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(NewsUSA) - This June, the California Avocado Commission invites avocado lovers to celebrate California Avocado Month! Grown in the Golden State with environmentally-friendly farming from San Diego to Monterey by about 3,000 growers, California avocado season generally runs from spring through summer, making June a perfect time to explore every delicious opportunity to sink your teeth into them.

Widely known as a winner of Bravo’s Top Chef, the first winner of Food Network’s Tournament of Champions, and most recently as one of the three titans on the Food Network’s new cut-throat competition Bobby’s Triple Threat, Chef Brooke Williamson joins CAC in celebrating California Avocado Month by developing two fresh and unique California avocado-inspired dishes for summer. Born and raised in Los Angeles, and a keeper of a fruitful home garden herself, Chef Williamson has an appreciation for in-season produce, which helps shape and inspire her menu both at work and at home.

“As a SoCal native, fresh and locally sourced ingredients, like in-season California avocados, are indispensable in my kitchen, especially during the warm summer months,” said Chef Williamson. “I love the versatility of the fruit, and how it adds dynamic flavor, color and texture to virtually any dish. Whether you’re cooking up a vibrant seafood dish or baking your favorite dessert, California avocados pair beautifully with other ingredients, taking your recipes to the next level.”

Chef Williamson’s love of California-inspired cuisine is highlighted in her Braised Short Rib on California Avocado Tahini Puree, which pairs melt-in-your-mouth short ribs with tangy, velvety California Avocado Tahini Puree for a satisfying and flavor-packed dish you’ll crave all summer long, and beyond. For those with a sweet tooth, Chef Williamson’s California Avocado Chocolate Mousse Layer Cake features cool and creamy California Avocado Mousse sandwiched between layers of decadent chocolate cake for the perfect make-ahead dessert.

California avocados are not only a key ingredient in Chef Williamson’s featured recipes, but they are also a heart-healthy superfood that provides naturally “good” fats and are sodium-, cholesterol- and trans fat-free. One-third of a medium avocado (50 g) has 80 calories and contributes nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, making it a nutrient-dense choice.  

California avocado fans are invited to make Chef Williamson’s California avocado creations themselves, check out other seasonal recipes, tips and tricks and more by visiting


(NewsUSA) - California avocado season is officially here, with fresh delicious fruit available now through summer. From smoothies and salads to dips and desserts, everyone’s favorite California avocados are packed with flavor and nutrients, a versatile must-have ingredient for your springtime meals.

In celebration of the new season, the California Avocado Commission encourages consumers to experience all that California avocados have to offer, while sharing some knowledge along the way. To ensure you make the most of this delicious fruit, CAC is rounding up the top five things to know about California avocados, so you’re prepared all season long:

  1. Although you may see avocados in stores all year round, it’s important to know that California avocados are only available from spring through summer
  2. Look for California on the label to ensure you’re enjoying locally grown California avocados. And if you can’t find conventionally grown California avocados, don’t forget to check the organic section!
  3. Locally grown California avocados are meticulously cared for by about 3,000 growers and picked at their peak, resulting in fruit that is consistent in taste and texture. Since they are grown close to home, California avocados go from tree to table in just a few days
  4. California avocados are a sodium- and cholesterol-free heart-healthy superfood. The greatest concentration of beneficial carotenoids is in the dark green fruit of the avocado closest to the peel. To get to the heart-healthy nutrient-dense fruit directly under the peel, peel the skin from the avocado, instead of scooping. Learn more about CAC’s “nick and peel” method here
  5. From salads to desserts, CAC’s website offers unlimited access to unique and versatile recipes featuring in-season California avocados, such as this Dungeness Crab Stuffed California Avocado recipe and this Strawberry, Watermelon, Avocado and Mint Smoothie recipe, perfect for the warmer months

“We’re all pros when it comes to eating avocados, but knowing where to find California avocados and understanding the benefits of buying local are the first steps to a consistent experience,” said Terry Splane, vice president of marketing of the Commission. “We hope you find these tips helpful the next time you’re shopping for California avocados, and we encourage you to take advantage of fresh, in-season California avocados to help elevate every meal for any occasion.”

