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Guacamole recipe from The Natural Vitality Chef

The Aztecs’ “sauce of avocadoes” – molli translates as sauce in the Náhuatl language while ahuacatl was the ancient name for the pear-shaped pale green fruit – is the quintessential Mexican salsa. There are of course countless recipes as everyone makes it their own way and the only essential ingredient is the avocado. If you want to be traditional, by all means pound it in a mortar – ideally one made of lava rock! – but it is quick and easy to make it in a food processor which results in a smooth, velvety texture; and if you prefer more texture, just mash it with a large fork.

If you are not eating the guacamole immediately, nestle the stone down into it to keep it from discolouring, but in any case, eat it within 2 hours - any longer than that and it will lose freshness and sparkle.

GUACAMOLE

Serves 2 as a delicious snack

2 large, ripe avocadoes

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

1 green chilli, deseeded and finely sliced

100 g/4 oz red onions, peeled and coarsely chopped

125 g/4 1/2 oz small cherry tomatoes – a mixture of red and yellow looks pretty

1 lime, juiced

60 ml/4 tbsp olive oil

15 g/1/2 oz fresh coriander/cilantro, coarsely chopped, plus a few leaves for garnish

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Home-made tortilla chips, crudités, wholemeal pita bread, oatcakes, etc, to serve (optional)

Halve the avocadoes and set the stones aside. Scoop the flesh into a bowl and mash well with a fork. Fold in the garlic, chilli, onions, tomatoes, half the lime juice, olive oil, chopped coriander and some seasoning. Taste and add a bit more lime juice if the flavour needs brightening.

Garnish with the fresh coriander leaves and serve immediately as a snack or hors d’oeuvre – home-made tortilla chips, crudités, wholemeal pita bread soldiers, even oatcakes are all healthy accompaniments.

And what about guacamole's nutrient profile? Avocadoes are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, vitamins (A, the Bs, C, E and K) minerals such as copper and potassium, and antioxidant carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin), Garlic is rich in allicin, a sulphur compound essential to the detoxification of heavy metals in the body; it can also boost the immune system, may help to reduce blood pressure and LDL/"bad" cholesterol, and is rich in antioxidants, Vitamins B6 and C as well as the minerals manganese and selenium. Chillies are a good source of Vitamins A, B6 and C, as well as potassium and copper and carotenoid antioxidants; and their capsaicin content gives them pain killing properties. Tomatoes are packed with Vitamins A, C and K, as well as lycopene and the minerals potassium and iron. Olive oil is anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant, and full of monounsaturated fat, coriander is valuable for removing heavy metals from the body and aiding digestion, and onions provide Vitamins B6 and C along with antioxidant compounds like sulphur and quercetin. All in all, a nutritional powerhouse!

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