Full disclosure: The first time I set out to make guacamole, I had no idea my avocados needed to be ripe. So, you can imagine my disappointment when I got home from the grocery store with all my ingredients, and sliced open my hard-as-a-brick, bright green avocados. Much to my dismay, the avocados needed a few more days to become soft and able to mash. Fast forward to today, and guacamole is one of my favorite appetizers to make. An avocado-based dip, guacamole is most popular in modern Mexican cuisine. It can be eaten as a dip with tortilla chips, added as a topping to nachos or soups (try chicken tortilla!), or served as a side “salad” with tacos. I’ve learned a few things since that first experience, and for all you novice avocado fans out there, I thought I’d shed a few tips on the subject, and give you my go-to, easy recipe for this healthy and delicious snack. If you can chop, you can make it!
Good guacamole is all about texture and equal parts ingredients. Using the right combination of tomatoes, garlic and onion is key to letting the avocado shine. Tip #1: You must use RIPE avocados. When buying avocados, the outer shell should be dark brown in color and soft to the touch. Tip #2: Once you slice them open and remove the pit, use the shell to your advantage! Slice the avocado lengthwise, then horizontally creating cubes inside the shell. Then remove the cubed avocado by going around the rim of the shell with a spoon.
Tip #3: First things first. Add the zest of 1/2 a lime directly to the avocado and gently toss. The acidity in the citrus juice keeps the fruit from turning brown and adds a powerful punch of flavor.
Add in the rest of your chopped ingredients.
Tip #4: Get double-duty out of your kitchen tools. I like to use a potato-masher to crush my guacamole. Doing this creates great texture. Don’t mash too much – leave a few chunks of avocado for interest. This creates a creamy, somewhat smooth final product.
Tip #5: Prevent oxidation by pressing clear plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole. Store in the refrigerator.
While we’re on the subject, check out these 12 Proven Benefits of Avocado from AuthorityNutrition.com.
- 2 ripe avocados
- 2 plum tomatoes
- 2 medium cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced (Crushed red pepper flakes may also be substituted).
- 2-3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Slice avocados lengthwise, removing the pit from each. While avocado is still in the shell, slice into cubes with your knife. With a spoon, go around the perimeter of the avocado shell and remove the cubed avocado into a large mixing bowl. To keep the avocado from turning brown, add the citrus juice of half a lime and toss gently. Add in remaining ingredients. Using a potato-masher, blend all the ingredients together. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. (I tend to add a splash more lime and salt to mine at the end!) Garnish with cilantro and slices of fresh lime. Enjoy!