How to Make Guacamole: It’s So Much Easier Than You Think

My East Coast friends are often amazed that I can make guacamole. This lovely tortilla chip dip is really quite easy to make so let me share the secret with you.

First you must start with ripe avocados. An avocado is ripe when it is soft; the skin should squish slightly when you press on it with your fingers (not too hard). Cut the avocado in half, cutting around the nutlike pit in the center. Cut out any brown pieces because that is where the avocado has been bruised and/or begun to go bad. Then, scoop out the green fruit and put in a bowl into a bowl. Discard the skin and save the pit if you plan to grow a plant (see below).

Next, smash the avocado with a potato masher, the bottom of a cup or with a fork. Squeeze a little lemon or lime juice into the avocado mash. The acid from these fruits will keep the guacamole from turning brown when it is exposed to oxygen; I think it is only slightly important in terms of flavor. Add salt and pepper to taste.

From this point, what you add to your guacamole is up to your preferences and what you have on hand. I would say that a clove of crushed garlic would be vital, but I know there some people do dislike garlic. If you don’t have any fresh garlic on hand, you can cheat and use garlic powder, but it isn’t quite as good. If you like spicy, add some red chili powder or some chopped jalapeÃ?±os. If you like creamy guacamole, add mayonnaise or miracle whip. Fresh cilantro induces fresh-from-the-garden flavor. I have also had fresh basil in my guacamole and eaten it on fresh bread for an Italian experience. Minced purple, white or green raw onion and chopped tomato are also great additions to guacamole.

To save any leftover avocado, leave the excess fruit still attached to the pit and with the skin on. If there is lemon or lime juice available, squirt the exposed fruit with some juice and store in a plastic baggie or wrapped in plastic wrap. Left over guacamole should also be spritzed with lemon or lime juice, covered with plastic wrap. Leftovers of both avocado and guacamole should be stored in the refrigerator.

If you are a gardener and you live in a warm climate, you might enjoy growing your own avocado tree from seed, but it will take years. Clean the avocado pit completely. Poke the pits on three sides with pins or matchsticks so that you can suspend the pit over the top of a glass or jar. The base of the bit, or the rounder less pointy side, should be facing down. Fill the glass with water so that only the bottom of the pit is just barely touching the water. Place on a window sill where the pit will get light. After about two to six weeks, when the pit has sprung a few white roots, plant in a small pot of soil so that the top part of the pit is still exposed. Keep in a warm, light place and moisten soil as needed. When the seedling is about seven inches tall, cut it back halfway down the stem to promote growth of more branches. Although trees will take many years to fruit, they are pretty houseplants while you are waiting. Some commercial avocado producers somehow make the pits unable to grow. Your best bet for success in growing from seed is to use an avocado from a farmer’s mark, farm stand or a neighbor’s tree.

Good luck and enjoy!

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