Why I Love Avocado – and a Guacamole Recipe!
Avocados are my best friend while I’m doing a Whole30. Creamy, delicious, healthy and filling, they are really amazing just by themselves, or with a squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of salt and garlic. There’s something so satisfying about avocados.
It probably has something to do with the fact that they’re packed with nutrients like B vitamins, and vitamins C, K, and E, along with potassium, and diverse healthy fats like MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids) which help protect your body against heart disease. Some studies have shown that diets rich in avocados can lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and raise HDL (good cholesterol). If you’d like to check out one of the studies, here’s a link to a medical study done in 1996 on how avocados affect cholesterol.
Delicious creamy goodness and multiple health benefits– how can you not love avocados? I’ve even started using avocado oil recently because it has a mild flavor and many of the same health benefits as olive oil, but a much higher smoke point (500ºF). It’s excellent for roasting and even making homemade mayo!
There are many great ways to include avocado in your diet, but one of the most obvious (and delicious) ways is guacamole! And it couldn’t be easier. All you need is a couple of ripe avocados, some lemon or lime juice, salt, garlic, and onion. I like to also add some cumin and cilantro, but those are optional additions. You an also add jalapeno if you like a little heat.
Before cutting into the avocado, prepare all of the other ingredients. Avocados are delicate and turn brown pretty quickly after being exposed to the air.
Chop up one small onion (I like to use yellow, but any color works) and add it to a medium sized bowl. Then add about 1-2 tablespoons of lime or lemon juice. Add teaspoon of garlic powder or two cloves of fresh garlic (crushed through a press or minced) if you have it on hand. Then add about half a teaspoon of salt. If cumin and/or cilantro are your thing, add about an 1/8 of a teaspoon of ground cumin and about a tablespoon of fresh, chopped cilantro (this really adds oomf!).
You can also add some fresh, chopped jalapeno here if you want some heat, but I typically skip this step. Not because I don’t like spicy things, but I feel like the heat kind of takes away from the other wonderful flavors!
So now that you have all the other ingredients in your bowl, slice two ripe avocados in half, longways. There’s a pit in the middle so you’ll have to cut down until you get to it and then cut along the pit. Then, twist the two halves as you pull them apart, leaving the pit in one half.
The best way I’ve found to remove the pit is to take a sharp knife and (carefully) lodge it into the pit with a swift, firm tap, and then twist. The pit should pop right out with the knife.
Use a spoon to scoop the avocado out of the skin into a bowl, and mash it all together with a fork until you get your desired consistency. Taste it and add more salt or lime juice if needed.
Note: Guacamole is always best when served fresh, but if you have some leftover, or must make some in advance, the best way I’ve found to keep it from turning brown is to smooth the top with a spoon until the surface is even, then squeeze some fresh lemon or lime juice onto the top. Take some plastic wrap and press it down into the surface of the guacamole to form a seal. Make sure there aren’t any air bubbles or exposed places.
If you still get some brown spots on the top, just scrape those off to reveal the green, yummy guacamole underneath!
Scoop a few spoonfuls on top of some seasoned ground beef.
Dip your veggies! Great with baby carrots, tomatoes, zucchini sticks and cucumber slices.
If you feel like indulging, use it as a dip for some Whole30 compliant plantain chips!
Guacamole is an excellent addition to chili!
(Sometimes I just eat it with a spoon all by itself, cause it’s yummy!)