The Super Bowl (go Cards!) brings out snack fiends. Just look at the food coupons in Sunday papers to see what I mean. Every coupon is for some type of snack, dip or chip. Pam Anderson has an article in this week’s USA Weekend magazine about “super-yummy” Super Bowl snack food, and to be completely honest, none of it looks yummy. Healthy? Perhaps, but definitely not yummy.
What took my breath away (not in a good way, more like a stab to the chest) was her recipe for “a lighter” guacamole. Now, I admit I’m a guac-freak. I’m very picky about guacamole. You can’t put tomatoes in guacamole. You have to use ripe, but not mushy Haas avocados. Lots of garlic. Lots of lime. A healthy portion of chopped jalapeno or serrano for more heat. Touch of cilantro and a smidgen of finely chopped red onion. Some salt and pepper. That’s it.
Anderson’s “healthy” guacamole has…gulp…1-1/2 cups of frozen green peas! Yuk! Phutzhtz! That’s not guacamole! That’s pea puree. Oh, she calls for 6 small Haas avocados, but half the bulk of her guac will be peas. Thank goodness she didn’t also call for tomatoes.
The thing is, avocados are high in calories and fat. But it’s mostly the good kind of fat (unsaturated) and avocados are bursting at the seams with fiber, minerals and vitamins. Sure, if you eat too much of it you will get fat. You will also get fat eating too much of anything other than lettuce. But if you eat moderate amounts, and you are not a couch potato, real guacamole can fit into a healthy diet.
I’m stepping off my soap box, but before I do, here is my recipe for real guacamole. Be sure to share.
(istockphoto.com/copyright by Cathleen Clapper)
First, you should know that I don’t really follow a set recipe. I just start with the basic ingredients and then I taste and adjust as I go along. I did write these proportions down the last time I made guac, so it’s a guideline. But you should taste as you go along as well. You might like less lime or less garlic than I do. I only ask one thing. Please, please don’t put tomatoes in my guacamole recipe. Tomatoes have so much water in them, they dilute the flavor of the avocado. If you must, you can garnish the top with some chopped tomatoes. Just don’t tell me about it.
3 large ripe (but not squishy) Haas avocados
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
2-3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno (or serrano) minced (remove seeds if you are a weenie)
2 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro (tender stems OK)
Juice of 1 lime (have another one handy in case you really like lime)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (less if using regular table salt)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Cut the avocados in half lengthwise and remove the seed. Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh into a large bowl.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix gently, careful not to turn the mixture into mush. You want some chunks of avocado. Use two knives or two forks to toss and slice. I use my hands but it’s easy to over mix using your hands.
3. Taste and add more lime juice or salt and pepper, or more of any of the ingredients. Taste with your serving chip, as it likely has salt on it and you may not need any more salt.
4. Let rest for 30 minutes for the flavors to marry.
5. To store, spread guacamole surface smooth and flat. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface making sure the whole surface is in contact with the plastic (this keeps it from turning brown, unlike sticking the seed in the mix…that’s an urban myth. Air is what makes guacamole turn brown.) Cover the bowl again with a lid or more plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Keeps for up to 3 days this way, although you may have to scrape a little bit of oxygenated, brown guac from the edges.