For additional tips, tricks, delicious recipes, avocado nutrition and more, California avocado enthusiasts can visit

Sweeten Your Springtime With Healthy Chilean Grapes

(NewsUSA) - What a winter is has been, but spring is finally here!  If you're looking for a sweet and healthy addition to spring celebrations and snacks, fresh Chilean grapes are the perfect pick.

Grapes come in different colors (green, red, black), but did you know that there are also numerous varieties?  Each variety has its own unique size, shape, flavor and texture.  The next time you're in the produce department, check to see what your supermarket is selling and try different varieties to see which is your favorite!  

In addition to their great taste, grapes from Chile pack a powerful nutritional punch. Grapes contain various phytonutrients that can help strengthen the immune system. Grapes are also high in vitamin C, which helps the body fight infections. But wait, there's more!  Chilean grapes are a great source of potassium, as well as bone-building vitamin K, and a standard ¾-cup serving contains just 90 calories.

When you purchase grapes, you might notice that they have a waxy white film. That's called "bloom" and it's good!  Bloom is produced by the plant itself and it helps to keep the grapes fresh, so best not to wash it off until you're ready to eat the grapes. 

There's another reason why you should wait to wash your grapes. Washing adds moisture that can cause the grapes to start to decompose faster than they normally would.  Comments Karen Brux, managing director for the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association, "Just clean what you plan to eat right then and there.  Put the grapes in a colander, rinse with cold water, dry and eat!" Chilean grapes are an easy, healthy choice for kids' lunches and on-the-go snacks during springtime travels; no peeling, coring, or cutting. Rinse, dry, pack, and enjoy anywhere, anytime.

Grapes from Chile are available in the winter and spring, the opposite season of domestic grapes. You can find them at your local retailer through early May.

Looking for some fresh ideas for spring celebrations? Try a Grape and Granola Breakfast Bowl, Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Grapes or festive Grape Easter Eggs.

For a dazzling dessert, consider a gorgeous grape tart that takes just a few ingredients: a store-bought crust, a mixture of mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar and whipping cream, and fresh grapes for the topping.

For recipes and more information, visit

Chilean Summer Stone Fruits are Fabulous

(NewsUSA) - Ready for a taste of summer?  Summer may not be here yet, but you can get a head start on the season with your favorite summer fruits. Peaches, nectarines, and plums are available in your grocery store now, courtesy of the country of Chile.

Located in the Southern Hemisphere, Chile enjoys summer during our winter, which means that fruits we usually associate with summer (like blueberries, cherries, grapes, peaches, plums and nectarines) are available in the winter, too. On the flip side, winter fruits such as kiwifruit and mandarins are fresh from Chile in the summer months.

Peaches, plums, and nectarines are known as "stone fruit" because they contain pits in the center.

These delicious fruits are similar in many ways, but unique in others. However, each is delicious and packs a powerful nutritional punch.

Peaches and nectarines are available in both white flesh and yellow flesh varieties; the white-flesh varieties are slightly sweeter, while the yellow ones have more tang. For yellow-flesh peaches and nectarines, be sure to allow them to ripen until they are slightly soft before enjoying on their own or in any number of delicious recipes. Chilean peaches and nectarines are available from January through March, and are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A and fiber, among other nutrients.

Plums also are great sources of fiber, which can help slow a spike in blood sugar after consuming carbohydrates. Plums may help boost your body's production of adiponectin; a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels. Chilean plums come in many varieties including red, black, and even yellow! Try them all and find your favorite.

Chilean peaches, plums and nectarines are delicious and nutritious additions to smoothies, salsas, or salads, not to mention fruit cobblers and pies. 

