Ah, summer – the season of barbecues, outdoor dining, backyard picnics and all around good times. No doubt you’ll be engaging in a cookout or two in June, July or August, so you may as well be prepared with a killer recipe that doesn’t involve firing up the grill or pre-heating the oven. Enter the guacamole.
Why guacamole? Well, there are a number of reasons. First and foremost, it’s healthy for almost everyone in the family. (More on that in a second.) People used to be wary of this tropical fruit because of its high fat content, but science has shown that the fat in avocado is the healthy, monounsaturated kind. Avocados are also packed with an impressive list of vitamins and minerals that do a body good. There’s even some evidence that eating avocados can help reduce blood cholesterol levels, and that’s no bad thing.
Now, remember how I said that avocados are good for almost everyone in the family? Well, that’s because you should NOT, under any circumstances, feed guacamole or avocados to your pets – it’s toxic (sometimes lethally so) to dogs, cats, birds, goats, rabbits, cattle and horses. If you plan on having guests over, save yourself a lot of trouble and advise them not to give your animals any samples of guacamole or other avocado-based foods.
Let’s Get Cooking
I’ve run into more than a few people who buy pre-made guacamole because they think it’s too hard to make at home. In my experience, nothing could be further from the truth – stripped to its most basic form, guacamole is nothing more than an avocado that’s been scooped out of its skin, mashed with a fork and served in a stylish bowl like the one we’re currently selling. Perhaps the confusion stems from the sheer amount of guacamole recipes out there – type “guacamole recipe” into Google if you don’t believe me. Each of them is different, and each one claims to be the best. I think it’s a matter of personal preference and the amount of time you’re willing to put into it. But hey – you’re busy, I’m busy. Let’s keep things things simple, shall we?
Super Easy Guacamole
Avocados – The amount varies depending on how much guac you want to make; just remember that the avocado’s pit takes up about half of the room inside. The avocados you choose should have greenish black skin and should give with gentle pressure.
Lime or Lemon Juice – Lime is traditional and does add a brighter note to the overall flavor. That said, don’t panic if you don’t have a lime to spare – lemon juice works just as well. You’re mostly using it to keep your guacamole from going brown right away.
Garlic powder – A lot or a little, depending on your personal preference.
Salt – Again, this is a matter of taste.
Preparation: Wash the outside of your avocado, then cut it in half around the pit. Grab a spoon and ease out the pit. (If you’re like me, you’ll send it flying across the kitchen, but that’s ok.) Once the pit is free, gently scrape the avocado flesh out of the skin and into a bowl. From there, use a fork to mash the flesh until it’s mixed together and creamy.
Next, add a bit of your lime or lemon juice and stir. For me, this is a visual exercise more than a matter of precise measurements. I use just enough juice to loosen the guacamole up a bit. Once it starts to stir a bit more easily, I know I’m there.
Sprinkle in some garlic powder and salt, then give your guacamole a taste. If it needs more flavor, go for it. If you think it’s ready for prime time, then put it in a serving bowl and prepare for a shower of compliments.
Now Make It Your Own
So, is that really all it takes to make guacamole? Technically yes, but there are plenty of other things that you can do to spice things up, as it were. Lots of people dice up Roma or Amish Paste tomatoes and gently stir them in. Red or yellow onions are also commonly added, though I’ve found it isn’t absolutely necessary. Cilantro is often mentioned in recipes, but some people hate the way the herb tastes and leave it out entirely. For a really exotic twist, you could consider adding pomegranate seeds to the mix – trust me, it’s amazing.
Whatever you decide to do, remember that there is no guacamole standard. Have fun, experiment and let us know what you come up with – we’re always up for new takes on old favorites.