As a thank you for reading yesterday’s ‘bumper post’ (i.e. tediously long) on Black Bean Quinoa Chili, today I give you the much shorter companion post of Simple Guacamole. This stripped-back version of the popular dip is the perfect foil for a more complex dish like chili. And a must-have for parties and Super Bowl gatherings. But guacamole is superb with – and indeed in – so many other foods. Because guacamole really needs no introduction I will just let this easy and healthy recipe speak for itself.
The only secret to a good guacamole is to use perfectly ripe avocados, a little salt and a squeeze of fresh lime or lemon. After that, it is down to personal taste. Below the recipe I give add-in suggestions, ideas for how to use guacamole, and hints on how to know when an avocado is ripe.
How do you like your guac?
2 perfectly ripe Hass avocados (see below)
½ lime (or lemon)
½ tsp good salt, like Maldon
Because you aren’t going to be making pretty slices with the avocado, the easiest way of removing the stone is to squeeze the avocado, then slice it in half lengthways – the stone loosens with the initial pressure. Remove the stone (tip of knife/spoon/fingers) and scoop out the flesh with a spoon into a bowl. Immediately squeeze in the lime or lemon juice and crumble in the salt.
Mash well with a fork or a pastry cutter (shown). Most people like their guacamole at least a little chunky so don’t be too enthusiastic with the mashing. Serve immediately, or cover with cling film/food wrap so that it is touching the surface – this helps prevent oxidation/browning.
We find guacamole – and avocados generally – are best at room temperature and used within one or two days. This isn’t a food for keeping. But then again, why would you?
¼ tsp each of garlic and onion powder (store cupboard option – what I often do)***
½ red onion, finely minced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 medium tomato, deseeded, degorged and finely chopped
Jalapeno or serrano chili, deseeded and diced
A few tablespoons of good quality salsa (or homemade, of course)
½ tsp ground cumin
A dash or two of hot sauce or chipotle in adobo
A few tablespoons of fine curd cottage cheese or Quark – to extend the guacamole or make each serving slightly lower in fat (up the seasoning too)
Watermelon, fine dice
Roasted and chopped peppers
Pomegranate seeds (very nice option)
Chopped leaves and soft stem of coriander/cilantro leaves
What to do with your Simple Guacamole. Of course it is perfect with raw vegetables and tortilla chips. But here are a few more ideas:
as a mayonnaise substitute in sandwiches (beautiful with a chicken, bacon or turkey sandwich)
to top chili and in baked potatoes
in quesadillas; on tostados and huevos rancheros
on toast with chopped tomatoes (one of our fave quick breakfasts)
mix into eggs/soft tofu for scrambled eggs or scrambled tofu (yes, really)
add to grain and bean salads
stir into pasta with extra lime and some chilli and tomatoes
mix with hard egg yolk for devilled eggs, or with chopped egg for a no-mayo egg salad.
You get the picture…
Here is a short video to help you decide if your avocado is ripe.
In addition, it is good to look at the little stem knob – flick it off and if it is yellow-green underneath it is ripe, if it is brown – give it a miss as it is already gone over. If you can’t flick it off (i.e. you have to twist it) it will usually need another day or two. Keep ripe avocados in the refrigerator until you use them. To ripen avocados (or at least try to – some never will), pop into a paper bag with another fruit. Or for a slower ripening, just set the under-ripe avocado on top of a bowl of fruit. See this link to ripening avocados for further options and explanations – and a tip NOT to try.
New Link! (May 2014) – Apparently you can freeze avocados! Mash ’em up with some lemon and freeze. There’s more to it than that, so visit this post on hustle + glow for more details or other freezable ideas.
***Low Residue Diet-friendly option
35 thoughts on “Simple Guacamole + How To Choose An Avocado”
Gosh I love guacamole. I’ve tried to make it lately bit the avocados have been bad here. Can’t wait till it gets warmer. Great recipe!
If they are just hard bad, maybe give some of the tips a try? But of course I have encountered some that refuse to ripen. Grrr! I don’t know where you live but here in the UK avocados are always imported so we tend to get them from wherever in the world they are in season. In theory anyway 😉
Right now they are too mushy. I’ve opened some up and they are brown inside. I live on the west coast, so they should be prefect here shortly!