For a simple, healthy treat, try a Peach Pie Smoothie Bowl. Just add 2 ripe Chilean peaches or nectarines to a cup of Greek yogurt. Then stir in ground flax seed, almond butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla, plus some fresh orange juice for extra zing. Add honey if you want.  You can also jazz up your favorite homemade salsa with Chilean stone fruit! 

Look for Chilean stone fruits now at your local retailer. Find great recipes and other menu ideas at

(updated 3/21/2023)

Make your Heart and Taste Buds Happy with Blueberries from Chile

(NewsUSA) - February is American Heart Month, and what better way to show yourself a little love than by enjoying some delicious and nutritious blueberries. Blueberries from Chile are in season now through March in your supermarket, so taking advantage of this super fruit is as easy as blueberry pie.

Maintaining a healthy diet is essential to keeping your heart healthy, and blueberries pack a tasty nutritional punch. Blueberries are rich in vitamin K, which is important to promoting heart health, and they are among the best natural sources of antioxidants, which can help support a healthy immune system. One cup of blueberries contains 25% of the recommended daily value for vitamin C and 4 grams of dietary fiber, but only about 80 calories. Blueberries can benefit your brain, too. Some studies also have shown that eating blueberries regularly may improve memory and slow age-related cognitive decline, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Blueberries are easy to fit into your diet. Eat a handful just as they are, stir them into yogurt or oatmeal, or incorporate them into any number of recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks. Blueberries add sweetness and a nutritional boost to muffins, pies, or other baked goods, and they work in savory sauces and salads, too.

Try this quick and easy recipe for Blueberry Power Superfood Bites:

You need:

1 cup rolled oats

10 pitted dates

½ cup roasted and salted almond butter

½ cup dark chocolate chips

¾ cup fresh Chilean blueberries

½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Pulse oats in a standing blender or food processor until coarsely broken down. Add dates and almond butter, and pulse again until coarsely blended. Add dark chocolate chips and ½ cup of blueberries; blend thoroughly. Scoop the batter into a medium mixing bowl. Slice remaining blueberries into quarters and gently fold into the batter. Form the batter into approximately 15 1.5-inch balls and roll in the shredded coconut. Refrigerate in a lidded container and enjoy within 2 days for a tasty and nutritious energy boost.

Help keep your head and heart healthy with blueberries from Chile. Visit for more information and recipes.


Cherrish Every Moment with Cherries from Chile

(NewsUSA) - ​​​​​​There’s more to be sweet about in February then just Valentine’s Day. February is National Cherry Month, and you can find sweet, juicy Chilean cherries in your supermarket all month long.

Although cherries are available domestically in the United States in the summer, they bring a much-needed burst of color and flavor during the cold winter months. Winter cherries come from the Southern Hemisphere, primarily from Chile in South America!

Some people say that National Cherry Month was inspired by the legend of George Washington, whose birthday is a February holiday, and who chopped down a cherry tree as a youngster.

No matter the reason, it’s the perfect season to enjoy Chilean cherries. Treat your Valentine, or yourself, with delicious cherry-filled treats for Valentine’s Day, such as Chocolate Cherry Brownie Bites. Just get some Chilean Cherries, a box of brownie mix, and a cup of melted dark chocolate, and you are good to go. Add some sprinkles for an extra touch! You can find the full recipe at

Chilean cherries don’t just taste great, they’re also great for you!

Cherries are rich in antioxidants, as well as vitamin C, which is important to maintaining a healthy immune system. They also contain vitamins A and K, along with potassium, magnesium, and even some of the recommended daily amount of calcium. Cherries are a tasty source of fiber, too.

A one-cup serving of cherries provides 25% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C, according to the Chilean Cherry Committee. Cherry consumption also may help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. Finally, cherries contain a healthy dose of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin.

Cherries from Chile is celebrating this month with a chance to win a trip to Los Angeles to catch some of music’s biggest superstars in the 2023 “We Can Survive” concert. Check out by February 4 to enter. The prize package includes two concert tickets, access to a VIP party at the Hollywood Bowl, airfare for two, and spending money.

