Fresh homemade guacamole yields the best taste, and it’s easy to prepare in just 15 minutes! Dip with crunchy tortilla chips or serve as a topping to enhance the flavor of other dishes.
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All avocado lovers need a reliable and easy guacamole recipe readily available when craving chips and dip hits. The preparation is simple, just scoop, mash and stir, right? Yes, but to maximize the flavor, I’m going to share a few essential tips.
Instead of just aggressively mashing avocados into an uninteresting green pulp, I add larger diced pieces into the mix for a contrast in texture. Stir in bright aromatics to provide crunch and a hint of spice. Don’t forget the lime juice! It gives some welcomed tanginess while preserving the characteristic light green color.
Homemade is healthier
Making guacamole dip from scratch allows you to use fresh ingredients so you can avoid chemical preservatives. The avocado fruit is a delicious way to incorporate fiber, potassium, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids into diets. It’s particularly rich in oleic acid, providing similar nutritional benefits to olive oil.
Their neutral flavor and velvety texture can also be a fat replacer in some desserts. Plus, the extra fruits and vegetables in the recipe have their own nutritional properties. Those on keto, paleo, and gluten-free diets can also enjoy this condiment. But as with everything, moderation is key!
There are many types of avocados you can use for guacamole. However, I prefer the Haas variety for its soft and creamy texture and slightly sweet flavor. Ripe avocados are essential, and it’s easy to check the firmness of the flesh. Place one in the palm of your hand and give it a slight squeeze with your fingertips. If it yields readily to the moderate pressure with little resistance, with no soft spots, then it’s ready.
You might think that overly ripe avocados would be okay, but if the flesh is brown around the edges, then that rich and buttery flavor is lost, resulting in a poor taste. Typically each whole fruit will yield 60 to 70% of pulp.
How to make guacamole
After you cut the avocados, don’t just mash them all together. Instead, to achieve a smooth consistency with some larger pieces, I use two methods. Use a fork to mash the first two avocados. This step allows you to control the texture. Sprinkle kosher salt on top while smashing to season. The coarse granules help to create friction, breaking the flesh down better.
Cut the last avocado into cubes, then stir it in with lime juice. This technique provides a balance of creamy texture with more significant bits for contrast.
Add flavorful mix-in’s
Diced ripe Roma tomatoes add a fruity, juicy flavor and light acidity to brighten the flavor. Finely chopped red onions provide a hint of pungency and crunch. Spicy jalapeno peppers add some heat, which you can adjust to be more mild or hot. Chopped cilantro provides earthy herbaceous notes. A small amount of minced garlic adds a slight sharpness to complement the richness of the avocado.
What other ingredients can you add?
If desired, you can incorporate other spices, vegetables, or chili’s to switch up the flavor of this classic guacamole. I like ground cumin, coriander, chili powder, and smoked paprika for a punch of earthiness. You can also vary the heat level with other chili pepper types or simply leave the pith and ribs intact to elevate the spiciness.
You can also substitute red onions for other onion types, like white or sweet yellow. Pick your favorite tomatoes like Roma, cherry, or vine-ripened for juiciness and flavor. Lemon juice is a suitable replacement for limes, especially when Meyer’s are in season, but they have a slightly more tart taste.
Prevent the guacamole from turning brown
The moment you slice an avocado, it’s exposed to oxygen, slowly turning the flesh brown. Mashing them opens up even more opportunities for oxidation. A few ways to slow down this process are to quickly cover the exposed surface with plastic wrap while preparing the remaining ingredients.
Alternatively, chop all of the other ingredients first and then cut the avocados. The key is to reduce the amount of exposure time to the air.
The benefit of adding lime juice
Add lime juice shortly after breaking down the flesh. Not only does it add flavor, but the ascorbic acid in the liquid reacts with the oxygen, which delays browning and helps preserve color. But, once the strength of this vitamin C acid fades, the oxygen will inevitably continue to react with the fruit’s natural enzymes and continue browning.
How long does it last?
Guacamole will last for up to two days if stored properly in the refrigerator but tastes the best when consumed fresh. If making a large batch and want to keep it overnight, you can do a few things. Place the mixture in a resealable plastic bag and press out all the excess air. Then put that bag into a thicker covered container to reduce air permeability before placing it in the refrigerator.
Another option is to store it directly in an airtight container. Squeeze a little lime juice on top, then place a few layers of plastic wrap on top, firmly pressing down to reduce the amount of air before putting the cover on. The smaller the air space between the guacamole and lid, the better.
You can freeze guacamole for up to 3 months when stored in a resealable plastic bag. Remove all the excess air and press into a flat layer for quick and even defrosting. Move it to the refrigerator to defrost overnight before using. The only caveat is the tomatoes won’t taste as fresh and juicy. Freezing will burst the moisture in the cell walls when defrosting. Make sure to stir well before serving to mix in any liquid.
Serve this with
- Homemade baked pita chips
- Vegetable crudite platter
- Chicken and fish tacos or blackened salmon
- Make a tasty avocado toast
What causes avocados to turn brown?
Many fruits contain an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase in their flesh. When avocado is cut, oxygen rushes to the exposed surface and reacts with the enzyme, creating a brown pigment. It’s a natural defense mechanism to ward off hungry animals (or humans) from eating them. Using a physical barrier like plastic wrap or a chemical like vitamin C can slow down browning, but not indefinitely.
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- 3 medium avocados, Haas
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or sea salt
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- ½ cup diced tomato, seeds removed, ¼-inch dice
- ¼ cup diced red onion, ⅛-inch dice
- 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno, stem and seeds removed
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- Cut the avocados in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.
- Scoop the flesh from two avocados into a medium bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and use a fork to mash until smooth but still slightly chunky.
- Cut the remaining avocado into ½-inch cubes, add the pieces to the bowl, and stir until just combined.
- Add the lime juice to the avocado mixture, stir to combine. While preparing the mix-ins, cover the surface with plastic wrap, pressing it down onto the avocado to prevent browning.
- Add the tomato, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and garlic to the avocado mixture. Stir to combine.
- Season with more salt and lime juice to taste.
- Mixing Bowl
- Recipe Yield: About 2 ½ cups
- Serving Size: About ¼ cup
- Storing: Place in an airtight container, covered with plastic wrap so that it’s touching the guacamole. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Alternatively, store in a resealable plastic bag with all the air removed, then place inside an airtight container.
- Freezing: Store in a resealable plastic bag with the air removed for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator the night before. Stir before serving.
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