It sounds like wherever you are buying them from is getting them out in the store in too ripe a state. Maybe another shop might be better? Or, as you say, waiting a little. That’s weird because the ones we are getting are wonderful. I think they are Spanish though.
Great recipe and lots of fab tips, thank you x
Your recipe looks and sounds incredible, and I love all your ideas for using guacamole!
I love your tip about judging the ripeness of an avocado. I didn’t know that, and I’ve had countless disappointments of over ripe or brick hard fruit…which of course is then useless and has to be thrown away. I will be flicking that little nobble from now on!
Oh and did I mention how much I love guacamole….and avocado….so yet another hit post for me!!
I know you like avocados – I’ve seen your salads at work, remember? Look out for a rather unusual way with guacamole coming soon! As for the tips, I hope they transform your avocado selection in the future – so frustrating to get stuff that never ripens!
I love guacamole. and thanks for the tips .. looks delicious 🙂
Great tips about storage for avacados and how to find a ripe one! I still will probably squeeze them…because I just can’t resist…
I do a whole-hand gentle squeeze and get one with the tiniest bit of give, then take it home and do the ‘flick’ test. I don’t do it in the store – that’s cheating! Thanks for the tweet love too 😉
Reblogged this on Forget the Viagra, Pass Me a Carrot and commented:
Avocado is one of my favourite health foods – much more versatile than people imagine. Great recipe for Guacamole from Food to Glow – you might also like to try baked avocados stuffed with fresh salmon and a little parmesan cheese.
Mmm, I like *your* idea too! Very nice indeed! Thank you for the kind comment
Definitely craving guacamole now! Adding it to my Super Bowl recipe list!
Wow, thanks Laura! Can you let us know what else is on your menu? Are you more about the food, the game or the commercials?
So far, it’s chili, guacamole, homemade corn chips and football-shaped cookies with a huge salad! I’m all about the football – but I like the food and commercials too, of course!
Sounds like my kind of party menu! I bet homemade tortillas are the perfect scoop for your chili. I don’t think we would have any football-shaped cookie cutters though ;-)Wishing you a fun party, with just the right amount of leftovers!
Great tips and recipe, Thanks!
Perfect, this is just how I like mine too xo
Lovely looking guac! Thanks for the tips too!
I love guac so much it should be illegal. lol Great recipe!
Thanks goodness it isn’t. I would be a lifer!
How good are avocados, they lend themselves to so many flavours. A real superfood that I could happily eat every day. I normally just add lemon, chill & salt but really love avocado vinaigrette although that adds up to a lot of calories so reserved as a treat!
I love anything avocado, and vinaigrette is fab. I also do a kind of Caesar dressing with it too. Probably only slightly lower calorie than an original Caesar. But healthy fats at least 😉 And chill is my own add in for myself with guac. That’s why I like to make it plain-ish – to customise. Thanks for commenting Laura.
Reblogged this on First You Leap and commented:
Whoo Hoo! How to choose an avocado we always have such a hard time with this!
We are both enjoying your Blog and especially appreciated the butternut squash
recipes. The last avocadoes were over-ripe but we’ll try again. Keep on with the good work.
Mary from Maggie’s
Thanks so much for commenting Mary. I feel like I haven’t seen you in ages! I hope my avocado tips help you in the future. Give my best regards to Gordon. I hope to see you soon. Meet you on the stairs, by the books,as usual 😉
Beautiful-one of my favourite things to eat x
Your guacamole looks super creamy and soft, thank you for the advice on choosing the best avocado! They always look the same to me at the supermarket, now I know – all of them far from being ripe!
Thanks for your tips! I discovered guacamole just a couple of years ago, and it was love at first sight. Until now, I only had it with tortilla chips or as an ingredient of burritos, and I was just looking for other ways to eat it. I will definitely try out a few of the alternatives you gave here, and in your post about the Mexican barbecued platter, which looks delicious!
Also very useful advice on how to choose and treat avocados, I opened many of them only to find it was too late!