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Master the Art of Guacamole
Master the Art of Guacamole

Guacamole is a popular fresh avocado-based dip or spread. Vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free, "guac" brings pretty much everyone together, no matter their dietary restrictions. This versatile Aztec recipe is full of vitamin B, foliate, and potassium, making it a healthful and colorful addition to your table. Quick and easy to make, guacamole can be super simple or combine a range of delicious ingredients.

01

Pick the right avocados

Ripe avocado olindana / Getty Images

Maybe the trickiest thing about making guacamole is finding perfect avocados. There are two ways to make sure this thin-skinned fruit is ripe. Check the color of the skin. The darker it is, the ripest the fruit is, but avoid the darkest ones, as they might be past their prime. The more reliable alternative is to test their firmness. Go for avocados that yield at gentle pressure. For four servings of guac, use two or three avocados, depending on size.

02

Peel and cut the avocados

Peeled and seedless avocado InaTs / Getty Images

When you cut the avocados in halves, pay attention to not scratch the seed with the knife or bits of it may remain attached to the pulp. If they do, gently remove them with a teaspoon. Once the fruits are peeled, chop them in medium-sized, cube-shaped pieces and place them in a large bowl. If you decide to cut the avocados in half first, use a spoon rather than a knife to remove the flesh, to protect your hand.

03

Add olive oil and lime juice

Extra-virgin olive oil and lime Ale02 / Getty Images

Olive oil, lime juice, and salt are the three key ingredients that will spark up your guacamole. To serve four people, use two teaspoons of olive oil and the juice of one ripe lime. For the tastiest version, use extra-virgin olive oil and freshly squeezed lime juice. Toss in a pinch of salt and cayenne pepper.

04

Red chili for a spicy variation

Red chili for an extra kick phive2015 / Getty Images

Some people love spicy food, while others deliberately avoid it. If you're prepping guac for a spice-tolerant crowd, consider adding a pinch of red chili for an extra Mexican kick. Include this ingredient with your oil, lime juice, and salt, either ground or in flakes.

05

Mash the mix with a fork

Mashed avocados Arx0nt / Getty Images

Grab a fork and start mashing your avocados. Different people prefer different consistencies, with some opting for a chunkier mixture and others mashing until everything is super smooth — or even using a food processor. Add more salt, pepper, and lime to taste if necessary.

06

Add onion and cherry tomatoes

Thinly diced onions and cherry tomatoes wundervisuals / Getty Images

Some traditionalists might stop there. But if you like a bit more variety to your guacamole, it's time to add the crunch. Peel a mid-sized onion and cut it into very small pieces. Wash a handful of cherry tomatoes and chop them, too. Make sure to move away the seeds and liquid from the tomatoes, as including this will make your guac too runny. Toss these additions into the bowl and mix. Other popular additions include garlic and cilantro.

07

Serving the guacamole

Plated guacamole AlexPro9500 / Getty Images

Your guacamole is ready to be served! Spoon it into a few cute bowls and garnish with cilantro leaves. The dipping options are almost endless. Load up shared plates with chopped veggies, thick-sliced baguette, crackers, corn chips, and toasted pita slices.

08

Enriching other dishes

Salmon guacamole bowl LauriPatterson / Getty Images

If tortilla chips are guacamole's best friends, your favourite dip is also great on toast, in deviled eggs, or paired with salmon grilled or raw in a poke bowl. Toss roasted veggies or top vegetable patties, or thin it with a bit of water or cream and use it as a salad dressing. Full of vitamins and nutrients, guacamole is a low-calorie, flavorful addition to every diet.

09

Store it in the fridge

Open fridge gilaxia / Getty Images

Guac can be kept in the fridge up to two days in a sealed contain. Avocado gets darker after a short time exposed to the air, but it's still safe to eat. Usually only the top layer darkens, and giving it a quick stir will lighten the color again. Though it's not unsafe, guacamole is usually best eaten the day it's made, since the tomatoes can grow soggy and the taste generally does not improve.

10

Let your creativity run free

Creative cooking SolisImages / Getty Images

A classic guacamole recipe makes a great base for all the creative variations you want to play with. If you want to up your game, consider adding bell peppers, roasted garlic, or goat cheese. Some people mix in mayo (which reportedly keeps it from browning as quickly) or sour cream. Grilled corn, jalepenos, and mango can also up your guac game at your next get-together.

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