“Cherrish Every Moment with Cherries from Chile.”

“A PERFECT 10” Features 10 Proven, Scrumptious Recipes for Thanksgiving

(NewsUSA) - “Over the river and through the woods, to Tim Mulligan’s house we go.” That’s what it will feel like this Thanksgiving for families that tap into the self-taught home cook’s 10 mouth-watering Thanksgiving recipes.

Everything from Hummingbird Cake to Gramma’s Gumdrop Bread to Caramel Apple Salad, they are all part of Mulligan’s ever-popular cookbook, A PERFECT 10: Ten Scrumptious Recipes for Each Part of Every Meal. All told, the book offers 70 tried-and-true recipes, curated over the decades – the “Perfect 10” for each meal category and, of course, Thanksgiving – that could become your new go-to dishes for years to come.

“A PERFECT 10” Features  10 Proven, Scrumptious Recipes for Thanksgiving"My goal is to pull from my long-curated treasure chest of recipes, and share the best of the bunch, for each meal period -- making your life easier and eliminating your having to wade through cookbooks and websites when you are in a bind,” says Mulligan.

Mulligan has worked for years in restaurants and has put in more than the 10,000 hours necessary to achieve family cooking expertise. In A PERFECT 10, he provides 10 fail-proof recipes for seven distinct meal periods from breakfast to appetizers and sides, to salads, entrees, desserts and a Thanksgiving menu that will finally win you the respect of your in-laws.

His unique and tempting Thanksgiving menu includes:

• Hummingbird Cake: A banana-pineapple spice cake with origins in Jamaica but upping the ante with “blackened” bananas.

• Stovetop Green Bean Casserole: A classic but slightly updated, with cayenne and fried shallots.

• Tim’s Tried and True Stuffing: A to-die-for Thanksgiving essential with apricots, apples and pecans. Don’t be surprised if it rivals the turkey.

• Not Your Grandmother’s Creamed Corn: Turns creamed corn on its head, with Ritz crackers all over the top.

• Caramel Apple Salad: Cool Whip, pineapple tidbits, mini-marshmallows – kids will go nuts and it will make your grandma proud.

• Orangey-Appley Cranberry Relish: A fresh, vibrant alternative, the perfect side dish and great on sandwiches the next day.

• Grandma’s Gumdrop Bread: When is bread also dessert? When it’s a delightful combination of dinner rolls and candy gumdrops with a boozy eggnog glaze.

• Judy’s Mashed Sweet Potatoes: Just smooth and creamy mashed sweet potatoes with lemon, vanilla, and maple hints, covered in delectable pecan-brown sugar topping.

• Mashed Potatoes with Shallots: A multitude of random ingredients from garlic to Dijon mustard to horseradish to sour cream to kale.

• Best Turkey of All Time: With hints of apple and tarragon, Mulligan takes a totally nontraditional approach to top all the others.

Whether staying at home or looking for the perfect dish to bring to friends for the holidays, A PERFECT 10 will fire up your excitement to get cooking, knowing that Mulligan has handed you the perfect blueprint to a truly great meal.

A PERFECT 10 makes the perfect holiday gift not just for Thanksgiving but for the entire Christmas season. Purchase the book on Amazon - - and other popular retailers where books are sold.

A PERFECT 10 is the debut cookbook for Mulligan, a longtime human resources executive who lives in Los Angeles and Palm Springs with his partner Sean and their two children. To learn more, including details on recipes, visit

(Resubmitted 11/16/2022)

Natural Food Storage Containers Can Help Save Money

(TVA) - As food costs continue to rise, many people are seeking creative solutions to stretch their dollars and reduce wasted food. Buying and cooking food in bulk helps save money, as well as time and resources. However, frugal shoppers then face the challenge of how to safely store their bounty for future meals.     

And … what about leftovers? Even the best storage bags and containers, when sealed properly, lock in damaging oxygen which can cause mold, oxidation and bacteria to set in.     

