Usually situated next to a bowl of taco chips and salsa, guacamole is often the first dish finished at any party I’ve ever been to. It’s definitely one of my favourites. It’s also one of the few party dishes that, on it’s own, is entirely healthy. The main ingredient alone, avocados, contain nearly 20 essential vitamins and minerals. Although they are high in fat, it’s mostly unsaturated fat (the good kind). Unsaturated fats can actually aid your body in absorbing nutrients from other foods. These healthy fats also help you to feel full longer. Traditionally, guacamole is made by mashing together avocados and sea salt, but once you have the basic recipe down, you can tweak it any number of ways to make your own variation. Here is my go-to recipe:
2 Ripe Avocados from Mexico
1/4 Cup sweet onion, finely diced
1 Garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp fresh cilantro
Salt to taste
Cut the avocados in half, remove the pit and scoop the flesh into a small bowl. Using a fork or potato masher, mash the avocado with the lime juice, garlic and salt until desired consistency. Gently stir in the onion and cilantro. Chill for 30 minutes before serving. Makes about 2 Cups.
When I talk about avocados, I usually talk about Avocados from Mexico. Why? Because even in Canada, with our cold winters, Avocados from Mexico are always in season. Taking up about 80% of the market share in Canada, the Hass avocados that we all know and love are actually the result of grafting the branches of the Patron avocado plant and the roots of the Criollo avocado plant. Hand grafting these plants can take 3 – 5 years, but after that, each small plant is capable of producing up to 750 lbs of beautiful, creamy avocados.
When I make a batch of guacamole, I’m very happy (I mean, very happy) to sit and devour the entire bowl of it with nothing more than taco chips, but it’s really versatile and can be used to add some extra flavour to a ton of different dishes. One of my favourite ways to use it is as a spread on an egg and bacon breakfast sandwich. It’s also a delicious replacement for mayo in a chicken salad sandwich. In honour of National Guacamole Day, September 16th, and to have a little fun, I thought I’d play around a bit and find other ways to use guacamole. These guacamole jalapeno poppers have quickly become one of my favourites. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did 🙂
Guacamole Jalapeno Poppers
12 jalapeno peppers
3/4 cup guacamole
4 oz cream cheese, softened
6 strips of bacon
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.
Slice the bacon into 1/2″ strips. Over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Set aside to cool.
Slice the jalapenos in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and ribs. NOTE: When working with any spicy pepper, make sure that you keep your hands away from your eyes and that you don’t have any cuts on your hands. Trust me on this one and, if necessary, wear gloves.
Mix the cream cheese and guacamole together in a small bowl. Add the bacon and gently stir together until evenly distributed. Fill each jalapeno cavity with about 1 tbsp of the mixture. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until the peppers are tender and the guacamole mixture is heated through.