Are you looking to learn more about the Hass avocado? Chances are, it’s probably on your favorites list. It’s arguably the most popular and accessible avocado there is and we’ve got everything you’d ever want to know about this delicious fruit: what it tastes like, how to use it, where to find it, and even how to grow your own Hass avocados at home!
Characteristics of the Hass Avocado Tree
Hass avocado trees are one of the most popular varieties of avocado trees. They make a beautiful addition to any yard while providing delicious and nutritious fruit. The trees can grow up to 7 feet tall if they’re planted in a big container and up to 30 feet tall if they’re planted in the ground! They are dense evergreens with leathery, gloss leaves. They need a minimum of 6 full hours of sunlight every day. And you know the coolest fact about them? Once they’re settled and maturing, they live somewhere between 200 and 400 years! That’s generations and generations of people that could enjoy the literal fruits of your labor!
All about the Hass Avocado
First thing’s first. When you’re getting ready to eat an avocado, you’ve got to be able to tell if it’s ripe. As a general rule of thumb, the darker the avocado is, the riper it is. Avocados have green skin when picked from the tree and it gets darker and bumpier as it ripens. A ripe fruit will give a bit when pressure is applied, but too much give means it’s overripe.
Another thing that can be intimidating when first creating your own avocado goodness is cutting it. The simplest way to do so is to hold the avocado in your hand and use a knife to make a circle around the long circumference of the fruit. The giant seed in the middle will keep you from cutting all the way through. Once the cut is made, you can gently twist the two sides in opposite directions and pull them apart. There you have it! An avocado ready to enjoy!
What Does It Taste Like?
You also may wonder, what does an avocado taste like? Hass avocados have a buttery taste that’s slightly nutty depending on its ripeness. Overall, it’s a pretty muted flavor that makes them blend well into many dishes. Sometimes the flavor can come across earthy or a little grassy, but they’ve got a smooth, creamy texture that’s really pleasing to your tastebuds.
How To Use Them
Avocados go with just about anything. You can throw them in smoothies, top a salad with them, mash it up on some toast, and so many other ways. Most of the most common ways to use avocado are along the savory line, but you can also use avocados as a replacement for butter or oil in a lot of desserts!
Cooking with Hass avocados is really easy. As mentioned just above, avocados can be a 1:1 replacement for butter! If a recipe calls for a cup of butter, simply mash up a cup of avocado really well and use it instead. Another easy way to get started using avocado is avocado toast. Mash up your avocados and put some on a slice of toasted, delicious bread—sourdough is a great option if you’ve got some— and top with Everything but the Bagel seasoning and some sriracha!
Avocados are also a great first food choice for kids. They’re full of nutrients and easy to eat. You can use them as a part of baby-led weaning by leaving them in slices for your baby to explore, or you can mash them up and feed them with a spoon. It’s also a great way to introduce your babies to flavor. Try adding a pinch of garlic powder or salt and pepper to the avocados to expand their palate.
Here’s some other ways you can use Hass avocados!
- Sprinkle half of a a fresh avocado with coarse salt and pepper and enjoy it right out of the rind.
- Smash an avocado on a roasted sweet potato.
- Stuff half of an avocado with chicken salad.
- Whip up an avocado into a dairy-free chocolate mousse.
- Add chunky guacamole on top of chicken.
- Mix avocados into salads or grain bowls.
- Dip avocado slices in egg wash and bread crumbs before baking or air frying to make some fried avocado slices.
- Make a classic guacamole using ingredients like avocados, onions, cilantro, and lime.
- Replace mayo or Greek yogurt with mashed avocado in chicken, salmon, egg, and tuna salads.
- Mix with oil, lemon juice, and garlic salt or chili powder for a healthy, creamy dressing to use on a salad.
