When life gives you avocados, make guacamole!
For some reason, avocados are ridiculously cheap here right now, and I recently bought an enormous bag for an incredibly low price. While I do love avocado on toast, I have so many avocados that I needed to find another use for them, and guacamole is an obvious choice.
Apparently, guacamole has been around for hundreds of years. It was invented by the Aztecs, and they called it ahuacamolli, (avocado sauce). Nowadays it’s such a popular dish that it even has two National Days; when you can celebrate all things guacamole. Unfortunately, we’re too late this year for National Guacamole Day – that was on September 16th, but there’s still time to observe National Spicy Guacamole Day on November 14th!
And if you’re looking for a great accompaniment to your guacamole, I can highly recommend baked tortilla chips, totally delicious!
What you need
If you do an Internet search for guacamole recipes, you’ll find that there are countless variations out there. Here is the recipe that I used but, as you can see, you can change up this recipe to suit your taste:
2 medium-sized, ripe avocados
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ small onion, finely diced
1 small tomato, diced
¼ - ½ cup cilantro / fresh coriander, chopped
½ teaspoon cayenne (optional)
½ jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional – if you prefer a less hot guacamole, you can leave this out. If you want an even hotter guacamole, use a serrano pepper)
1 clove garlic (optional)
This recipe makes about 4 servings (or less if you love guacamole!).
What to do
Add the finely diced onion, minced jalapeno pepper (if using), garlic (if using), cayenne (if using), half of the cilantro, salt and half of the line juice to a bowl and mix thoroughly. If you prefer a smoother guacamole, then you can grind up these ingredients (see How should I grind up the onions, chilis, salt, etc.? below).
In a separate bowl, scoop out the avocado pulp. Add the other half of the lime juice, and mix so the avocado is coated in the lime juice. Drain any remaining lime juice into a separate bowl.
Roughly mash the avocado. Some recipes suggest a potato masher, but I found that the avocado was too slippery to mash that way, so I just used a fork.
Add the onion/pepper mix to the mashed avocado and the remaining chopped cilantro, and mix thoroughly.
Add more lime juice and/or cilantro to taste.
You can serve this immediately, but I find it best to leave it to marinate, covered, for up to an hour in the fridge. This lets the flavor develop.
How much time?
Actual hands on time was about 25 minutes:
Preparing the ingredients: 10 minutes
Grinding and mixing the ingredients: 15 minutes
If you don’t want to grind up the onion / pepper mix (this makes it ”smoother), then the mixing stage should only take about 5 minutes.
Making guacamole at home cost me about $0.19 per ounce, whereas fresh guacamole from the grocery store costs between $0.37 and $0.69.
Is it worth it?
This is an easy one to score: 5-pigs! Why the high score? I have 3 very good reasons:
Homemade guacamole is delicious, especially as you can adjust the recipe to your taste.
It’s so easy to make.
It’s cheaper than the guacamole you can buy, plus you know exactly what’s in it.
So, homemade guacamole is totally worth making. What do you think, do you agree?
Anything else I should know?
How do I stop my guacamole going brown?
You may have been told that adding the avocado pip to the guacamole will stop it browning but this is totally untrue – trust me!
Avocados and guacamole go brown because of oxidation. Therefore, the best way to stop them browning is to make sure that the air doesn’t get them, especially when the guacamole is marinating after you make it. I just use a sheet of plastic wrap and place it directly onto the guacamole (not just wrapped across the lip of the bowl) so that there is a fairly, air-tight seal.
How should I grind up the onion, chili, salt, etc.?
You can add these ingredients to a blender or food processor and process them to make a smooth paste. However, traditionally the onion, chili and salt were first ground up in a pestle and mortar called a molcajete, and then the avocado was added.
So instead of using a blender or food processor you can be old-school and use a pestle and mortar if you have it. If you don’t have a pestle and mortar, then you can use a zip-lock bag and a heavy object instead.
I have a ton of leftover cilantro, what can I do with it?
Freeze it so you have it on hand next time you want to make guacamole. Here’s some details on the best way to freeze it.