The right storage solutions can help extend the shelf life of everyday food and other products at home. MAP (Modified Atmosphere Packaging) is a patented system designed to help consumers keep food safely for longer periods by using nitrogen to maintain freshness and deter spoilage. This technology has been used by food processors and packers since the 1930s and is now available to the general public. Fruits, vegetables, cheese and meats stay fresher.     

“Using MAP, the bad air inside packaged products is exchanged and replaced by good air,” says MAPWARE creator Gary Growden.     

"Natural Preserve is simply highly filtered air, leaving 100% safe, natural, organic, inert nitrogen,” he explains.     

The MAPWARE natural storage system allows consumers to use MAP safely and effectively right at home. With MAPWARE, oxygen inside the container is reduced or eliminated, thereby lowering the chances of bacteria and oxidation setting in that can cause food to spoil.     

Here’s how it works: Place food in a MAPWARE container, seal with the locking lid, and use a specialized canister of their foodgrade nitrogen to flush out the bad air, leaving food sealed similar to the way it came from the store.     

The products in the MAPWARE line include specialized canisters of nitrogen and the MAPWARE series of bowls with lids, available in a range of sizes. In addition, the Zip and Zap bags are MAP-compliant zipper bags that can fit easily in the freezer, fridge or pantry and are perfect for meats, cookies, breads, fruits and vegetables, snacks and any other cooked or uncooked foods. Other MAPWARE products include specialized clips and caps that can be attached to bags of store-bought products, such as bread and buns.     

The MAPWARE products help prevent food waste and save money, so they benefit your wallet as well as the environment.     

MAPWARE’s Gary Growden  received the “Inventors Recognition Award” for the “Most Innovative and Best New Invention” by the International Housewares Association.       

The MAPWARE products are completely recyclable, reusable and renewable.     

Visit for more information.

Move Over Meat - Vegetables are taking center stage on your plate

Recent "food trend" studies show that more people are making vegetables the main course of their meals. Although the interest in healthy eating extends to all age groups, millennials seem to be driving this healthful food trend. Data from the NPD Group suggests that people younger than 40 are eating 52 percent more fresh vegetables compared with young adults 10 years ago, and that preference is likely to continue as they age.

In support of this trend, professional chefs, bloggers, restaurants and home cooks are embracing the flavors of a vast variety of vegetables, from common to exotic. Episodes of the popular "Iron Chef" television show feature vegetable-centric meals and a recent article in New York magazine noted, "Simply put, the once-meat-obsessed populace is realizing that vegetables actually taste good. Especially when fresh, in season, and carefully prepared."

You'll see that many restaurants now offer vegetable-based entrees that have inspired home cooks to explore the healthy and delicious potential of making fresh vegetables a main course.

Some reasons driving the shift in popularity of vegetables over meat include:

- Vine-Ripened, great taste. Homegrown vegetables have a home field advantage when it comes to flavor because they stay on the vine to fully ripen and are harvested just before eating. Store bought veggies are often harvested before they're fully ripe, so they don't spoil on the journey to the store. Once picked from the vine, sugars begin to turn to starch-and that homegrown sweetness dissipates.

- Good health. Everyone knows that vegetables are good for you, but research backs it up. In a study of over 130,000, in the Journal of American Medical Association Internal Medicine, consumption of plant protein is associated with longer life compared with animal protein consumption.

- Good stewardship. Eating more vegetables and less meat can have a positive effect on the environment. Data from the University of Oxford, England, suggests that eating more vegetables could have a greater impact on reducing one's carbon footprint than giving up a car!

As vegetables grow in popularity and push meat from the center of the plate, more people are interested not only in eating more vegetables, but eating locally grown vegetables - hey, what's more local than growing your own veggies at home? Growing vegetables at home is convenient, satisfying, a money-saver in the produce aisle, and they'll taste better, too!

