Menu

FOOD DRINK

Tips to help you make great guacamole

iStock

Guacamole is a fun and delicious way to enjoy the health benefits of avocados and add some color to your healthy diet. The good news is that guacamole is easy to whip up in a matter of minutes.

Ingredients
In addition to avocados, the official Hass Avocado Board (HAB) guacamole recipe calls for fresh lemon juice, sweet white onion, one Roma tomato, serrano peppers, salt, pepper and cilantro. The California Hass Family guacamole recipe, on the other hand, includes avocados, white onion and salt, with the option of adding diced Roma tomato and fresh lime juice for zest.

Preparation
Wash unpeeled avocados and dry them with a paper towel. Place the avocado lengthwise on a clean dishtowel or cutting board with a dishtowel underneath to prevent the board from sliding around on the counter. Starting at the narrower end, slice down the middle lengthwise while rotating so you cut all the way around the seed.

Take the avocado in the palm of one hand and separate the two halves. Remove the pit (which is actually a large seed) with a spoon. To peel the avocado, you can cut the halves into smaller sections and pry the dark outer layer off with your fingers. You can also opt to scoop the green inner part of the avocado out of the skin with a spoon. Your recipe or personal preference may call for you to mash, slice, puree or dice the avocado; prepare it accordingly.

You can tell an avocado is ready to eat when it yields to gentle pressure but is still firm. Hass avocados and some other varieties darken when they become ripe. You can speed the ripening process by placing the avocado in a brown paper bag along with an apple or a banana and leaving it at room temperature for a few days.


Recipe: Bulgur Salad with Roasted Peppers, Capers, Raisins, Celery & Onion

Recipe: Chicken BLT Salad

Recipe: Chicken Stuffed with Apples and Currants


Directions
To make the HAB recipe, start with four ripe avocados. Mash three in a bowl, dice the fourth and set that aside for later use. Stir in one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice to help the guacamole stay fresh and retain its green color. Add half of a minced small sweet onion, one ripe diced Roma tomato, and two diced serrano peppers that you can seed if you want. Add salt and pepper to taste; throw in chopped cilantro if you would like. Stir in the diced avocado from before and serve. This recipe makes eight servings.

The Hass Family recipe also calls for four ripe avocados but advises that you mash two and dice two. Add three-eights a cup of diced white onion and three-eights a teaspoon of salt to the mashed avocado. Stir in the rest of the avocados and serve with celery sticks, baby carrots, zucchini and red bell pepper sticks. You can opt to add lime and a diced Roma tomato. This recipe also makes eight servings.

Storage
Place any leftover guacamole in an air-tight container or seal the top of the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. If the guacamole turns brown, scrape off that layer.