Everything is disappearing off grocery shelves -- how can we continue to eat healthy?
Background: Making Guacamole At Home
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to influence our daily lives and shopping habits, many consumers have stocked up on food, often opting for an abundance of unhealthy snack items or packaged/prepared food that have fewer nutritional benefits than a standard, freshly prepared meal may provide. However, there are healthy, fresh options for snacks and meals that are readily available -- especially considering that produce items are still abundant. Using basic ingredients, guacamole is a delicious, healthy, and easy-to-make snack that can also be stored for a few days.
Students will be able to…
Use fresh, simple, nutritious-dense ingredients to make guacamole to share or store
Understand cooking techniques such as mincing and dicing, while learning safety tips for using knives
Identify flavor pairings
Extend the lifetime of a fresh snack
mince /mins/ verb. - to cut a particular food into very small pieces
1. Gather your materials. Be sure to wash off your produce. You will need the following ingredients and supplies to make guacamole at home:
2 avocados · 1 tomato · ½ onion · 1 jalapeno · 1 lime · 2 garlic cloves · ~ ½ cup cilantro · salt, to taste · pepper, to taste · cumin, to taste
1 large mixing bowl · 1 cutting board · 1 chef’s knife · 1 serrated knife · 1 spoon · 1-2 forks
💭Did you know… about the health benefits of these primary guacamole constituents?
Avocados have an abundance of vitamins for essential functioning, healthy fats for energy storage, fiber for digestion and optimal weight maintenance, and carbohydrates for quick energy
Tomatoes are 95% water, are good sources of vitamins C and K, and have antioxidants that help decrease one’s risk of heart disease and cancer
Onions are rich in vitamins B and C, reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and may improve bone health.
2. Watch the following YouTube video to see a demonstration of how to make guacamole. Then, follow along with the steps below.
3. Remove the avocado from its skin, and remove the pit. Cutting lengthwise with a chef’s knife, make a single cut around the entire avocado, making sure you cut all the way to the pit. Set your knife down, and with two hands, twist the avocado around the pit to split the avocado into two halves. Using your knife, jab the blade into the pit with a quick motion and twist. Remove the pit. Using a spoon, scoop the fruit from the skin into your mixing bowl.
♻ Remember to put your scraps into the compost bin, if you have one!
4. Dice the tomato, onion, and jalapeno on your cutting board.
💭Go slowly… be mindful of your hands!
For best cutting practice, curl your fingers on the hand that holds the fruit away from the knife.
Touch the edge of your knuckle to the knife to ensure you are not endangering yourself.
For the tomato, use a serrated knife. Cut the tomato in half, then cut strips in the tomato without making them the entire length of the tomato to keep the entire fruit still intact. Then, turn the fruit 90°, and make strips perpendicular to your first cuts, making small cubes. Repeat with the second half of the tomato and place into the bowl.
For the onion, cut the ends of the fruit off using a chef’s knife and peel away the skin. Cut in half, and make small cubes with the same strip cutting technique that was used for the tomato. Put the onion into your mixing bowl.
For the jalapeno, remove the stem with a single widthwise cut with your chef’s knife. Then, cut into the jalapeno lengthwise on only the side of the fruit facing you, allowing you to open it. Remove the seeds with your hands. Being careful to not touch your face while handling the jalapeno, use the same technique described above to dice the fruit and then transfer it to your mixing bowl.
5. Mince the garlic. Using a chef’s knife, cut the ends off of your garlic clove, and peel the skin off. If the skin does not come off immediately, gently crush the garlic by setting the blade of your knife sideways on top of the garlic and apply pressure with your palm to the knife blade. When your garlic is peeled, begin making cuts widthwise on the garlic clove with little space between each cut. Collect the garlic into a pile, and, with the non-cutting hand pressing on the top of the knife to keep the tip on the cutting board, make chops into your garlic pile. Keep piling and chopping the garlic in this way until it is harder to divide further (approximately 3-5 times), and place into your mixing bowl.
6. Chop the cilantro. Bunch the cilantro in your hands, and, using a chef’s knife, chop the cilantro with little space between each cut. Turn the pile 90°, and chop again. Continue chopping until the cilantro pieces are finely ground.
➗Division = flavor🌈… when we mince or chop an ingredient into fine pieces, we are increasing the surface area of the exposed flavored portion of the vegetable or fruit, which helps enhance the flavor of that ingredient!
7. Juice the lime. With a chef’s knife, cut the lime in half. Squeeze each half of the lime over the mixing bowl. Rotate your lime while applying pressure with a spoon on the inside of the fruit in order to get extra juice and pulp out.
8. Add salt, pepper, and cumin to the desired taste. Starting with small amounts of each ( < 1 teaspoon), add your spices into the mixing bowl. You can add more later, if you wish.
9. Mash the avocados, and mix everything together. Using a fork or two, target your avocados and mash them into a paste. After they are thoroughly mashed, mix the entire bowl of ingredients together into a uniform consistency. Taste the guacamole, and add more salt, pepper, and/or cumin to taste.
10. Consume your guacamole! But not all at once -- healthy portions exceed no more than ¼ cup per serving. To make the snack especially healthy, include vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, carrots, and celery as vessels for your consumption. In moderation, tortilla chips are also a great choice.
11. Store your leftovers. To store your leftover guacamole, pack it down neatly into a storage container, and add about a ½ inch of water on top. Close the lid, and store in the refrigerator. When you’d like to eat it again, remove the layer of water and enjoy.
Download the PDF version of this lesson plan: