Homemade Guacamole--making it last?
- JHammy Mar 21, 2005 02:50 PM
Hi there. I have a delicious recipe which I love to make Homemade Guacamole. It is a bit of work though, and I always feel i can only make it for a crowd, cause it looks terrible the next day (brown and runny)....I do add lime and salt, but wondered how I can make it last longer without losing the taste? Any idea how commercial brands do it?
Even 4 days would be good.
Thanks for your suggestions.
An old wives tale says to add the avocado pits - but I think I saw this debunked somewhere.
Vitamin C is supposed to preserve color but I've never had leftover guac to experiment with. I'll be surprised if you can get 4 days without some loss of appearance.
I hate most commercial Guacs... they put WAY too much Acid in them (To counteract the browning I guess) and I'm a HUGE lemon fan...
But the BEST way to keep Guac from browning, is to cover the bowl with plastic wrap and press the plastic wrap down on the Guacamole. This pushes out all the air which is REAL cause for the brown...
A few thoughts...
First of all, I believe guac is one of those things that should be consumed shortly after preparation. It's not designed for storage. 4 days? I can sometimes handle eating it the following day, but that's as long as it'll last. Some commercial brands use chemical preservatives (i.e., stuff other than what is in the lime juice).
The key to best preserving it until the next day is to use plenty of lime and to keep it away from air. A squirt of lime juice followed by a layer of plastic over the top of the container is your best bet. Then keep it in the fridge. I also think that using a tall narrow container is better than a wide bowl so that it decreases the surface area exposed to the atmosphere. I think the whole "stick the pit in the bowl and it'll last longer" is useless based on my experiments. But I'm sure there are others who disagree and we'll probably here from them. Storing with the pit doesn't seem to hurt it in any case, as long as it doesn't compromise your plastic wrap seal.
A far better alternative in my opinion is to simply not make it until you want to eat it. But it doesn't mean you have to make it from scratch each time. You can make a big batch of salsa (tomatoes, onions, chiles, garlic, and salt) that will keep for a week or two in the fridge just fine. Then when you want guac, mash up some avocados and add lime juice (as those are the two ingredients that should be fresh), then stir in your salsa. If your recipe calls for cilantro, I recommend chopping that up fresh too. Don't add it to the large batch of salsa because it'll make the salsa go bad much faster. If you share your recipe here I might be able to give more specific advice.
Finally, as time has gone by I have become become more of a mind that less is better in guac. I used to automatically add tomatoes, onions, and all that stuff. But now I tend to use only avocado, chile, lime, and salt (and maybe garlic). It only takes about 5-10 minutes to prepare it that way. This works best when avocados are at their peak season, at other times of the year I think the salsa-like style is perhaps better.
try some Fruit Fresh, ascorbic acid, vit. C. You can get FF in most grocery stores near the canning supplies. It keeps fruit from oxidizing and turning brown.
The plastic wrap idea below is the one I've heard the most - but it should be mentioned that 4 days is WAY too long to hope for.
Eat it fresh and enjoy it as a necessarily-fresh treat - maybe you'll get it into a meal the next day - after that, you're setting yourself up for disappointment.
I have very good luck keeping guacomole green, I've even forgotten a bit of it in the fridge and when found over a week later, it was still bright green. I didn't eat it, but it was green.
I read a tip on chowhound a couple of years ago about running the peeled avocado under tap water to help keep it green. After peeling and halving the avocado, I run it under water, then cut into large chunks, and run them under water. Then proceed as usual, but I use A LOT of lime juice, (we like it limey) and cover it all with plastic wrap pushed down tightly on top of the guacamole, as others have suggested. Always works like a charm for me.
Sounds like a good strategy, but I'm curious as to why you peel the avocados to make guacamole. Is there some specific reason for doing it that way? Is it somehow related to the washing technique?
I've been making guacamole for years and all I ever do is cut them in half, remove the pit and spoon out the flesh with a tablespoon or larger. If the avocados are ripe enough for use it comes out in one scoop, or maybe two at the most.
Make sure your avocadoes are pristinely green and don't have any brown spots. This makes a big difference.
I did a test with lemon juice recently and it worked pretty well. Just replace half of your lime juice with lemon juice. It doesn't really change the flavor and it does keep it from turning brown so quickly.
i agree with everyone on the plastic wrap and lemon juice to keep it from turning brown, but have you thought about not adding salt until you need it to keep the guacamole from getting runny? since the salt's probably extracting the water from the tomatoes. just a thought.