There’s nothing like fresh, homemade guacamole. So when my garden starts overflowing with peppers and tomatoes (or I’m just hungry for guacamole), I look for fresh avocados at the grocery store and make this deliciously healthy dip. It’s the perfect blend of subtle, buttery avocado flavor and peppery, garlicky spice. If you have a few minutes to spare, and even if you don’t, it’s well worth the time spent to make this favorite guacamole recipe from scratch.
Is guacamole healthy?
Guacamole can absolutely be part of an overall healthy diet! After all, its primary ingredient is avocados. Now, avocados are high in fat and calories. But lets take a deeper look at this fruit for a moment. Yes, botanically the avocado is a fruit – a berry to be exact. It is high in fat, but it’s a good kind of fat called monounsaturated fat, which helps reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind). That, along with its high fiber content, puts avocado into the heart healthy food category.
Avocados are also low in cholesterol and sodium, but rich in vitamin K and folate. Plus, they’re a good source of potassium, vitamin C, vitamin E, and B vitamins.
So, avocados are healthy. But what about guacamole? Well, the healthiest option is to make it homemade, with fresh ingredients. When you make it at home, you can avoid the higher sodium levels and additives of store-bought guacamole. Typical additions are garlic, hot peppers, tomatoes, fresh cilantro, and salt. But you may also find onions and a variety of spices added as well. That’s it. So yes . . . avocados – and guacamole – definitely deserve a place in our diet.
How to choose a good avocado
On to the guacamole and the first job: picking the perfect avocados at the grocery store. Some people find this task somewhat daunting. Avocados tend to have a short period of time where they are perfect suited for eating . . . that stage between overripe and unripe. But honestly, it’s not as hard as it seems.
Choose avocados that are firm, but yield to gentle pressure. They shouldn’t be too soft (mushy) or too hard. And they should still have the “belly button,” the stem end, intact. Look for those a little darker in color, but not too dark. And think of your timing. When are you going to use the avocado? If it’s not for a few days, pick one that’s more on the green, or unripe side. If you’re using it that day, find one that’s already ripe. Most of all, practice makes perfect. After you’ve shopped for them a few times, you’ll know what you’re looking for.
How to make guacamole
Guacamole is easy to make at home. Simply mash the flesh of the avocado and mix in your favorite add-ins. I make mine by adding diced jalapeño peppers, diced tomatoes, minced garlic, diced onions, salt, and fresh chopped cilantro, along with a few other spices. If you’re unsure of how to cut an avocado see this video by California Avocados. I’ve made the recipe below a couple different ways, but this is by far the favorite of my family.
Do you like avocados? How do you include them in your diet? Share your thoughts and ideas below!
If you’ve enjoyed this post and recipe, won’t you consider sharing it on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter below?
- 1/4 c. finely chopped onion
- 1 large clove garlic minced
- 1-2 roma tomatoes seeded and diced small
- 1 ancho pepper seeded and diced small
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice or the juice of one lime
- 2 avocados
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. cumin
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
- Find a medium bowl and put the onions, garlic, tomatoes and pepper inside.
- Cut open the avocados, and place the flesh into a separate bowl. Mash the avocados to desired consistency. I like mine a little lumpy, not completely smooth.
- Pour the lime juice over the avocados and stir it in.
- Then you can add the avocados to the onion and tomato mixture, along with the salt, cumin, and cilantro. Gently blend it all together.
- The flavors will meld together nicely if you leave it sit for an hour or so before serving. But if you're like my family, it may be hard to leave it that long.
- Serve with whole grain tortilla chips or pita chips.