Sometimes the best things really are simple. Take guacamole. Creamy, fresh, bright and full of flavor and it honestly only takes 15 minutes from start to finish! If you’ve been buying your guacamole instead of making it yourself read this, try it once and you’ll be forever converted to homemade.
Keep It Simple
Good guacamole requires just a handful of simple ingredients. Sure, you can always dress it up and make it more complicated and complex but my very favorite guacamole isn’t fancy at all. The most important part of making good guacamole is selecting ripe avocados and using fresh lime juice and cilantro. If you have those three things going for you it’s going to be a win.
How to select ripe avocados
If you’ve ever opened up an avocado to find a really disappointing brown, mushy interior I feel your pain. We’ve all done it. Depending on the amount of brown you find it’s not a total loss…you can take a little time and cut out the usable part but still, I know, it’s depressing. And avocados aren’t cheap either, so there’s that. There ARE a few things you can look for, however, to increase your chances of hitting the ripe avocado lottery though!
- Hold the avocado in your palm and squeeze gently- it should have a little give but not be squishy
- Push on the stem. It should have some give but you shouldn’t be able to leave a dent
- Depending on the variety a ripe avocado can vary in color, but avoid any avocados that have localized discolorization
If despite your best efforts you find yourself with over ripe avocados THIS avocado brownie recipe is an excellent way to use them up. I absolutely loved them!
How To Prep An Avocado
Slice the avocado around the pit from the top of the stem end around the base (never around the middle) and then use two hands to twist the halves in opposite directions popping it open. The pit will be stuck in one of the halves. If it’s ripe this should happen easily.
Next, take a knife and carefully give the pit a whack and use the knife to twist the pit so that it pops out. Use a large spoon as a scoop to separate the fruit in each half from the thick skin.
Avocados will discolor when exposed to air for a length of time so do this right before you’re going to use them. The lime juice in the guacamole will help keep them from discoloring, too.
Smash it up and taste
I chop all of my other ingredients before I prep the avocados. Then cut avocados into chunks and place in a bowl with your onion, garlic, cilantro, cumin, salt, lime juice and chili peppers or hot sauce (if using) . You can use a mortar and pestle if you feel like being authentic but I usually use a fork in the beginning to break up the avocado chunks by mashing them against the side of the bowl and switch to a spoon later. I like my guacamole to have some chunks so I don’t mash it completely smooth. When it’s the texture you like, taste and adjust seasonings adding more lime juice, cilantro, heat or salt as needed. Guacamole’s kind of a personal preference so use you’re discretion and make it yours.
They say you can store guacamole in the fridge for 3 days, but I think 1-2 days is more realistic and honestly I prefer to make it as close to serving it as possible. I think it tastes better fresh and at room temperature.
If you are making it ahead, though, you want to make sure the surface doesn’t discolor. This discolorization is caused by air coming into contact with the surface. So, flatten the guacamole’s surface and press plastic wrap against it completely to create a barrier. If you do still end up with any brown spots just scrape them away with a spoon before serving.
What to eat with guacamole?
Is this really a question? EVERYTHING! I could eat it by itself by the spoonful (I may have issues), but here are just a few more ideas:
- On top of a salad
- On these chipotle chicken tacos
- Avocado toast
- With raw veggies as dippers
- As a sandwich spread
- Top a burger
Let me know in the comments how you use guacamole!
- 3 ripe avocados, halved
- 2 Tbsp red onion, finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1 lime, juiced
- 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp Diamond kosher salt
- 1/2 jalapeno, chopped fine or 1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce (optional)
- Scoop avocados from skins using large spoon and cut into chunks.
- Place avocado chunks in a mixing bowl with remaining ingredients and, using a fork, stir and begin mashing the avocado against the sides of the bowl until the guacamole is the consistency you like. I prefer leaving some chunkiness for texture.
- Stir with a spoon to make sure everything is evenly distributed and taste. Adjust for seasoning adding more cilantro, lime juice, salt or heat as needed
if not serving right away press plastic wrap tightly against surface to keep from browning and store in the refrigerator up to 3 days