Did you now that Americans eat 7 pounds of avocados on average per year? And that this stat is up from 1 pound back in 1989? I believe it….and I also fully understand that if 7 pounds is the average, I must be eating a whole lot more. 7 pounds a month? All things are possible.
And I wonder how many of those avocados are eaten in the form of guacamole (I imagine in the past few years avocado toast is the second most common avocado vehicle….and then maybe smoothies? Worth investigating, one of these days, when my burning questions about avocados supersede everything else I have to do).
My kids started out not liking guacamole but were still ecstatic to see it come out of the kitchen because that meant the basket of tortilla chips wasn’t far behind. Eventually they tentatively dipped a chip—just a corner—into the green creaminess. It was deemed “not bad.” (Stop, stop you’re embarrassing me.) A bolder dip, a dunk, a scoop followed. They also liked saying “holy guacamole”.
It’s not like the chips aren’t still a big draw, but guacamole is now a most-requested appetizer. And for sure if we’re having nachos or chili or enchiladas or tacos, it’s one of the must-have companions (ok, sometimes we just have diced avocado).
Don’t be lured in by those oversized avocados. Hass avocados are smaller, darker green, and bumpier than other varieties of avocados, and in general have a deeper, richer flavor, with denser flesh. They are mostly grown in Mexico and California. They are nutrient rich and have a nice amount of various essential vitamins and minerals. The fat they contain is understood by health experts to be the “good” fat, monounsaturated fat, which, when consumed in moderation and eaten in place of saturated or trans fat, can help reduce blood cholesterol levels and decrease risk of heart disease.
How to Ripen Avocados
You really need perfectly ripe avocados to make good guacamole; don’t bother if your avocados aren’t nicely soft to the touch. Make edamame or something else. To ripen avocados quickly put them in a brown paper bag with a banana or an apple – the natural gasses from the other fruit will help speed up the ripening. And you want to make the guacamole only an hour or two ahead of time, if possible. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the guacamole, store it in the refrigerator, and stir before serving.
Jalapeños and Cilantro
Jalapeños are hot, and cilantro is a serious love-hate herb. If you’re not sure what your crow will like, you can make the guacamole without those seasonings, then divide the mixture into two bowls. Leave one batch plain and spike the other with jalapeños and cilantro, or one or the other. Make sure to label the bowls if you do this.
How to Serve Guacamole
Of course you can serve guac in a plain old bowl, but how much fun to serve the in scooped out shells! They might be a little wobbly, but you can nestle the shells in a bed of tortilla chips for more stability. When you are scooping out the avocado be careful not to tear the skins.
What to Serve Guacamole With:
- Buffalo Chicken and White Bean Chili
- Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
- Spinach, Mushroom, and Chicken Quesadillas
- Game Day Ground Beef Chili
- Spicy Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas
- Taco Night
- Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadillas
- 2 ripe avocados preferably Hass
- ⅓ cup minced onion
- 1 medium-size ripe tomato cored, seeded, and chopped (about 2⁄3 cup)
- Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- ½ to 1 teaspoon chopped seeded jalapeño pepper (optional)
- ½ to 1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
- Lots of tortilla chips for serving
- Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, and use a knife to cut the avocado flesh into chunks right in the skin, cutting one direction and then crosswise in a gridlike fashion. Use a spoon to scoop out all of the flesh into a medium-size bowl.
- Add the onion, tomato, 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Use a fork or a potato masher to combine the ingredients and mush up the avocado, leaving it as chunky or as blended as you like. Stir in the lime juice, then adjust the seasonings.
- You can serve the guacamole as is with tortilla chips or see the Fork in the Road suggestions for adding other seasonings on this page.
Fork in the RoadJalapeños are hot, and cilantro is a serious love-hate herb. There are various versions of the guacamole you can make. If you don’t know if you have cilantro haters or heat averse people in the crowd, make the guacamole without the jalapeños and cilantro, then divide the mixture into two bowls. Leave one batch plain and spike the other with the more strongly flavored ingredients. Make sure to label the bowls if you do this.
What the Kids Can DoThey can cut the crosshatches in the avocados, which does not have to be done neatly, nor does it require a sharp knife. You could let littler kids scoop out chunks of the avocado with a spoon instead. And mash away.
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