Growing up in Southern California has advantages. Avocados. Plentiful avocados. Growing in my Grandmother’s yard, and sold for cheap at local markets. I grew up on avocados, and even though I’ve raised my kids in the Northeast, they too have grown up on avocados. Who doesn’t love an avocado? I make guacamole regularly. Ok, OFTEN. Gauc and I, we’re on a first name, slangy basis. I’ve never considered it a skill (making guacamole is a necessity), nor has there ever really been a “recipe” because sometimes I have to wing it, based on the rest of my supplies…..but the avocados? They are always in good supply in my house. When people come for dinner, guacamole is on the menu. When people stop by unexpectedly, you guessed it, I whip up a batch of guacamole. I think guac goes with everything…..in the same way I think purple socks match everything, because they do!
I use avocado in many of the recipes I teach in my healthy cooking classes because not only are they delicious (always a crowd pleaser), but they are also full of health benefits. Avocados are a good source of potassium, Vitamins C & B6, healthy fats, antioxidants and fiber. Studies show that the fats in avocado can help you absorb nutrients from plant food. Trials have shown that eating avocados can lower your cholesterol and triglyceride levels—-known contributors to heart disease. Avocados can also be a super smart addition to any weight loss regime because those good fats help you stay full longer (than had you consumed those same amount of calories from nutrient void sugar for example), and are satisfying in a way that helps combat cravings. Just be careful with portion size because in addition to being full of goodness, avocados are also full of calories….and even though they are “good” calories, you still want to watch your total calorie intake for the day, as compared to your activity level.
Recently I’ve had a lot of requests for the recipe and so, in honor of Cinco De Mayo this week, I was inspired to get it down and post it. What makes this recipe guacamole and not just mashed avocado with salt is the inclusion of flavor and texture. Personally, I love the flavor the cilantro brings and I don’t usually measure so I’m sure I put in more than the amount specified. Feel free to improvise to find your balance of spice with the jalapenos and red pepper flakes, and if you don’t have scallions, use shallots, or a small amount of white onion minced. No jalapenos at your local market? Try Serrano chilies or if you really like spicy, habaneros are fantastic!!