Avocados are an exceptionally nutritious food. They’re a concentrated source of fiber, and healthy fats, as well as a number of minerals and vitamins. The really nice thing about avocados is that they are rich in nutrients that are often lacking in the average person’s diets, including magnesium, vitamin C, B6, folate, and vitamin E. And when I say rich in nutrients, I mean that half an avocado has 10% of the potassium you need every day!
The fiber content, about 14 grams in each Hass avocado, is also a wonderful benefit to your gut health. All of the folate in avocados also make them a great addition to the diet of a women pregnant or breastfeeding!
For a more detailed look at all the avocado goodness, check out The Health Benefits of Avocados.
Growing At Home
Can You Grow Hass Avocados At Home?
If you live in zones 9, 10, or 11, you can absolutely grow Hass avocados at home! They’re a little sensitive and tough to get started, but once they’re established, they’ll be enjoyed for generations!
Before we jump into a few details, if you don’t live in zones 9, 10, or 11, check out our guide on How to Grow an Indoor Avocado Tree to keep you avocado growing dreams alive!
Ok, now let’s talk specifics!
While it sounds fun to just save a seed from an avocado you get at a grocery store, that isn’t going to work for an outdoor tree. You should go ahead and buy a seedling from a grower to get a head start on the growing process. Plant it in a wind-sheltered area that has excellent drainage and full sun after the soil is warmed, between March and June.
Hass avocado trees need direct sunlight for at least 6 hours a day. If the spot you have available for them is a little shady, that’s alright, but the more sun they get, the better off they’ll be.
Avocado trees do best when they’re in temperatures ranging between 60° and 80°F. As they mature, they can withstand lower temperatures, but younger ones need the warmth to really get established.
Hass avocado trees like loose soil. Since their roots are close to the surface, it’s important the the soil drains well because they may rot if they sit in moisture for too long.
Once you’ve planted the tree, it will need to be watered every couple of days. Once it’s matured, you can cut back to once a week. Since the roots should not be too bogged down by water, a good watering will leave the top two inches of the soil moist, not soaking wet.
For a more detailed look at what it means to grow your own avocado tree, check out our Guide to Growing Avocados Trees.
Hass Avocados Pests & Diseases
Avocado mites are a real problem for avocado trees but can be treated with a little bit of Neem oil! For steps on how to treat mites as well as information on other possible pests, check out 6 Avocado Tree Pests You Should Know About (And How to Treat Them).
Root rot is a potential disease your Hass avocado tree may face. The simplest way to avoid it is not to overwater it.
There are also other diseases that may effect your tree, so take a second to look at 5 Avocado Tree Diseases and How to Treat Them.
Size, Spacing, and Pollination
Hass avocado trees can grow to be up to 30 feet tall, so they need to be spaced out at least 10 feet apart when planting. They self-pollinate, but adding in other varieties of avocado trees will typically produce a better, more bountiful harvest.
When to Harvest Hass Avocados
You’re playing the long game here. Your avocado tree will take about 5 years to grow fruit that’s worth harvesting.
One of the neat things about avocados is that they don’t ripen on the tree. That only starts once you pick them. Just leave them on your tree until a couple of weeks before you’d like to use them and then leave them sitting out on your counter to fully ripen.
You’ll be able to enjoy the fruit of your Hass avocado tree for many, many, many years to come!
Where to Buy a Hass Avocado Tree
If you live in zones 9, 10, or 11, a local plant nursery should have a little baby seedling ready for you to plant in the spring. Or you can order them online.
Where to Buy Hass Avocados
Good news for you readers who live outside of those growing zones: Hass avocados are very easy to find! More often than not, when you’re buying an avocado in any grocery store, it’s a Hass avocado! You won’t have to look hard to enjoy this delicious and nutritious fruit!
For the freshest avocados, visit farmers markets.
Wrapping up the Hass Avocado
This tried and true avocado variety is popular for a reason. It’s easy to grow, easy to harvest, and easy to eat. Do you have a Hass avocado tree growing in your garden? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!
To read about other avocados, click here for our avocado blog posts.