Fortunately for the home gardener, professional growers make it easy to grow nutritious and delicious vegetables at home. Bonnie Plants, for example, is a greenhouse grower offering more than 250 varieties of vegetable, herb, and fruit plants, ranging from traditional favorites to new and different choices. Some easy-to-grow options for your veggie main course include hearty tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and zucchini.

Bonnie Plants operates more than 70 greenhouse facilities in 48 states and trucks fresh plants from greenhouses to retailers near you, so they're ready for planting upon purchase, and you'll harvest six weeks sooner than if you grow from seed. Plus, the plants are grown a truck-ride away from the retailers that sell them. Don't worry if you have little outdoor space, patio-ready caged varieties and combo pots are available as great options for small spaces.

Curious home gardeners interested in healthy eating can enjoy experimenting with vegetables to replace meat. For a new take on burgers, try substituting squash. Veggie burgers, like their meat-based counterparts, can be made in advance, frozen in patties, and pulled out for easy reheating as a healthy burger choice on a busy night. Try putting a new spin on salad, substituting Swiss chard for a fresh, peppy taste in lieu of such standbys as lettuce, spinach, and arugula.

Time to season your homegrown veggies? Bonnie Plants also offers herb plants, so fresh seasoning is only a snip away with a quick trip to your garden plot or pot.

Visit for more information on varieties along with planting tips, tending, troubleshooting, harvesting, and a plethora of delicious recipes to try!

Meat Shortages Mean It's Time to Try Plant-Based Protein

(NewsUSA) - During times of change, many of us find comfort in simple pleasures. Like a great burger.

Yet, some of those simple pleasures have been compromised by the dramatic changes caused by COVID-19, including the disruption of the animal meat industry. Meat plants are closing, causing meat to be harder to find and its prices to rise. Some grocers are limiting the amount of meat shoppers can buy to curb pantry loading.

I know these issues will be resolved as the pandemic subsides. The animal meat industry will recover, and supply chains will be restored. But right now, you may be asking: What do I do without meat?

Now is the time to try plant-based protein. Made from simple ingredients you know, Lightlife plant-based meat is as nutritious as it is delicious. And you can find the products in your grocer's meat case.

To be clear, I'm not against the animal meat industry. I believe we're all trying to solve the same complex challenge: how to feed Americans during this pandemic. But I do believe no diet should be entirely dependent on animal meat. That's why Lightlife is committed to delivering plant-based protein throughout the country to ensure as many people as possible have access to the food they need.

At Lightlife, we're not asking you to give up animal meat. If you want to eat meat, eat meat. But we believe you should also eat plants: whole plants and plant-based protein. That's why we strive to bring more high-protein options to your table. Fortunately, the trend toward eating more plant-based protein began well before COVID-19, driven by a desire for more balance and variety in our diets, as evidenced by the fact that 44 percent?of Americans now describe themselves as flexitarian.

In fact, Lightlife sales were up significantly in the first quarter of 2020. And longer term, the plant-based meat category is expected to grow exponentially, with the Good Food Institute predicting a threefold increase in the number of American households regularly purchasing plant-based protein1.

The reality is it takes a little more work these days to make a good burger, even the ones we make with simple ingredients. I want you to know that we're committed to your dinner table. And your lunch table. And if you want a burger for breakfast, your breakfast table, too.

I am so proud of our production teams working around the clock to ensure our products are available at your local grocer. To ensure their health and safety, we have taken additional steps including social distancing wherever possible, daily temperature checks and health screenings, face coverings, increased sanitation efforts, and staggered breaks and start times to reduce the potential for congestion. This is in addition to the sanitation procedures our team is already accustomed to, and the variety of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) we routinely wear.

This is all part of our dedication to getting high-quality, plant-based protein to your tables. Because whether your burger is made from ground beef or plant-based ingredients, a good burger is something we can all agree on. And I believe that together, we will celebrate that simple pleasure once again.


1 The Food Industry Association and IRI. (2020) Understanding the plant-based food consumer.

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