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Peeling avocados, making guacamole. April 9, 2013

Posted by ourfriendben in recipes.
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Silence Dogood here. Not being a fan of slimy textures, I have to confess that I’ve never tried to peel an avocado before. But here at Hawk’s Haven, our friend Ben and I are trying to add avocados’ good fats and other healthy benefits to our diets, so I’ve been adding guacamole to our burritos, and even using it as a dip for chips if it looks chunky and good.

Which is to say that a lot of guac looks and tastes like green slime. But occasionally, you stumble on a guac that has great texture, great color, and great flavor. Our favorite, from the local restaurant Fiesta Ole, is made fresh with diced tomatoes and onion, as well as several other ingredients, added in. It’s so delicious we’re tempted to just make a meal of it with chips.

But we can’t always be running off to a restaurant for our Mexican fix, so I was determined to try to recreate that gorgeous guacamole at home. Right now, I’m thinking of slicing/mashing Haas (now more commonly known as Hass) avocados with lemon or lime juice and mixing in diced paste tomatoes, diced sweet onion, minced green onion, minced garlic, chopped cilantro, and minced jalapeno. What do you think?

However, the first challenge is peeling the avocado. I saw a program back in November that demonstrated cutting an avocado by slicing it in two around the seed, twisting the halves, and popping them apart, then extracting the seed and removing the flesh with a tablespoon. This seemed like a good approach to me until I recently read that most of the nutrients in avocados lie in the dark green layer just under the skin.

The authors of this article suggested halving and twisting the avocado just as in the demonstration and popping out the seed. But then they said to quarter the halves, and then peel the skin off from the top of each quarter by hand, like a banana. This leaves the dark green layer and all its nutrients intact.

So I plan to try this banana-peeling technique, though admittedly, I’m concerned about bruising the notoriously easily discolored avocado flesh by holding on to the quarter while attempting to peel it. It’s difficult enough to keep the avocados in guacamole from discoloring—turning a most unappetizing brown—under any circumstances, and especially when a recipe calls for refrigerating the finished guac for an hour before serving so the flavors can blend. (Thus the lime or lemon juice.) In this case, I think Fiesta Ole’s tableside preparation and immediate serving of the finished guac makes sense.

But there’s something else that makes sense to me: Buying those containers of fresh hot salsa at the grocery and mixing them into the avocado and lime or lemon juice. The fresh hot salsa already has diced onion, tomato and jalapeno. You can add some chopped cilantro or not as you choose. But with or without cilantro, you have super-fast guacamole that packs a flavor punch.

I have three Haas/Hass avocadoes to work with, so I plan to experiment with both the from-scratch and from-fresh-salsa methods and see whether they’re both good or whether there’s a clear winner. In any case, OFB and I will be adding guacamole to our healthy snacking routine.

‘Til next time,




1. William - April 10, 2013

I’ll stick to the spoon method. Other than having the cannon ball pop out and roll on the kitchen floor, it is far easier and faster to do. Let me know how this alternate method compares to the spoon.

I love’m on plain and on crackers. Never thought of salsa. Have tried a avocado and tomato salad but haven’t found a version I like.

Hi William! I made guacamole last night and, as advertised, the skin on the quarters peeled off cleanly and easily as a banana skin. I couldn’t believe how perfect it was! No more spoons for me. I drained the fresh hot salsa really well, then put some in a bowl with lots of chopped sweet onion and minced cilantro, plus a few splashes of hot chipotle sauce. Once I’d peeled the avocado quarters, I doused them in lemon juice before chopping, then mashing them with a fork, so there was plenty of texture left. Then I mixed the lemon-avocado mash into the bowl with the other ingredients, stirred well to blend, put plastic wrap right down on the surface, and refrigerated it while I made a few other things. Let me tell you, it was delicious! I wouldn’t hesitate to make it entirely from scratch, either, but if pressed for time, this took a whopping ten minutes max and was incredibly good.

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