Monday, October 14, 2013

     Guacamole. The word itself is worthy of its own “sentence,” if you ask me. In fact, if I could elect to eat one food for the rest of my life (consequence free, of course), I’d choose guacamole. Speaking of consequences, however, the consumption of guacamole yields very few. It’s one of the healthier dips you can eat; and it’s always delightful news to learn that one of the foods you enjoy most is also among the healthiest.
     I’ve suffered great pains in laboring to perfect my guacamole recipe. I shudder to reveal it, but find solace in knowing that I might be bettering the world (or, at the very least, making the next food item you bring to a friend’s party that much more popular. Same thing, right?). The following ingredients are requisite to a great-tasting guacamole, and to your health, as well:
  1. Avocados (no, this isn’t the secret): You’ve been warned that avocados are replete with fat. They are; ~29 grams, in fact. But they are, indeed, a heart-healthy fat – in other words, your body processes it better, and they’re loaded with antioxidant Vitamin E. Moreover, avocados contain over 20 minerals and vitamins (including Vitamins A, B, C, K, B6, B12, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, fiber, more potassium than a banana, Zinc, and more). Don’t ever let the fear of the avocado’s fat content repel you from guacamole. The health benefits outweigh the cons.
  2. Tomatoes: I’m not the biggest fan of tomatoes, but they’re necessary to a hearty, tasty guacamole because they absorb all the flavor of the following spices:
  3. Chili powder adds a pungent kick to the avocados. The heat also kicks your metabolism into shape. Sprinkle as much as you want depending on your spice preference.
  4. Salt and pepper are the mulch in the soil of a great guacamole. Layer the entire top with a thin coat of both for maximum flavor.
  5. Onions (if you like them) also supplement the spices in providing flavor. Use as many or as few as you like.
  6. Garlic – I like it, but use it sparingly. One clove should suffice. It’s powerful and does the job.
  7. Lemon and lime juice: use them liberally. They are the sine qua non of a zesty guacamole, and they keep the avocados from browning, so you can leave the bowl out all night without worrying about finishing it all.
  8. Valentina Chile and Lime spice: This is the secret ingredient; you can find a small bottle at your local bodega. Use liberally. It’s a fruit seasoning that really enhances the flavor of the tomatoes and avocados, giving the guacamole a unique and delicious taste for which your friends will relentlessly compliment you. (Clearly, this is how I make friends.)
     I don’t mean to suggest that a good guacamole is the key to wild popularity (yes, I do), but it’s a hearty, healthy snack and something that is bound to be a success at potlucks. As I spoon generous servings of guacamole into my mouth, I bid you all good luck as you prepare to embark on the rewarding journey that is guacamole making.
           -Alex Hajjar


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