Cinco de Mayo

Use dark skinned Haas avocados for the best guacamole. Credit: Judy Antell / Vegetarian TravelingMom

Avocados have come a long way since the 1970s, when they were associated with health food and relegated to strange vegetarian establishments – except in Mexican restaurants. My mother was a devotee of the tuna salad scoop in half an avocado – to me, as a child, a completely disgusting proposition.

Then I had guacamole. This dip had flavor, some texture, and offered an excuse to eat tortilla chips. Plus, while it was clearly not a diet food – half an avocado has about 120 calories – it is rich in fiber and Vitamin B-6 and Vitamin C. And while it’s high in fat, for vegetarians, that is not much of an issue.

Luckily, my kids adore guacamole. They mash up every ripe avocado we have and on trips to Mexico, seem to exist on guacamole and chips.

For Cinco de Mayo, a hearty bowl of guacamole is a great nosh for kids while dinner is cooking – or you can serve it with chili, or with vegetarian bean and rice burritos for a whole Mexican meal.

I have a simple guacamole recipe I make that they love.

Easy guacamole recipe in honor of Cinco de Mayo 

  • 2 avocados
  • 4 T salsa (we like Muir Glen Organic)
  • a healthy squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice (about 2 T)
  • salt and pepper

Low-fat guacamole recipe 

one cup frozen edamame, shelled

Put the edamame in a microwave proof bowl, add half a cup of water, and microwave for 3 minutes.

Mash, then add to the guacamole above.

Sometimes, to add some more veggies to my kids’ diet, I chop up half a cup or so of grape tomatoes and throw those into the guacamole.

No one in my family particularly cares for raw onion, but it is traditionally served in guacamole.  Add a 1/4 cup finely chopped white onion if you like it.

We serve our guacamole with Garden of Eatin’ Red Hot Blues or red pepper strips (another way to get some more veggies into your kids). They will also eat it with baby carrots, but they aren’t fans of jicama.  Baby steps.