Aha, guacamole… just might be my favorite dish ever. I don’t know about you, but when I first saw guacamole, I was skeptical. I thought what food with such a messy appearance, and intense green color could possibly taste good. Now this was also back in my ‘can’t stand green vegetable’ days, so obviously my appetite preferences have changed. I remember the first time I tried guacamole with tortilla chips, which in my opinion is still the best way to eat it, I was absolutely hooked. In fact, I’m still hooked on guac, and make sure that me and my husband have it at least 3 nights a week with our dinner. Yea, you could say I am addicted. Another bonus is that this is the one of the dishes my husband enjoys making.
The guacamole that I usually prepare has a lot of healthy ingredients, but I would like to center in on the main ingredient, avocado. There are so many things that you can put avocado in, or on. Avocados are not only used in guacamole, but in breakfast sandwiches, tacos, toast, deviled eggs, pizza, in crabmeat, smoothies, and even in place of mayo. Avocados are also used in desserts like brownies, cookies, and even cakes. They are even used in many hair masks and facial products. Are you following me now on this avocado bandwagon?
It may come as a surprise to many, but avocado is actually a fruit, not a vegetable. That only took me 10 years to learn, ha-ha. I pretty much just assumed it was a vegetable this whole time. The good news is that it’s just as healthy, if not healthier than some vegetables. These green fruits, that have skin similar to that of an alligator, are in fact one of the most nutrition packed foods on the planet. Avocados originated in Mexico, and actually get their name from their shape. They have over 25 essential nutrients, including vitamins such as A, B, C, E, K, and minerals such as magnesium, Iron, potassium, and more. They are also a good source of fiber and protein. You might have heard that they are also high in calories and fat. The good news is they are high in ‘good fat’ only. This is the type of fat you should be consuming, which is monounsaturated fat… a healthy fat. Including avocados in one’s diet will promote heart health, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, blood sugar, eye health, and skin health. They also help reduce risk of stroke, fight free radicals, contain anti-inflammatory properties, and help with nutrient absorption… end rant.
Now, on to my guacamole. I prefer to add a bunch of vegetables and spices. The first ingredient I love to use is baby spinach. This might be my favorite vegetable, and chopped up, crisp spinach paired with mashed avocados is simply amazing. This guacamole also calls for orange bell pepper, cucumber and tomatoes. I know this sounds like a lot, but trust me, the taste of the fresh crisp vegies mixed in with the avocados, and garlic is nothing short of delicious. Also, all the nutrients of the added vegetables make this dish even healthier.
To prepare this recipe is easy. I just put all the vegetables in a veggie chopper minus the tomatoes. I personally feel the tomatoes make the guacamole too runny if they are chopped along with the rest. Once the veggies are chopped fine, I mush the avocados in a bowl, then add the chopped vegetables, garlic, and a squeeze of fresh lime. After everything is mixed, I then chop by hand some tomatoes, and add them to the mix.
Now on to the secret ingredient that I think makes this guacamole… Hot Sauce! Just a few drops goes a long way. I use trader Joe’s Jalapeno Pepper Hot Sauce. I prefer this best, since it has very basic ingredients, has a small kick, but is not overbearing. If you find another hot sauce that you love, then by all means sprinkle some on. If you are not a fan of spicy, than that’s one less step for you. I love spicing up recipes, so I sometimes even add diced fresh jalapeno peppers. Whether you like spice or not, this recipe is awesome, and very easy to make.