Let’s talk guac: if you grew up in the era of “fat makes you fat”, you might still get a little squeamish when you see a bowl of the green stuff. It’s true: avocados are loaded with fat. But don’t let that fool you: 80% of it is the heart-healthy unsaturated kind! Plus, they’re chock-full of fibre, folate, potassium and antioxidants, which are also good for your heart (and everything else).
Of course, avocados are called “natures butter” for a reason: One avocado contains over 300 calories and 30 grams of fat. So if they’re going to become a staple in your diet it’s best to swap them in for high-calorie, low-nutrient foods (I’m looking at you, creamy dips!). But as long as you keep your portions in check, avocados won’t make you pack on the pounds… and you get a delicious dip out of the deal!
How to Have-ocado
There’s a million ways to enjoy this loveable fruit. Avocado is delicious mashed on toast and sandwiches, cubed in salads or blended up in smoothies. But in my humble opinion, the avocado’s pièces de résistance is guacamole. It doesn’t take much to make—only avocado, lime juice, salt and pepper. That’s it!
From there, you can get creative and add as much herbs, spices and vegetables as you want. Some of my favourite add-ons are a half cup of diced cherry tomatoes, bell peppers or pears. Nope, that wasn’t a typo: pears pair beautifully with the tangy taste of guacamole, adding just enough sweetness, while boosting the nutrition profile.
Like picking a life partner, you can’t always grab the first avocado that comes along. In fact, the key to perfect guacamole is perfectly ripe avocados. There’s nothing worse than getting all your ingredients ready only to realize your main ingredient is as hard as a rock. To make sure they’re ready to guac ‘n’ roll, try these three tips:
- Gently squeeze the fruit in the palm of your hand. No give means it’s not ready; too much give (an indentation) means its overripe. A little give with no dents means it’s just right.
- Peel back the small cap at the top of the avocado and look underneath. Green means it’s good to go; brown means it’s past its prime. If the stem won’t come off, it still needs time.
- Hold the avocado close to your ear and gently shake it to see if you hear any noise. If you do, no avocado for you. When an avocado is over the hill the inner pit pulls away from the flesh and the pit will rattle around.
- 2 large ripe avocados
- 2 Tbsp of fresh lime juice (add more to taste)
- 2 Tbsp minced red onion
- 1 - 2 Tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- ¼ tsp. chili powder
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- ½ cup diced pears
- Cut avocado in half, remove seed and then scoop flesh into a bowl.
- Add lime juice to prevent browning and soften avocado.
- Using a fork, mash the avocado to desired consistency (I like a few chunks in mine)
- Add all remaining ingredients, except pears, and mix well.
- Add diced pears and stir gently to combine.
- Tightly cover with plastic and refrigerate until ready to serve.
What’s your favourite way to garnish your guac? I’m always looking for new ideas to re-invent mine so I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments section.