Guacamole or guac as it’s often called in the U.S. is one of my all-time favorite foods. The irony that I’m not a big fan of chips of any type, well that’s just ironic. Making guac may seem intimidating, and I assure you there is no need for fear. This classic guacamole recipe can make a chef out of anyone and please any crowd you may be tasked with feeding (even if that’s just you).
What is Guacamole
Guacamole transcends food categories. It’s considered a dip, spread, condiment, and a salad. Originating in Mexico, guac is an international treat that uses avocados as its base. The dish traditionally combines avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro, and lime juice to create a delicious treat. However, perhaps my favorite thing about guacamole is that it can be easily altered to create a new dish that compliments any meal. Add in mango or strwaberries and you create slight sweetness, a bit of tart, and a pop of color that pairs nicely with the richness of the avocado. Add bacon and you bring in a light crunch and saltiness. Add grilled corn and you create texture, color, and sweetness. Be sure to read until to end of this recipe to see all the alterations you can add-in to create an entirely new type of guac that will keep your crowd interested and their tastebuds intrigued.
Did You Know: Avocados are considered a fruit? Specifically, they are large berries. Though they are not typically thought of as sweet, like most fruits, avocados get their classification because they are “the sweet and fleshy product of a tree or other plant that contains seed and can be eaten as food.1“
Are Avocados Good for You
Despite avocados being known as having a high fat content, the fruit has many health benefits making them perfect for those seeking to lose weight or just maintain overall health.
Avocados contain a wealth of good fats, plus the following Daily Values (DV) in a single 3.5 ounce serving2: 26% Vitamin K, 20% Folate, 17% Vitamin C, 14% Potassium, 14% Vitamin B5, 13% Vitamin B6, and 10% Vitamin E, and trace amounts of magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorous and vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin) and seven grams of fiber. Avocados contain all this at just 160 calories per serving without containing any cholesterol or sodium.
When you consider all these health benefits in the context of guacamole, you have quite a healthy snack, when enjoyed in moderation. Just be sure to make it from scratch or at least get it made fresh from a local restaurant or grocer, as the prepacked versions tend to contain added sugars and excess sodium (aka salt).
Did You Know: Avocados are a low-carb (low carbohydrate) food? Though they contain nine grams (g) of carbs per serving, seven of those carbs are fiber. This creates a net of just two carbs, making avocados perfect for those watching out for carbs, such as diabetics, Keto Dieters, and Atkins Diet followers.
Making Good Guacamole
Good guacamole depends on ripe avocados. To ensure your guac recipe will be its best, purchase avocados that are firm, yet soft. You do not want fruits that squish easily when squeezed. If you can’t find ripe avocados at your local grocery store, farmer’s market, or produce stand, simply purchase the unripe fruits and leave them on your counter. If you need to speed up the process, place your unripe avocados in a closed bag paper bag with a banana or apple. The gases from the banana or apple (ethylene/ethene) will cause the avocados to ripen quicker.
In contrast, if you need to preserve ripe avocados you are not ready to use, store them in the fridge for up to three days. Be sure to only store whole ripe avocados, as storing the partially used or unripe fruits may cause them to brown or form fibrous spots.
Let’s Get Started
Tip: To remove the seed more safely and easily, hold your avocado in place and slice the fruit completely in half alongside the axis of the stone (seed). Once cut, twist the avocado, revealing one half that has no stone and the other that does. Then take a spoon and circle it around the stone to remove it.
One Small White Onion
Two Roma Tomatoes
Tip: Much like bell peppers, tomatoes can get slippery when using a knife. To dice, cut your tomato in half. Then, place it skin-side down to complete your dicing.
10 Sprigs Cilantro
Tip: Roll your limes on the counter before cutting to make squeezing the juice easier and more productive. Don’t have fresh limes? One lime is equivalent to two Tbsp. of bottled lime juice.
One tsp. Sea Salt
1/2 tsp. Cayenne (Red) Pepper (optional)
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
Tip: Out of fresh garlic? Once clove of fresh garlic is equivalent to one tsp. chopped garlic, 1/2 tsp. minced garlic (jar), 1/2 tsp. dehydrated/garlic flakes, 1/4 tsp. granulated garlic, 1/8 tsp. garlic powder, or 1/2 tsp. garlic salt. Remember to decrease the amount of salt used in your recipe by 3/8 of a teaspoon (tsp.), if using garlic salt.
Spoon or Fork
Prep all you veggies by halving the avocados and remove the pits (i.e. stones/seeds). Chop the cilantro, slice the limes in half., and dice your tomatoes. Then, peel and chop the onion.
After all the ingredients have been prepped, then next steps are pretty easy.
Simply add the avocados, cilantro, lime juice, garlic powder, and salt to the covered dish and mash until almost smooth.
Tip: Lime juice in a guacamole recipe is less about flavor and more about preservation. Generally speaking, one tablespoon (Tbsp.) of lime juice is needed to prevent one avocado from turning brown. However, less lime juice may be used if your avocados are small. Like wise, more may be needed if they are larger.
Next, add the onion, cayenne pepper, and tomatoes to the dish and combine.
Tip: If you enjoy more flavorful dishes, this is the time to add additional seasoning. Add garlic for a pungent yet nutty flavor. Add cayenne pepper for heat. Add cilantro for tang. Add sea salt for brine.
After all desired additional seasonings have been added combine again and enjoy!
How to Serve
Guacamole is typically served with tortilla chips, but don’t let that stop you! Guac is great for dipping potato chips, pita chips, fresh veggies. It’s also great on wraps and burgers, and in salads. Adding guacamole doesn’t just taste good, it adds all those health benefits as well. Looking for ways to jazz up your guac recipe? Try adding the following:
Fruits: Mango, papaya, and peaches are just a few options to add sweetness and color to your guacamole. Add about 1/2 cup of fruit per avocado in your recipe.
Veggies: Corn, peas, and jalapeños add texture and flavor that compliment avocados well. Just be sure not to add jalepenos with the optional cayenne pepper listed above (unless you truly love spice). Amounts vary, but generally 1/2 cup per three avocados is plenty.
Meats: Bacon and shrimp may seem odd, but boy are they delicious! Add two strips of crispy bacon per avocado just before serving for smoky saltiness. Or try a 1/2 cup of chopped shrimp per two cups of guacamole. Be sure to leave your guac a little chunkier for these additions, so the textures meld well.
A special thank you to the R-MC CAB for sponsoring this video. And as always, I would like to thank our Official Foodies for helping to empower people through food and making articles like this one possible.