I was probably in my mid-twenties before I really began to appreciate avocados. They had never really crossed my plate before, or if they had, they looked too weird for me to try them. It took finding them hiding in sushi, or turkey sandwiches, discovering the subtle, buttery texture that made everything else taste more delicious, for me to really begin to understand them. Now I could eat ‘em straight out of the skin with a spoon, or mixed with chocolate to make the most amazing, healthy chocolate pudding you have ever imagined. Mixing the sweet, buttery avocado with a spicy kick, guacamole is the most heightened form of avocado art, as far as I’m concerned.
Sadly, being nightshade free has severely limited our guacamole options. Every recipe seems to be chock full of peppers and salsa. Even ‘plain’ guacamole from the health food store usually has some sort of red pepper or tomato juice. So we make our own guac with plenty of kick– and let me promise you, you will not miss that salsa-infused stuff in the plastic container at all!
First, we have to pick our avocados – arguably the most difficult part of this process. In my kitchen, avocados tend to be rock hard for a week and then suddenly complete and utter mush. Without cutting into an avocado, it can be hard for a beginner to know if it’s ripe or not. Most often, I do the squeeze test. If it’s hard, it’s not ripe yet. It should give just a little under your fingers, but not be ‘squishy’. Colour is also a good indicator. A completely light green avocado is not ripe, while an almost black one is probably overripe. You’re looking for one that’s in between.
Another test is to try and pull the little nub of stem out of the top. If you can’t just pull it out, it’s not ripe yet. If it comes away cleanly, then your avocado is ready! I say this because trying to make guacamole with an unripe avocado is like trying to swim in a foot of water. Sure you can do it, but you’re missing all the best parts of the experience. And, you know, it’s really hard to do.
For this recipe, I wanted to make a giant batch of guacamole that would last a couple days for different things, so I’m using three large avocados.
To start, cut the avocado in half. Using a knife, cut down to the pit, and then just follow the pit with your knife blade all the way around. Once you’ve got your cut, twist slightly and pull the halves apart.
Next, take the pit out of the avocado with a spoon, and set it aside. It should just pop out, no problem. If it’s a mess, you’ll just have to have a mini avocado snack. Darn.
If you’re going to be keeping the guac in the fridge, you will want to toss that pit in the same container to keep it nice and green instead of brown. I don’t know how it does this, but it is the best way I’ve found to store it.
Scoop out the avocado and spoon the green flesh into a large bowl. You can see here how ripe this avocado is, it’s just coming away from the skin with almost no encouragement from a spoon.
Repeat with the other two avocados.
Now the fun part! Guacamole isn’t guacamole without a kick. Since we can’t add peppers, I tend to go overboard with other spices and herbs. My guacamole philosophy is that it should never just be described as ‘spicy’, or ‘hot’. Guacamole is better than that. Guacamole is smooth, sweet and tart at the same time, aromatic and yes, spicy and hot. It should clear out your nostrils but taste really good while doing it.
Pour in your lemon juice, garlic powder or fresh garlic, cumin and cilantro, and add your salt and black pepper. I am an advocate of frequent quality taste-testing. You know. For quality.
Now stir to your desired texture. I still like a few pieces of avocado, so I just use a fork and mash and stir so it’s still a little chunky, but if you want it really smooth you can mix in a blender or with a hand mixer.
And that’s it, you’re done! Simple, quick and easy. It’s cheaper and more delicious (and more in your control!) than the stuff you buy at the store. I put in in sandwiches, on salads as dressing, eat it as a snack with tortilla chips (most of which are nightshade free!), and use it to top fajitas or our lettuce boats (recipes coming soon!). Basically, it goes with everything.
- 3 Large Avocados
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp garlic powder OR 2 cloves fresh garlic
- 2 tsp each cumin , cilantro and black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
Halve and scoop out avocados into large bowl
Add lemon juice, garlic, cumin, cilantro, black pepper and salt.
Stir until reaching desired texture
Eat and enjoy!