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Conservation tip: eat more guacamole

By now we’re all familiar with the concept of a low-carbon diet, consisting of food that requires less fossil fuel to produce and transport. Here’s a recipe that will help you put theory into practice. If people like this sort of thing, we’ll do more of it.

Summertime marks the arrival of ripe, domestically produced avocados. An avocado’s purpose in life, its truest desire, its raison d’etre, if you will, is to be transformed into a bowl of guacamole. Fresh guac is not only ridiculously simple to make, it repays the effort many times over. Make some tonight. You will thank me.


4 ripe Californian avocados
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or squeezed through a press
2-3 limes
2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced

Optional: cilantro, chopped jalapeño, a dash of cayenne pepper, cumin, or dried chipotle, etc.


  1. Halve and pit the avocados. Scoop the flesh into a bowl.
  2. Squeeze the limes over the avocados and mash with a fork. Do not overmash — chunkier is better.
  3. Stir in the onion, tomato, garlic, salt, and whatever optional ingredients you want. Adjust the salt until you’re happy.

It’s really hard to screw this up, and there’s a fair amount of latitude to adjust for your own taste. Limes, for example, can vary pretty dramatically in size and juiciness, so I buy a bunch and keep squeezing until I’m happy. I once got my hands on a jar of smoked salt that worked really well in guacamole. You could probably duplicate the effect pretty well with chipotle powder.


  1. Really the only trick to guacamole is getting good avocados. They should give a bit when you squeeze them, but not be mushy. If they’re too hard, let them ripen in a paper bag on your counter for a few days. Do not keep avocados in the fridge.
  2. Easiest way to dismember an avocado: slice it lengthwise around the pit, and twist the two halves in opposite directions. Take a large knife and whack it down onto the pit. Give the knife a twist, and the pit will pop out.
  3. If you like your guac chunky, reserve one of the avocados, dice it, and stir it in at the end. Highly recommended.
  4. There is only one way to ruin guacamole: put it in a blender. The consistency of blended guacamole is terrible.
  5. This recipe makes a lot of guacamole. I can happily eat several avocados in one sitting, but unless you’re throwing a party, you’ll have leftovers. To store guacamole, press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the guacamole to prevent browning.
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