Guacamole and Fresh Salsa
Guacamole and fresh salsa are among my all-time favourite things to eat. Chad and I eat taco salad on a pretty much weekly basis! Guac has gotten a bit of a bad rap in some circles as being high in fat. Not to worry, though! Avocado is one of the world’s healthiest foods, and the fats contained within are healthy for our body and mind. One of the types of fats contained in avocado are phytosterols, which are anti-inflammatories. This means that avocados are great for people who suffer from arthritis. They also contain oleic acid, which helps our digestive tract to absorb fat-soluble nutrients like carotenoids (which are cancer fighters) and has been shown to lower risk of heart disease. For more information about how awesome avocados are for your health, check out its write up on the World's Healthiest Foods website.
For all these reasons, I happily enjoy guacamole on a weekly basis. Sometimes I get fancy, and make guacs that have been inspired by my amazing local Mexican restaurant, but today I wanted to start with simple guac and fresh salsa recipes that are approachable, and pretty much universally enjoyed, unless you happen to hate avocado (in which case, I am sorry for you, that’s truly sad).
Today, I'm going to start with the fresh salsa, as I like to throw it into my guacamole. If you don’t feel like going to the trouble to make fresh salsa, there are some very tasty kinds you can get from the grocery store. In Ontario, my favourite is ‘Mad Mexican’. Its pretty awesome, but it costs $6. Mine costs $3.50 for three times as much. Its about priorities! I adore fresh salsa, and will toss it on any number of things… Savory cornmeal pancakes, bring it on! Burgers? You bet! Toss it in pasta with some parm and chicken? Oh, yes please! And of course, all your typical Mexican dishes are amped up a ton with this simple recipe!
Ok, Go time!
Ingredients (Serves 6-8)
- 3 medium hot house or field tomatoes, diced
- ½ small red onion, diced
- ½ red pepper, diced
- 1 small atulfo mango (the yellow skin kind), diced (optional, but I feel like it gives the salsa a little extra something)
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped (dependent on your love of garlic level)
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- hot sauce of your choice, to taste (or 1-2 jalapenos, if you like jalapenos, which I don’t)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup of cilantro (optional for the cilantro haters)
To begin, chop your tomatoes, onions, pepper, and mango and place in a bowl.
Mix until combined, then add the garlic, maple syrup, hot sauce, and salt and pepper and cilantro.
AND… You’re done. Was’t that easy? SO easy! SO tasty!
Ok, onto my crazy simple guacamole (especially when you’ve already made fresh salsa):
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
- 2 avocados
- juice of 1 lime
- ¼ red onion, diced
- ½ red pepper, diced
- ⅔ cup fresh salsa
- 1 tsp chilli powder (or to taste)
- salt and pepper to taste
Begin with ripe avocados. How do you know when an avocado is ripe? Well, I’ll tell you! There is the simple, give it a nice gentle squeeze in the grocery store method, or there’s another trick you can use. The tip of an avocado has a small stem poking out. If you knock that part off at the grocery store and the inside is bright green, don’t buy it. If its kind of brown and puckered, its over-ripe, so don’t buy that either. If, however, its a nice yellow colour, that’s the sweet spot! Of course, you can always buy them hard and wait a few days for them to come into their own.
Ok, to start, slice your avos in half, and remove the pit and skin. Add the juice of the limes, the salt, pepper, hot sauce and chilli powder. This is the base of every guac I make.
Mash it up with a potato masher! This works WAY better than a fork!
From there, what you add is really up to you! In my basic guac, I add red onion, red pepper, and fresh salsa. I’ll often finish with a little extra cilantro, but I love cilantro, and for most people, the cilantro in the salsa is probably sufficient.
And that’s it! You may want to portion this out so that you don’t eat too much of it. It is highly addictive and highly tasty! Enjoy!
Cost for both guacamole and salsa (for six servings):
Red pepper: $1.00
Red onion: $0.50
Atulfo Mango: $1.50
Total: $7 or about $1.20 per serving. Ok, so not the cheapest thing ever, but during market season, you can cut the cost in half easily! Also, its still way cheaper than buying $6 fresh salsa that gives you about ⅓ of the amount!
Nutritional Information for Fresh Salsa (six servings):
Nutritional Information for Guacamole (six servings):
I just wanted give a shoutout to the website where I got the information about avocados, which is ‘The World’s Healthiest Foods.’ I find this website fascinating and awesome, as it has highly detailed information about the health benefits of 100 familiar whole foods that are considered the healthiest. They are a not-for-profit foundation without commercial interests, and can give you valuable insight into the foods you eat! If you’re a little nutrition obsessed like me, its a wonderful source of fascinating information!