Some people have a sweet tooth. I, on the other hand, have a dip tooth: Everything from hummus to onion dip to that which I consider the avocado form of ice cream: guacamole.
Guacamole, to me, is worth every calorie--which boils down to about 300 per cup, comparable to an equal serving of nonpremium ice cream (and lower in calories than the also-delicious hummus, which brings in about 435 per cup). Created by the Aztecs in the 1500s, it was believed to be an aphrodisiac and was a prized delicacy of the emperor Montezuma.
Guacamole contains 8.7 grams of fat per quarter-cup, but the good news that 5.5 grams of that is the healthy fat, meaning monounsaturated. This type of fat helps to raise a person’s good cholesterol and lower their bad cholesterol. The tasty indulgence is also high in Vitamin A, which acts as an antioxidant. Vitamin A offers strong anti-infection properties, and it is great for the health of your eyes: It helps to prevent night blindness and cataracts, and to preserve eyesight in general.
Here's a recipe for Perfect Guacamole from SimplyRecipes.com. And you can wipe up any spills with Seventh Generation Glass & Surface Cleaner, made of a biodegradable formula.
- 2 ripe avocados
- ½ red onion, minced (about ½ cup)
- 1-2 serrano chiles, stems and seeds removed, minced
- 2 tablespoons cilantro (leaves and tender stems), finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon of fresh lime or lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- A dash of freshly grated black pepper
- ½ ripe tomato, seeds and pulp removed, chopped
1 Cut avocados in half. Remove seed. Scoop out avocado from the peel, put in a mixing bowl.
2 Using a fork, roughly mash the avocado. (Don't overdo it! The guacamole should be a little chunky.) Add the chopped onion, cilantro, lime or lemon, salt and pepper and mash some more. Chili peppers vary individually in their hotness. So, start with a half of one chili pepper and add to the guacamole to your desired degree of hotness. Be careful handling the peppers; wash your hands thoroughly after handling and do not touch your eyes or the area near your eyes with your hands for several hours.
Chilling tomatoes hurts their flavor, so don't chop the tomatoes or add to the guacamole until ready to serve.
Remember that much of this is done to taste because of the variability in the fresh ingredients. Start with this recipe and adjust to your taste.
3 Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole to prevent oxidation from the air reaching it. Refrigerate until ready.
4 Just before serving, chop the tomato, add to the guacamole and mix.
Garnish with red radishes or jicama. Serve with tortilla chips.
Yield: Serves 2-4.
Photo: Scott Robbin