Guacamole





For Mexican people, the guacamole is the “mole” (mash) of “aguacates” (avocados), that means, it is the name that receives an avocado´s mash.

Great as a dip with tortilla chips, guacamole is also fab as a topping on fajitas, tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, and even on burgers, steaks, or hotdogs.

Even though this dish is original from Mexico, now is a very popular one well outside the country´s boundaries.




If you are a health-conscious person, please don´t be put off by the avocado´s relatively high content of fat (good fats though!) and calories (very energetic!).

I will mention here the avocado´s main health properties and you will see that this first “fat” impression is misleading:

• Ok, fine, avocados have the highest content of oil of any fruit (up to 30%, including the benefitial omega-3s). And they contain only monounsaturated fat (the healthy one!), which help to reduce the risk of cancer and even of heart disease with their cholesterol-lowering properties. They contain essential fat acids and oleic acid (that send the “full” signal to the brain for you to stop eating!).

• They also have the highest protein content of any other fruit, and for vegetarians they constitute perfect natural substitutes for the proteins found in meat, eggs, cheese and poultry.

• Avocados are also a good source of vitamins (particularly the antioxidant and aging retardant Vit E), as well as minerals. The folic acid in avocados protects your unborn baby from bifid spine.




• Their content in antioxidant carotenoids is good for your eyes, retard the aging process and help with the absortion of the carotenoids contained in other fruits and vegetables.

• They contain soluble and insoluble fibres. The soluble fibres make you feel full for longer, and the insoluble ones ensure that your digestive system runs smoothly.

• They are indicated for diabetic patients due to their blood sugar balancing properties.

• They are a good source of calories for demanding workouts and activities (about 80 calories per quarter avocado).

I hope that I have convinced you of the goodness of the avocados and now you are ready for the Guacamole recipe!! Here we go:

Ingredients


- 1/2 onion, finely chopped

- beefsteak tomato, diced

- 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped

- 2 tablespoons fresh coriander

- 4 ripe avocados

- juice of at least 1 lime

- salt to taste

Preparation

The key for a great guacamole lies in the avocados: they must be ripe. Do not attempt to make a guacamole out of unripe avocados, it just will not work, accept it.




It is difficult to find ripe avocados on the day, therefore plan ahead and allow few days for ripening in a warm place at home. The ripening will be faster if you store them with other fruits such as apples or bananas because the ethylene gas speeds up the process. Otherwise, you can accelerate the ripening by wrapping the avocados in newspaper or brown paper. Once ripe, you can store them in the fridge until use (no later than a week).

Note: The avocado belongs to the group of fruits, as bananas, that matures on the trees, but ripens off the trees. They must be mature to ripen properly.

To test for ripeness, press the fruit gently with your fingers. When ripe it should be slightly yielding.

Now we are ready to start:

- Prepare the onions, tomatoes, jalapeños and cilantro.

- Cut the avocados lengthways and twist to separate the two halves. Remove the stone by piercing it with the tip of a knife and pulling it out or by using a large spoon. I happen to have a very fancy avocado peeler with a curve tip to remove the stone, but obviously that is not essential...

- Separate the flesh from the skin. Usually this is very simple to achieve with a large spoon or with a knife (or with the avocado peeler, of course).



- Mash the avocado´s flesh with a fork. The final texture can be as smooth or as chunky as you wish.

Tip: The flesh will turn brown color as result of exposure to the air. You can avoid, or at least delay, the browning by always preparing avocado´s dishes fresh and adding enough lime (or lemon) juice. .

- Add the juice of one lime or two and mix thoroughly.

- Mix with the rest of the ingredients and season to taste.

- Keep it in the fridge for about 15 minutes covered with cling film to help delay the browning.

- Ready to serve!







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