Avocado. Fruit of the gods. One of my all time favorite foods. In South Carolina, where I’m from, some of the older Gullah ladies call them alligator pears. Isn’t that charming?
Avocados they are an excellent source of healthy fats. If there’s one thing I love it’s fat – healthy fat – because it’s such a great flavor vehicle. Though avocados are mild in flavor, they have a distinct taste. Slightly fruity, they adopt other flavors beautifully, which is why I love them in salads – bright chunks of the lovely avocado blended with my dressing – or in guacamole. I make guacamole at least 3 times a week. And I eat avocados almost daily.
Not to brag but my guacamole is the best I’ve ever had. Why? Because it’s simple… and bold. Strong flavors, few ingredients, and all the components of the guacamole retain their individual integrity. I like my guacamole chunky. I want to taste individual bits of avocado, of tomato, of pepper, not have it blended in a hummus-like consistency. I don’t do a taqueria guac, very smooth and sauce like – which has its time and place! No, the key to my guacamole is that it’s almost a salad of avocado with lots of lime. Lime, salt, peppers, and avocado. You won’t need much else to make the best damn guacamole you’ll want every night.
But why is avocado so good for you when it’s so high in fat? Part of our Ageless Diet™ program is eating lots of really good fats, like cold-pressed virgin organic oils from fruits and nuts – coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, walnut oil – and grass fed butter and ghee. And let’s not forget nuts! We love nuts. High in protein, good fat, and nutrients. (Good fat makes our skin look ageless.) We really love avocados; they are one of those anti-inflammatory foods that make us feel and look better. High in nutrients and antioxidants. The key carotenoid antioxidants provided by avocado are alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, chrysanthemaxanthin, lutein, neochrome, neoxanthin, violaxanthin, zeaxanthin.
“The unusual nature of avocado fat is threefold. First are the phytosterols that account for a major portion of avocado fats. These phytosterols include beta-sitosterol, campesterol, and stigmasterol and they are key supporters of our inflammatory system that help keep inflammation under control. The anti-inflammatory benefits of these avocado fats are particularly well-documented with problems involving arthritis. Second are avocado’s polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols (PFAs). PFAs are widely present in ocean plants but fairly unique among land plants—making the avocado tree (and its fruit) unusual in this regard. Like the avocado’s phytosterols, its PFAs also provide us with anti-inflammatory benefits. Third is the unusually high amount of a fatty acid called oleic acid in avocado. Over half of the total fat in avocado is provided in the form of oleic acid—a situation very similar to the fat composition of olives and olive oil. Oleic acid helps our digestive tract form transport molecules for fat that can increase our absorption of fat-soluble nutrients like carotenoids. As a monounsaturated fatty acid, it has also been shown to help lower our risk of heart disease.” (From whfoods.com)
For this recipe you’ll need medium ripe avocados. Not too ripe or the guacamole will be mushy but not too firm, you want your avocados Goldilocks style – just right in firmness and ripeness. You’ll want avocados that give to the touch but retain some firmness. I peel my avocados by cutting them in half, taking out the pit, slicing the avocado in chunks while still in the skin, then using a spoon I scoop out all the avocado flesh, even the very dark green flesh closest to the skin.
THE RECIPE for Best Damn Guacamole
(serves 2-3 hungry people who love guacamole)
- 2 medium ripe avocados, cut in nice chunks
- 1 ripe tomato (in the winter you can skip the tomato)
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 lime, squeezed
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 jalapeño, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 passilla or poblano pepper, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- Dash of cayenne
Squeeze the lime juice in the bowl, add salt, cumin and cayenne, stir till salt is absorbed in lime juice, add tomatoes, allow to macerate in salty lime juice for a few minutes, add cilantro. Add avocado, gently stir, add peppers. Taste. It may need a bit more lime. You want a strong citrus taste, and it should have a nice bit of salt.
Guacamole for a dinner party
- 4 medium ripe avocados, cut in chunks
- 1/2 bunch of chopped cilantro
- 1 jalapeño, seeded, chopped
- 1 poblano pepper, chopped
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
- 2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (or less depending on your love of heat & spice)
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
Combine lime juice, salt, spices, stir till salt is absorbed, add the avocado, add the peppers, onion, and cilantro and gently combine making sure it’s not too creamy. Add more lime if it’s not bright and citrusy enough. You want it with plenty of citrus.
About the Author: Tania Van Pelt is the creator of Happiness Series. After working in film, she realized that creating content for an online world that moves and inspires people is where it's at. She loves the immediacy and the vibrancy of working online. Tania created Happiness Series because she wants to empower people to live healthier, longer, more joyful lives through fitness, nutrition, stress management and integrative wellness. After years of research and practical application, she is excited about the newest project, Ageless Diet™. Ageless Diet is a lifestyle that promotes an Ageless You. Because getting older doesn't have to mean aging, and losing weight doesn't have to be hard. Happiness Series and Ageless Diet are going in new directions, bringing people together in beautiful settings with retreats and conferences. Books and a cooking series are soon to follow. Tania also recently completed her sitcom web/TV series pilot Employees Only, at http://employeesonly.tv.