Do you love avocados? I remember, as a kid, I wanted NOTHING to do with them. As an adult, I still haven’t learned to like them plain. I think it’s more about the texture than anything else, because they don’t actually have much flavor, on their own. Why am I bothering to share this childish lack of enthusiasm over a simple fruit, with you, today? Mainly because I know there are those of you, out there, who feel just like me. And what I’m about to tell you is going to blow your mind! (So, put a hat on, or something, to keep the mess to a minimum. )
I can’t get enough of this recipe. Really! It’s loaded with avocados, and the powerhouse of nutrients they provide; plus, the way it tastes makes, me drool just typing about it! What’s it taste like? It tastes like more! Once you start, it will be hard not to keep eating and there are so many ways to enjoy it! Trust me on this one. You cannot pre-judge this dish on your preconceived notions about avocados. This fabulous avocado salsa will change all you believe in the universe – ok – at least all you believe about avocados.
It’s fantastic news that my family, and myself, enjoy this recipe so much. Avocados are one of those superfoods that really NEED to be in our diets. Here’s why. Avocados are rich in heart-healthy mono-unsaturated fats. They are a great source of fiber; and that dark green layer, just below the skin, provides a healthy source of complete protein. It’s actually the highest protein content of any fruit on earth. (Yup! The seed is inside. That makes them a fruit.) Avocados help our bodies absorb fat soluble antioxidants, like beta-carotene and lycopene. They are excellent sources of Vitamin C, folate and Vitamin K. Avocados contain more potassium than bananas, and to top it all off, they are sodium- and cholesterol-free. It would be silly not to eat them, right? So finding delicious ways to incorporate them into my family’s diet, just took on a whole new importance and this recipe is one of the simple ways I can make healthy changes without anyone feeling deprived. It is only slightly altered from the recipe that inspired me, over at Chef-In-Training. I hope you enjoy it, as much as we do!
- 3 avocados, small diced
- ⅓ cup red onion, minced
- 3 tomatoes, diced (Roma or paste tomatoes work best - any meaty variety without a lot of seeds)
- 2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
- 1 or 2 lemons, use the zest and juice (could substitute limes)
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- Slice the avocado in half, lengthwise, around the pit. Once you separate the two halves, the easiest way to remove the pit is to plunge the edge of your knife blade into the pit, give a gentle twist and then lift it straight out. It's the neatest and simplest way I've found to accomplish the task.
- Remove the avocado from the shell by inserting a spoon along the side between the shell and the fruit, sliding the spoon around the perimeter and underneath the avocado fruit. The fruit will lift out in one big piece and then you will need to dice it. Repeat this process with all three avocados and place the diced fruit into a medium mixing bowl. (You can throw away the shells, but as you can see from the picture above, I washed them and used them as bowls for the salsa. It's a fun way to present it.)
- Add the zest and the lemon juice, to keep the avocado fresh and prevent it from darkening. The original recipe called for lime juice and I have no doubt that would be delicious, but I rarely have limes on hand and almost always have lemons. I also add the zest because I love the brightness and zip it gives to the salsa's flavor. It's so incredibly summery.
- How much lemon you use, will be dependent on your own tastes and the juiciness of the lemons you use. I only needed one large lemon for this batch, but when I have had smaller lemons, that didn't have as much juice, I have used 2. The salsa doesn't need to be standing in juice, but you do want it to be flavorful and moist.
- Toss the avocado with the zest and lemon juice to make sure each piece is coated. If you don't have a zester, just use the smallest grates on your grater to zest the lemon and be sure to only get the bright yellow zest, none of the bitter white pith, underneath. I don't have a fancy juicer. I use the heel of my hand to roll the lemon back and forth on the counter a few times, which loosens the juice from the membranes. Then, I cut it in half and squeeze the halves into the bowl, using my hand as a "sieve" to catch any seeds.
- Dice the tomato and add it to the bowl. I do small dices on these ingredients, especially if using it for chips. Cut the tomato in half lengthwise. Then slice each half in half, again, lengthwise. Turn the slices and cut into long strips. Turn again, and cut across the vertical strips to make a small dice.
- Mince the onion and add to the bowl.
- Mince the cilantro and add to the bowl.
- Add the garlic powder and fresh black pepper. All those ingredients, in the bowl, look gorgeous! You'll want to just take a spoon and dig in!
- Mix everything together and serve with your favorite corn chips. I rinsed the hollowed out avocado shells and served the salsa in those, but you could definitely just leave it in the mixing bowl to serve it.
We have also eaten this salsa on breakfast pita sandwiches. We filled whole grain pitas with this salsa, scrambled egg, some crumbled bacon, and grated cheese. Fabulous! We’ve also eaten it on burritos or on top of chicken taco salads. I’m sure there are tons of phenomenal ways to serve it! What creative ideas do you have for incorporating avocados and all the healthy benefits they provide, into your family’s meal plan? Do you have a favorite recipe that uses avocados? I look forward to hearing about it!
This post is linked to Tasty Tuesday.