Best Guacamole!

Even if I think I have made a massive batch of guacamole, it seems I can never make too much guacamole for my family! I love it too. I have ordered a lot of guacamole from a lot of Mexican restaurants and cannot believe how often I am served something that somewhat resembles guacamole, but tastes awful and is probably from a frozen packet with artificial ingredients! I really cannot understand how anyone could mess up guacamole, if using good fresh avocados. It isn’t worth the calories unless it is the authentic, fresh, organic yummy version that is so simple and easy to make. Yes, guacamole is a high fat, high calorie food, but made right, it is all natural, with lots of fiber, and the fat is at least in its whole food form. Did you know that the recommended serving size for avocado is about 1/5 of an avocado or about two tablespoons? That amount contains about 50 calories. A whole medium avocado has about 250 calories, so guacamole is not recommended on a weight loss plan, but it is too good to miss out on. So, if weight loss is a goal, enjoy a little, but use moderation! My family obviously does not adhere to this principle.

Growing up in the midwest, I had never tried avocados until I went to Chicago on a job recruiting trip and stayed in a great hotel that had an avocado and tomato salad on the menu. I had to try it of course and that was the beginning of a love affair with avocados. Maybe that was why I ended up taking a job in California instead of Chicago! In California, I got introduced to real Mexican food with authentic fresh guacamole and I’ve been a fan ever since. I am fortunate to live in California now, where avocados are abundant. For several years, my family had a ranch in Southern California, and we were growing Haas (my favorite variety) avocado and lemon trees–sheer guacamole heaven.

Even though avocados are abundant in California. I find that guacamole at restaurants is usually really expensive. Unless you have a great restaurant that does a table-side preparation, you don’t really know what is in you guacamole at a restaurant. I like it pure, and It is so easy to make that I love to make it at home. The only tricky part is timing the ripeness of the avocados with the time you want to make guacamole. If you are lucky, you might find perfectly ripe avocados on the day you want to use them, but you really can’t count on it. I buy what I can, and leave the avocados at room temperature until they are perfect and then make it. Some people advise that you can speed up the ripening by placing the avocados in a paper bag. You can slow the ripening down for a couple of days by refrigerating you avocados until you need them. Be careful to not let them get overripe and brown! I always try to buy organic produce whenever I can, but I will buy conventional avocados if organic is not available. I have heard that avocados are one of the conventionally grown vegetables/fruits (avocados are actually fruits) that are less likely to have harmful levels of pesticides, and they are not on the dreaded dirty dozen list.In fact, conventionally grown avocados top the list among the “Clean 15” –see the EWG report–

I don’t really consider making guacamole as a recipe. For me, it is really just celebrating the avocado, with a little seasoning. But, because I’ve had a lot of questions about it, here is how I make guacamole–

Scoop out the flesh of as many avocados as you want. I start by cutting the avocados in half lengthwise, and twisting to separate the halves. Whack the pit lightly with the blade of the knife and twist to remove. Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh, scraping close to the peel, and add to a bowl. Once I have scooped out all of the avocados, I usually dice up the flesh by taking a knife in each hand and using a criss-cross slicing maneuver.

Add fresh organic chopped cilantro–about 2 tablespoons for 3 avocados–to taste. (sometimes I don’t have cilantro, and the guacamole is still good without it)

Add lemon or lime juice. I prefer lime, but lemon is also good. I use about 1 lime per 3 avocados. Of course, this varies according to the sizes of the avocados and the limes, so I just adjust for my taste.

Add sea salt and pepper and either mashed fresh garlic or garlic powder (not garlic salt) to taste.

Using a fork, lightly mash the juice and seasonings into the avocado to distribute evenly, trying to keep the avocado somewhat chunky. I like guacamole with some texture rather than completely pureeing the avocado. Taste and adjust seasonings. I usually taste a lot, just because I like to. Don’t double dip!

That is it!

I do not add jalapeño or onions or salsa or other spices  (or mayo, as I’ve heard some people do–yuk!) to my guacamole, mostly because my grandchildren do not like those additions, but also because guacamole is just so good in its purest form. I serve spicy condiments on the side so everyone can pick and choose to individual taste–pico de gallo salsa (see my recipe here–, black bean and corn salsa (see my recipe here–, extra jalapeño peppers, and hot sauce.

If you really need/want to stretch the avocados to serve more people or if you want to lower the fat content, you can add some pureed thawed frozen green peas to the avocados and you will end up with a bigger batch, with fewer calories and a lot less fat. Of course, the taste will be different, and I wouldn’t really consider it as real guacamole. I would rather keep it pure and eat less!


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