Simple, Fresh and Flavorful: Pineapple GuacamoleJun 01, 2015 11:34AM ● By Alexa Peduzzi
Hello again, North Hills Monthly readers!
My name is Alexa Peduzzi, and I’m a 20-something Pittsburgher who runs Fooduzzi.com, a food blog dedicated to bringing whole food recipes to young professionals. Whole foods are my passion, as I believe that I simply operate better when I am fueling my body with natural foods that come straight from the source—the earth! While I am not a nutritionist or doctor, it doesn't take a licensed, registered dietitian to be able to feel the powerful difference that whole foods can make in one's diet.
As you could probably tell from my vowel-ending last name (and if you spent any time with me, the extreme use of my hands while I'm speaking), I am Italian. I grew up eating pepperoncini (aka spicy banana peppers) as an afternoon snack. It was not uncommon to have pesto, an all-time favorite sauce of mine, in various preparations throughout the week—on pasta, on chicken, on bread...I'd have it all! Garlic and basil were basically my perfume. I had it good as a kid.
As I've grown older and started cooking for myself, however, I am less prone to cook Italian dishes. Instead, I tend to lean toward a different culture's cuisine altogether. Don't get me wrong—I will still devour a plate of pesto pasta given the opportunity; however, Mexican food has quickly become my favorite go-to. In fact, my roommate and I went a week straight eating nothing but Mexican food for dinner. It was a glorious seven days.
Mexican food is truly one of my cuisines because:
1. I love the spice. I was a huge fan of spicy food as a kid, and if anything, this love of all-things hot has escalated in my adult life. I simply cannot get enough of that mouth-watering, tongue-burning, light-you-up kind of flavor that Mexican cuisine has so expertly mastered.
2. I love the freshness. While Italian cuisine is typically made with healthy ingredients like lemon, herbs and vegetables, I find that some dishes can be just so gosh-darn heavy. Most Mexican food is, on the other hand, fresh, fresh, fresh! I adore cilantro, one of the main herbs found in Mexican dishes, and all of the fresh fruits and vegetables needed to concoct the most flavorful tacos, salsa and guacamole. I can't get enough.
3. I love the popularity. Pittsburgh is quickly becoming a foodie city; you can walk down the street and try just about any cuisine you desire. I love that I can get home after a long day, head out to just about any Mexican restaurant, and order some delicious whole food dishes. I have my favorites in the city, but I keep returning to Verde on Penn Avenue. I kid you not; they have some of the freshest, most flavorful salsas I have ever eaten. Their tacos, and especially their mushroom and potato variety, are the best I've had in my entire life. It's amazing that a restaurant in the Steel City can deliver such top-notch Mexican cuisine.
4. I love the simplicity. Making your own Mexican food doesn't have to require a ton of ingredients or time. In fact, you can make each flavor shine with just a few simple ingredients. I think this might be the biggest selling point for someone like me. As a young professional with a busy work and social life, I need to be able to prepare dishes that are quick, simple and flavorful. Mexican food delivers all three.
This is why, dear readers, I have the guacamole of all guacamole recipes to share with you today. My Pineapple Guacamole is simple, fresh and incredibly flavorful, and you can concoct this delicious recipe with as little as six ingredients:
Avocados! I love these healthy, fat-packed fruits. They're so creamy, fatty and rich, and I am simply addicted to them during the summer months. Avocado can be used in so many applications—on toast, in desserts, in sauces, etc.—but guacamole has a knack for making the lowly avocado shine.
Pineapple! I love this yellow summer fruit. I cannot get enough of its tangy yet sweet taste, so I almost always have a bag of chopped pineapple in my fridge during the summer. The zippy pineapple flavor cuts through the creaminess of the avocado, so I always like to add a bit to my guacamole recipes. To make things even easier for year-around guacamole devouring, I used frozen pineapple chunks in today's recipe. Feel free to use fresh stuff if it's in season!
Cilantro! Garlic! Lime! Salt! These four flavor enhancers are among my favorite ingredients with which to cook. Cilantro adds a fresh and herby flavor to guacamole. Garlic brings a nice bite to the party. Lime brightens up the rich avocado. Salt rounds out all of the flavors so beautifully. Feel free to add some spice by way of a jalapeño (fresh or pickled) if you're a fan of heat!
There are so many reasons you need this Pineapple Guacamole in your life. It takes less than 10 minutes to whip together. It's creamy, and it pairs well with chips, veggies or even on top of tacos. The brightness of the pineapple makes it unique, but it’s still true to its roots of cilantro, garlic and lime. Oh, and it's totally stinkin' delicious. I'm telling you, you won't have guacamole any other way after trying this!
2 medium avocados, pitted
1/3 cup diced pineapple*
2-3 Tbsp. minced cilantro leaves
1 garlic clove
Jalapeño, sliced, seeded, and diced (optional)
salt, to taste
Remove the green flesh from the avocados and place in a bowl. Mash the avocado slightly, then add pineapple and cilantro. Mix to combine.
Grate the garlic clove with a handheld grater**, and add it to the bowl. Add jalapeño if using. Mix to combine.
Slice the lime in half and juice one of the halves into the bowl. Mix to combine. Taste, and add additional lime juice if needed.
Add salt to taste. Mix to combine.
Serve Pineapple Guacamole with chips or vegetables, or serve on top of burrito bowls or tacos!
*I used thawed frozen pineapple tidbits. Use fresh if you'd like!
**You can mince the garlic clove if you do not have a grater.