Traditional & pomegranate guacamole for Cinco de Mayo

Traditional guacamole for Cinco de Mayo
Traditional guacamole for Cinco de Mayo

LOS ANGELES, May 5, 2014 – Cinco de Mayo has become a time to celebrate Mexican culture, and what better way to celebrate then to indulge in their delicious cuisine, such as salsas, enchiladas and, my favorite, guacamole.  Guacamole was created around the 16th century by the Aztecs, but since then it has been embraced by the United States.

Guacamole can be dressed up or dressed down, but the best way is with merely a few ingredients that are at their peak of freshness. All guacamole starts with the basic ingredients of avocados, limejuice, cilantro, tomatoes, jalapeno and red onion.

As a judge in a guacamole taste-off, I was excited about the opportunity to taste various recipes.  Although the chefs had added a variety of ingredients, like Worchestershire, Tabasco, crab meat and pineapple, in the end the judges agreed the winner was the guacamole with the perfect combination of the basic ingredients: avocado, jalapeno, tomato, lime, cilantro and garlic.

Celebrate this Cinco de Mayo with fresh homemade guacamole and pomegranate guacamole. The trick is to know the cooking or rather the prepping secrets.

The secrets to great guacamole:

Buy avocados that are slightly firm and can ripen at home (allow for two to three days for the avocados to ripen), because when they are overly ripe at the store there is a greater chance they will be severely bruised.

Remove seeds from tomatoes if it’s possible. The orange color of the seeds will tint the color of your guacamole to a dull green.

Remove seeds from the jalapenos unless you want the guacamole to be extra spicy.

Keep the onions and garlic really small. Onions are unpleasant to bite into when they are raw.  By keeping them small they will blend in with the guacamole’s creaminess and enhance the subtle flavor.

Use a Molcajete mortar and pestle. An ancient technique of mixing in a stone bowl with a stone masher, it helps break down the ingredients into a fine paste.

The more acid, i.e., lime juice, you add to the guacamole the longer it will stay green.

If you are making it ahead of time keep the avocado pits in the finished guacamole until right before you serve it.

Use plastic wrap and lightly press it to the top of the guacamole so that you prevent the oxygen from oxidizing the avocados (turning them brown).

Make the guacamole when you’re ready to eat it,  prep the ingredients ahead of time.

Double a recipe for a party, people love guacamole.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Great Guacamole Recipe


4  Haas avocados (black exterior)

1 tomato, diced

1/8 red onion, small, diced

2 limes cut in half

½ jalapeno, small, diced

3 pinches of salt

1 ½ teaspoon cilantro, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 pinch of pepper


In a bowl a bowl mix avocado, tomato, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, garlic, lime, salt and pepper until fully incorporated.

Pomegranate Guacamole Recipe

This recipe was inspired while I was on a trip to Arizona. It’s not traditional and it sounds bizarre, but it’s delicious.


4 Haas avocados (black exterior)

1 tomato, diced

¼ cup of pomegranate seeds

2 Limes cut in half juiced

½  jalapeno, small, diced

3 pinches of salt

1 teaspoon cilantro, diced

1 pinch of pepper


In a bowl a bowl mix avocado, tomato, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, garlic, lime, salt and pepper until fully incorporated.

For more great cooking tips, recipes and stories from Chef Mary, visit her blog. To learn more about Chef Mary, check out her Hail Mary’s, Inc. Web site. Email questions for Ask Chef Mary Fridays to [email protected] or click the Ask Chef Mary link above.

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The information provided is general information about healthy eating. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice or treatment that may have been prescribed by your physician or other health care provider. Always consult a physician before starting any new diet or regimen. 

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Upon graduating from the California School of Culinary Arts in 2002, Chef Mary Payne Moran began her professional career shelling crabs at the world-renowned restaurant, Michael's in Santa Monica. Simultaneously, she launched her own company, Hail Mary’s, founded upon the belief that good food nurtures the soul, and began catering weddings, parties and large corporate events. In the fall of 2008, Mary began teaching her culinary skills to others. Currently she can be found at Hollywood School House teaching her after school cooking class, and teaching her popular "Vegetables or Not Here I Come" assembly. Most recently, Mary has launched another division in her company as well as a chef she is now also a Certified Nutritionist for high profile clients. She helps her clients discover their healthy way of eating. Mary has recently been published in the Los Angeles Magazine, & The New Jersey Star Ledger. Daily she addresses cooking aficionados through her blog - Cooking with Chef Mary as well as her how-to webisodes on You Tube.