Chunky guacamole

Yes, I could eat guacamole as a main course all by itself on any day of the week and twice on Sundays. Hard to believe I couldn’t stand the stuff growing up! A while back, when I was on vacation with friends in Mazatlan, Mexico (I like to call it the Jersey Shore of Mexico—no offense to anyone), we would devour plates of the most incredible, freshest guacamole. There was one restaurant I think we went to three or four times just to have their huge plate of guacamole. Nothing—not even tequila!—paired as beautifully as guacamole did with our freshly caught and cooked fish. I often think of guacamole as the “perfect fat” for people living the paleo lifestyle. The beauty of guacamole is that if you have already made a salsa or pico de gallo separately, just stir that in with some avocado and you’ve killed two birds with one salsa recipe!

2 ripe Hass avocados
~ juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeño or serrano pepper, minced and seeds removed (keep seeds if you want it hotter)
½ small red or white onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Roma tomato, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
~ salt and pepper to taste

  1. Scoop out the avocados into a medium bowl or molcajete, removing the pits.
  2. Squeeze lime juice over the avocados, then roughly mash with a fork.
  3. Add in all other ingredients, and use fork to gently combine.
  4. Serve immediately.

Tips & Tricks—The best way to keep avocado (or guacamole) from browning? There is an enzyme in avocados that catalyzes the reaction between oxygen and certain chemicals in the avocado (same is true in apples and potatoes). Contrary to popular belief, the pit in the middle of your fresh batch of guac won’t do much except keep the guacamole it is in contact with from browning. Lime juice—and the acid from it (which helps with the pH and provides the vitamin C that binds to the enzyme) is your first step in the right direction. Secondly, if you are looking to make the guacamole early in the day and serve later, place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guac—really press it in so you have no air pockets—and then place a cover over the whole bowl/container. This should help!

Ingredient Notes—When it comes to choosing a ripe avocado, look for avocado skin that is dark green to almost a black color, and for it to have a tiny bit of give when you press lightly with your thumb. Too much give and it’s likely they are bruised. If you choose the very green, still hard avocados, these aren’t ripe yet and you will want to put those in a paper bag along with an apple to speed along the ripening process for a few days. Interesting note: avocados—like bananas—don’t actually ripen on the tree, so you’ll never see a “tree-ripened” avocado. In order for an avocado to ripen properly, it must be picked when it’s mature.