Friday, April 8, 2011

Guacamole is healthy!

Guacamole, you either love it or you just haven’t tried it. It was always one of those “don’t eat foods” when you were watching your weight. In the 1970’s we were encouraged to eat raw vegetables dipped in Ranch dressing…. What were we thinking? Ranch dressing is loaded with calories & the fat it contains is rarely the healthy mono-unsaturated type. Avocados are an incredibly healthy, very filling & satisfying food. They are cholesterol & sodium free & have only a small amount of saturated fat. this is the best source for everything avocado!

California grows the best avocados in my opinion. We can get them from other places, but I think those grown in California are the freshest, least bruised, & most tasteful on the market. I like to buy mine a little green and let them ripen at home. If you are going to use your avocados that day you should buy those that yield to gentle pressure when squeezed. Lots of good information on the website above regarding picking and storing these great fruits.

If you have never been brave enough to try making your own guacamole, step up to the cutting board and soon you will realize that you can make it just like the restaurant’s do…probably better than most. There are many recipes for this wonderful green treat but I think that keeping it simple is the best idea. My recipe is very simple & can be adjusted to fit the things you like to add or want to leave out. It’s all about freshness & flavor, so enjoy. I use 1 avocado for every 2 people that will be served. This recipe is for 2 servings but can be doubled or tripled or….you get the idea!
Texas Guacamole              
Makes 2 servings
1 large avocado
1 small roma tomato
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno, 2 tablespoons if you like it spicier
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
½ lime or lemon
¼ tsp. salt, can add more if needed
 Begin by washing the tomato, jalapeno, & cilantro, pat dry with paper towels
Guacamole should be mixed in a medium size glass, ceramic or plastic bowl. Metal bowls will cause oxidation of the avocados, causing them to turn brown.
·       Slice off the stem end of a jalapeno, cut open & remove veins & seeds then finely dice, place in bowl

·       Dice the tomato into small pieces, removing the seeds and liquid, place in bowl
·       Peel the red onion & chop into small pieces, place in bowl
·       Chop cilantro, removing most of stems if possible, place in bowl
·       Stir ingredients in bowl to mix.
·       Cut lime or lemon in half & squeeze one half over the ingredients in bowl
·       With a small sharp knife, cut avocado in half. To do this start at the top where the stem was, putting knife tip in and carefully running down length of avocado to the bottom & then back up to stem area. You should have cut deep enough to feel the seed/pit in the middle.

 Now with your hand on each side of the fruit, twist and the avocado should separate.

Remove the pit & squeeze part of the remaining lemon/lime on the halves.

With a small paring knife, slice the avocado into pieces.

While still in the peel, use a spoon to scoop out avocado
If you didn't cut it in the peel, slice on a cutting board
 Squeeze remaining lemon/lime juice over guacamole.
·       Place diced avocados in bowl with other ingredients and mix well with a spoon.
·       With a fork, mash mixture until desired consistency is reached. I like it chunkier, but some like it more smooth.
·       Add salt and mix well. Taste and add more salt if needed.
·       Cover with plastic wrap or lid sealing well. Air causes guacamole to turn brown.

·       Serve with in 1 hr for best taste & appearance

·       I serve with baked whole grain tortillas chips or packaged tortilla chips

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