelon recipes to try before the end of summer

What would warm weather be without big, sloppy slices of watermelon? Given that this summer essential is more than 90 percent water, it’d be easy to assume that it has little or no nutritional value. But the low-calorie fruit is filled with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that soothe sore muscles, improve cardiovascular health, and pack about one-third of the daily recommended vitamins A and C, and lycopene that can even combat cancer. August through October is watermelon harvest in most of the country, so there are usually lots of great, local picks at farmers markets and grocery stores this time of year. But how can you be sure you’re selecting the perfect melon? To avoid mushy melons, a good rule of thumb states that you should choose the one heaviest for its size. The melon should also have a deeply colored cream spot on the bottom — the color signifying the watermelon had plenty of time to…

Get relief from the heat with these 10 hydrating fruits and veggies

According to the old rule of thumb, the average adult is supposed to drink 8 glasses of water every day. Some days that can seem downright impossible — and oh so bland. But here’s a tip for your water woes: You don’t have to drink all of that water. On a typical day, 20 percent or more of our water intake comes from solid foods like fruits and vegetables. While it’s still incredibly important to drink enough water, try incorporating some of these snacks into your daily routine. You’ll be checking off a few dietary boxes since all foods listed below are at least 90 percent water and they offer various other nutritional benefits. Cucumbers 96.7% water Cucumbers have the highest water content of any solid food, so they are perfect for summer salads on those sweltering days you can’t seem to stomach much else. Try mixing with watermelon and red onions for…

Simple watermelon salsa is sweet, mildly spicy

Who would have thought watermelon and jalapeño would be such a delicious pair? What’s better, is that this quick condiment only requires six ingredients. I’ve been experimenting with a lot of watermelon lately, so get ready for quite a few juicy recipes coming up.. This one was one of my favorites, since it’s a perfect match-up of sweet and spicy, combined with saltiness from the chips. I’ve only tried it as a salsa so far, but I could see this going great with grilled chicken or fish, or atop a grilled vegetable dinner. Watermelon Salsa Serves 6-8: Prep time 10 min Ingredients 4 cups watermelon (seedless, or seeds removed and chopped) 1 cup cucumber, chopped 1 cup red onion (about 1/2 large onion, chopped) 2 medium jalapeños (remove seeds for less heat, chopped) 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped 1 lime, cut in half salt (to taste) Directions Add watermelon, cucumber, onion,…

9 Tips for making the perfect fruit salad

Summertime is synonymous with fresh fruit, so it’s no wonder why we consume so much fruit salad during these warm months. It’s sweet, refreshing and so easy to make, but for those in the know, there is actually more to it than just chopping up a bunch of fruit and tossing it in a bowl. Not all fruit salads are created equal. There are a few tricks you can follow to enhance the flavors and make the dish more pleasing to the eye. Here are 9 tricks to help you make your best fruit salads this summer, and all year long. 1. Buy fruit in season Fruit is flown in daily from around the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s fresh. It was likely picked weeks ago — before it was ripe and ready. It was packaged, bruised, stored and shipped before it ever made it to your grocery market. Instead, you…

Spinach buckwheat pancakes made in the blender, perfect for Saturday mornings

Buckwheat pancakes are the perfect balance between delicate and hearty. They have more texture than the traditional buttermilk blend, and they don’t skimp on flavor either. Adding a cup of spinach to the mix makes it a balance between decadent and healthy, as well. And buckwheat is actually a great gluten-free alternative to the classically carb-heavy Saturday morning stack. Pancakes are one of my favorite breakfasts. I tell myself I can eat them more often if I improve upon their nutritional content, so when I first started to see green pancakes pop up on Pinterest, I had to investigate. The most photogenic stacks had used a white flour base, so the spinach color could shine through. This buckwheat version takes much of the color pop away, but leaves the health benefits in tact — and that’s more important than a photo, of course. While buckwheat is known as a healthy, nutty-flavored grain,…

Summer Pool Floats for Food Lovers

Show off your love affair with your favorite foods both in and out of the water this summer. All food floats below are currently available on Amazon Prime, so you can have your sweet inflatable treat delivered within 2 days and get the party started! Huge Pink Donut What’s more fun than sprinkles? Giant Pretzel Room for three foodie friends! Watermelon Slice Raft Refreshingly cool looking. Giant Pizza Slice Buy 8 to make the whole pie! Giant Popcorn Much more fun that picking kernels out of your teeth. Ice Pop For a patriotic summer. GUMBALL MACHINE Taking it retro. Popsicle The ultimate summer food. Taco It’s always time for tacos. Ice Cream Sandwich Another summer staple both in and out of the pool. Bacon and Eggs No food list is complete without bacon — even an inflatable one. Pineapple I’m partial to…

Cool, Creamy Mango Avocado Smoothie Great for Summer

Avocados elevate pretty much everything. This summertime smoothie is no exception. Enjoy the satisfying flavors of mango and avocado, with a unique nuttiness from hemp seeds. Mango Avocado Smoothie Ingredients 1 1/2 cup frozen mango 1 avocado, peeled and pitted 1/2 cup plain (or Greek) yogurt 1 cup almond milk 2 tbsp hemp seeds Add water slowly if mixture is too thick for your blender Directions Add milk and hemp seeds to blender. Follow with yogurt, frozen mango and avocado. Blend on high until mixture thoroughly. Add water slowly to blender container if mixture becomes too thick. Enjoy!

Watermelon salad perfect for summer

It’s unlikely that you’ll make it through the next five months without finishing a meal with watermelon juice running down your arm. Nothing says ‘warm weather is here’ quite like a thick slice of this quintessential summer fruit. You’re likely very familiar with watermelons sliced or in slushies, but chances are you’ve never had one in a salad. While it won’t go running down your sleeve, this sweet and savory, salty and spicy salad will definitely make it on your menu rotation this summer. It would also be a great dish to take to any summer get together. Watermelon is about 92 percent water and six percent sugars, but you benefit so much more than those figures let on. Adding more melon to your diet means a lots of vitamin C and A and betacarotene. Watermelons are second only to tomatoes for lycopene content — an antioxidant effective in preventing some types of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. The thick-rinded fruit is also low…