See! What did I tell you? Store bought hummus is a thing of the past, right?!? (see my Hummus recipe here)
Now moving on to one of the most hyped plant-based ingredients – the mighty avocado. An avocado is a stone fruit also known as an alligator pear, named a superfood for its monosaturated fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, and chocked full of antioxidants. There are many studies that show the benefits of eating avocados to reduce depression, have better digestion and even to protect against cancer. But let’s get to the point, I’m hungry again and need a snack.
If you have ever visited Mexico, or a Mexican restaurant, heck even Taco Bell, you have likely had some guacamole. Delicious avocados mashed into a topping or dip for tacos, nachos, chips, or as a spread for your favourite fajita, burrito or quesadilla. In my house I use it as a vegetable dip, as a topping on my epic bowls, spread on toast, served with corn chips or as a side for a tofu scramble with some salsa.
The key to great guacamole is ripe avocados, finding the perfectly ripe avocado is a bit like finding the holy grail. There is a process with ripening avocados and when using it in its perfectly ripe stage, it is amazing, otherwise the fruit can be a bit hard or over ripe, mushy and turning brown. Generally, in the grocery store you see colours from green to almost black, the green ones are not yet ripe and the black and soft mushy ones are over ripe, so plan ahead for the optimum avocado ripeness. If you are in a plant-based household like me, you likely have a series of ripening avocados on the counter and in the fridge for daily use. If you are not, then here are some tips to picking avocados.
If I have people dropping by in a few hours and I want to serve guacamole I have been known to go to every store (yes Foodland, Superstore, Food Basics, Independent, No Frills and Walmart) to find perfectly ripe avocados. Here are my tips and tricks for picking avocados. I look for avocados that are dark green & black in colour, that are still a bit firm, and have their cap intact. These will be ready to eat ripening on the counter in 1-2 days. If you are looking to eat it today then you want it to be a bit softer in texture when you press on it but not mushy and likely a little darker, more black in colour. These ripe avocados should be stored in the fridge vs the counter to extend their life by 1 day or two. If the only ones available are green in colour and quite hard, you can ripen them on the counter for 5-6 days or try putting them in a closed paper bag with apple or banana and they should ripen in 3-4 days but check daily to make sure.
Now that you have your avocados you are ready for some fresh and amazing Guacamole
Eat Wright Guacamole
2 ripe avocados
2 limes, juiced
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
¼ red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Himalayan pink salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Cut avocado lengthwise and twist to half, remove pit, using a spoon remove flesh into a small mixing bowl
Add lime juice and mash avocado and lime with a fork or potato masher
Add the jalapeno, shallot, bell pepper, and garlic and mix in
Taste and add salt & pepper
Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve or place in an air-tight container for 1-2 days in the refrigerator
I find myself making guacamole any time I have a ripe avocado, I can use it as a snack with some tortilla chips, use it as a side dish or often I find myself putting it in one of my epic bowls like this one.
The Everything Bowl
I heat up some rice for the bottom of the bowl and then top it with steamed broccoli, roasted sweet potato, roasted carrot, a chipotle black bean patty, arugula, red pepper, cucumber, green onion, hummus, the guacamole that I just made and tabouli, which is the final summer salad in this series.
Read Part One: Hummus
Read Part Three: Tabouli