If you are a fan of Mexican food, then this will be a food you will have heard of, and will most likely have thoroughly enjoyed, after it is one of the most loved foods in the world, but is Guacamole vegan? We are about to get to the bottom of this question, going into detail about the ingredients used and the process in which it is made, to see what the truth is behind this famous creamy dish. If you are vegan, are thinking about going vegan, or are just curious whether this delicious snack is vegan or not, then we have all the answers you’ve been waiting for right here.
So, with that being said, let’s get right into it.
What is Guacamole?
Yes, believe it or not, guacamole is not known to everyone, and some may even have eaten it without knowing what it is, what it is called, or what it is made of, so let us explain a little bit more about this delectable light meal. Guacamole is that ultra-green and super colorful side dish that you may have seen, served with tortilla chips, flatbread, or even sliced raw vegetables.
Some of the main reasons why guacamole is loved around the world are because it is filling and only takes a handful of ingredients to make, many of which the average joe can get their hands on. It doesn’t take a skilled chef to create a bowl of guacamole, which means that anyone can whip this fresh dish up within a matter of minutes and serve it as a starter, side dish, or as part of a party platter.
Where did Guacamole come from?
It originated in Mexico, but when the secret got out about how delicious, healthy, and easy it was to make (from scratch we’ll have you know), then of course it became part of many diets around the world. As nature would have it, avocados have existed in Mexico for over 10,000 years and the locals used to refer to them as alligator pears.
The word ‘guacamole’, is Spanish and translates as ‘avocado sauce’, and although this is what it is most commonly referred to in the USA and beyond, it is also known in short simply as ‘guac’. Interestingly, it has only been since the 1990s that the consumption of avocados and guacamole for that matter has increased dramatically, considering that before this time there was a ban on avocado imports. Luckily for us, there is no shortage of avocados in the USA and beyond, which means that we can enjoy them whenever we want.
Now, while we all love to add this to our salads, use it as a condiment or use it to dip almost anything into it, we need to ask ourselves – Is Guacamole Vegan? Firstly though, we need to know what it is made from, so let’s dissect this tasty Mexican dish.
What is Guacamole made from?
- Avocados – These can be found on avocado trees which originate in the Americas, and can be found all over the world these days. This is the main ingredient of guacamole, considering how widely available they are in Mexico and have been for over 10,000 years.
- Salt – Used for added flavor.
- Lime Juice – Coming from freshly squeezed limes and used sparingly, to give a citrus kick.
- Onion – Red onions are used in the classic recipe and are finely chopped.
- Cilantro – Otherwise known as coriander in other parts of the world, this is what gives the guacamole the intense flavor, which we all love. It can be used sparingly or in larger quantities depending on what final result you want to achieve.
- Jalapenos – These are added in the classic recipe for an added kick, but many modern recipes leave them out if a less hot and spicy result is desired.
- Tomatoes (optional) – In many recipes these days, you will find finely chopped tomatoes mixed into the dip.
Is Guacamole Vegan?
So, is Guacamole vegan? Now, that we have an idea of what exactly it takes to make this dish, we can answer this burning question – Yes, it is! Guacamole is one of the best foods for vegans, especially knowing that it is prepared fresh, and all ingredients that do not come from animals are animal byproducts. Guacamole is an insanely creamy side dish, which gives some people the impression that it may have some sort of cream or milk in it, but it is just the main ingredient that makes it this way, which is why it is important to use perfectly ripened avocados.
A lot of people wonder ‘Is Guacamole vegan?’, and while there are a host of ingredients in this dish, many are to add flavor and are all sourced fresh. With that being said, the guacamole you make at home or find in traditional Mexican restaurants is certainly guaranteed vegan, however, there are a few recipes in which milk or eggs are called for, but this is a modern version of a classic dish.
As a conscious vegan it is always important to stop and check the ingredients, especially if you are opting to buy pre-made guacamole which will have additives and preservatives, to make it last longer – some of which may or may not be vegan. To be completely sure that guacamole is vegan, you can make it from scratch at home or enjoy a fresh batch at a restaurant. If you are still wondering, then always ask your server, who can reassure you of the ingredients and the preparation process – which can differ from place to place.
How healthy is Guacamole?
We have asked ourselves ‘Is Guacamole Vegan?’ but what effects does this sumptuous dip have on our bodies and overall health? If eating healthily as a vegan is a priority, then you need to know a few things about guacamole, so let us explain exactly what exactly you are getting from this dish.
Guacamole is a safe bet when it comes to vegan food, and it is also one of the healthiest vegan foods you can enjoy, which is why so many people both vegans and no vegans consider this one of their favorite things to eat. If you are looking for a boost in your health, then you are in luck, because Guacamole provides so many amazing nutrients and minerals that are essential for our overall wellbeing.
According to a medical source, here are just some of the incredible benefits of avocados:
- Rich in monounsaturated fats (the essential good fats) – not all fats are bad!
- Helps improve digestion
- Rich in a variety of vitamins and nutrients including several B Vitamins, Vitamins K and E, Potassium and contain carotenoids.
- Can help reduce the risk of depression as well as the risk of cancer.
- Essential fatty acids help you to feel fuller longer while having great benefits for your skin and your immunity.
- Can help regulate your cholesterol levels and therefore protect your heart
- The presence of dietary fiber keeps our bowels regular, which is important to aid digestion.
The best ways to ensure you receive all these benefits:
- Always use fresh ingredients
- Use ripe avocados – which can be checked by gently pressing the skin down, and if it is flexible, it is ripe, if it is tough then it needs longer to ripen.
- Although guacamole is healthy, it still contains a high proportion of fats, which need to be eaten in moderation to avoid weight gain as well as Vitamin K which can prevent blood thinners from doing their job, if consumed in excess.
We asked the age-old question ‘Is Guacamole Vegan?’ and we got the answer we wanted, but it doesn’t stop there. As a vegan, it is imperative to be aware of what you are eating and where it comes from, and while we have established that the majority of guacamole you will eat is fully vegan, it is still necessary to double-check pre maid versions and ask in restaurants if you are unsure.
Now that we have also established the undeniable health benefits of guacamole, what would be the main one that stands out for you and encourages you to be healthy? Why not practice ‘conscious eating’ now that you know what is going into this dish, where it is coming from, and what benefits it is providing you with.
If you have not heard of this term before, let me explain. The act of conscious eating allows you to take your time eating, giving your body the time, it needs to digest slowly and signal that it is full, while at the same time it is a form of meditation that gives you the time to focus on what you are tasting, smelling, viewing and feeling as you eat. There is no better dish to try conscious eating with than guacamole, so next time you find yourself craving this vegan dish, why not make it from scratch using fresh ingredients and enjoy it consciously, as nature intended.