Top 5 Ways to Use Guacamole
Is there anything better than a creamy, earthy bowl of verdant guac? Guacamole has grown to be a staple in this country, even more so in my home state of California, where avocado trees flourish in the warm sun. To find the origin of that fabulous avocado spread we know as guacamole, one doesn’t have to travel far. Guacamole is a 16th century Aztec invention, originally called “ahuaca-mulli,” which translates to “avocado sauce.” Once the Spanish settled in Mexico, they adapted it into their own concoction of “aguacate,” and eventually “ahuaca-mulli” became “guacamole.” Guacamole made its way up north into California and other border states, where it has became essential in a plethora of Mexican-inspired cuisine, including Tex-Mex and Southwestern recipes. It’s also became synonymous with California’s light Mediterranean style of cooking. Indeed, our favorite side has infiltrated its way into many popular dishes, where guac is a welcome addition to many favorites, from tacos and burritos to avocado toast and sandwich wraps.
Guacamole Nutrition Power
Guacamole is always a fabulous extra to your favorite dishes, but did you know that it’s also extra good for you? That’s because the main ingredient, avocados, are full of healthy fats to support heart health, as well as vitamin E, a natural antioxidant to support your overall immune health. Avocados are also an excellent source of fiber, providing 40% of your recommended daily value (DV) in one cup. To top it off, avocados are high in phytosterols, which studies have shown lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels. Throw in the usual guac ingredients—chopped onions, tomatoes, lemon juice, and jalapeno pepper—and you’re getting a great contribution to your daily fruit and veggie servings, as well as 100% of your daily vitamin C in a serving of this creamy good stuff.
How Do You Make Guacamole?
It’s easy! Just split your ripe avocado in half lengthwise (from stem down), remove the pit, and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh into a small bowl. Mash with a fork and add minced garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and a spoonful of salsa. Voila!
Serving Up Guacamole in the Kitchen
Sure, you know guacamole is fabulous scooped up with tortilla chips, and plopped on your burrito, but there’s so much more you can do with this spread. Check out my Top 5 Ways to Use Guacamole below. And while we’re talking about versatility, think about ways to mix up your standard guacamole recipes. Flip your dip by adding orange wedges to your guacamole, as pictured above (look for this recipe, pictured above, in my new book California Vegan in 2021). Orange adds a bit of sweetness with that lovely citrus tang and a boost of immune-supporting vitamin C. You can also add a pile of veggies to your avocado dip to push the health power—check out my recipe for Avocado Salsa.
Without further ado, here are my five favorite ways to use guacamole to push the envelope of your love affair with this green spread!
Top 5 Ways to Use Guacamole
1. Spread Your Bread with Green! Skip the mayonnaise, butter and margarine and spread guacamole onto your favorite sandwich or toasted bread. Try this Rustic Avocado Garlic Toast, which calls for mashed avocado and garlic (essentially a simple guac), for a rich dose of earthy flavor and heart-healthy nutrients.
2. Scramble Your Idea of Breakfast with Some Green Goodness. There’s no better way to start your day than with a hearty, healthy breakfast scramble, such as my Scrambled Turmeric Tofu with Mushrooms and Greens. It’s a delicious plant-based breakfast full of veggies and plant proteins, enhanced with the anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric. And there’s only one way to make it better: top it with a generous scoop of guacamole as the “cherry” on top of this perfect Sunday brunch recipe. And don’t stop there—add a scoop of guacamole to your savory oat bowl, tempeh hash, and breakfast quiche, too.
3. Cool Beans. A spoonful of guacamole is the perfect way to brighten up your favorite bean dishes, such as red beans and rice, black bean enchiladas, jambalaya, or heirloom bean bake. My ultimate favorite bean dish to enhance with that extra creaminess is chili, such as this delicious Black-Eyed Pea Sweet Potato Chili.
4. Power up Your Lunch Bowl! Take your lunch bowl to the next level with a heaping helping of guacamole. The green stuff will take your veggie bowl from tasty to all out delicious! Try my Chipotle Tomato Rice Power Bowl for a quick and easy lunch, and make sure to give it a generous dose of guac on top.
5. Accent Mexican Flavors. You probably already know that guacamole is an essential component to enhance the flavors of classic Mexican-American favorite foods, such as tacos, enchiladas, tostadas, nachos, burritos, and more. But here’s a reminder to NEVER leave off the guac on these recipes, as it will offer that cool creaminess to balance out the spicy crunch of your favorite foods. For example, plant-based tacos with jackfruit are a modern twist on the classic taco, with jackfruit providing a hearty, meaty texture and quinoa and black beans providing a great source of protein and fiber. Perfect that dish with a generous helping of guacamole.
Try guacamole on some of my favorite plant-powered recipes: