Free Video: Lacto-Fermented Guacamole

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Want to make your guacamole just that much better for you? Lacto-ferment it! This natural fermentation process allows beneficial organisms to proliferate, and causes an explosion of vitamins and enzymes. The benefits to you? Better digestion and support for your immune system. Check out the recipe below, also demonstrated above in this week’s free video.

My family eats a a lacto-fermented food with each meal and then some — most of the time. :) This is easy to do when you consider the array of lacto-fermented foods available: raw cheeses and fermented dairy (yogurt, kefir or clabber), sauerkraut, natural pickled vegetables and fruits like relishes and chutneys, pickled meats, even desserts made from fermented food bases (like ice cream that uses kefir or cream cheese frosting using homemade raw cheese), and delicious beverages like water kefir.

Check out my series on Probiotics: Every Meal, where I and others shared breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and snack ideas using fermented or probiotic-rich foods!

So, let’s get to the recipe already (video demonstration above)…

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Lacto-Fermented Guacamole

This guacamole is somewhat probiotic immediately, when you stir in the whey. So you can forego the fermenting and serve it fresh, if you’d like.

  • 2 avocados, ripe
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons whey (leftover from making raw cheese, or dripped off of plain yogurt or kefir with active cultures)

Combine all ingredients together and mash well with a fork. Put in a bowl. Cover with plastic. Allow to sit at room temperature for about 7 hours. Transfer to refrigerator until serving.

Skim off browned top layer if you desire a bright, green guacamole. It is fine to eat what you skimmed off. You can also mix it in, which will discolor the rest of the guacamole slightly.

Enjoy! Serve with homemade (best ever) tortilla chips!

Want to learn more about natural fermentation? My online classes teach the fermentation of grain by means of sourdough (from cakes to crackers and more), fermentation of fruits and veggies through natural pickling and healthy fermented beverages like water kefir, and fermentation of dairy from buttermilk, sour cream, yogurt and kefir to basic cheeses!

How do you make your guacamole? Do you add any interesting ingredients to kick up the flavor?

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Comments

  1. Beverly says

    I add chopped tomatoes, a little finely chopped onion and a small amount of cilantro to my guacamole. I’m so excited to try this with the whey!

  2. Joshua says

    We have guacamole once or twice a week. For some extra flavor, we add cilanto & cumin to ours, though not necessarily in any measured amount. :)

    We just got interested in fermented foods in the past couple weeks, and just yesterday I was wondering about fermented guacamole! Thank you!

    I’ve been collecting the “run-off” from our store-bought greek yogurt for about a week now, since we learned that it’s the whey and used for fermenting. It used to just go down the drain!

  3. Joshua says

    oh yeah… And a little red onion and occasionally some chopped tomatos for a little color *pop* Thanks for the reminder, Beverly!

  4. Racheal says

    Am I reading the recipe correctly–it IS ok to use whey from non-raw yogurt as long as it has active cultures? I’ve been doing that this whole time and I panicked for a second when you specified in the video that it had to be whey from raw cheese. I just wanted to make sure that this didn’t apply for yogurt too!

    • says

      Racheal — Right. The whey doesn’t have to be from raw dairy, as long as there are active cultures.

      Many times people think they can use any whey leftover from cheesemaking — but if the cheese was heated much past 115 degrees Fahrenheit, then the whey is no good because the beneficial organisms die. That’s why I said if the whey is from cheesemaking the cheese had better be raw — or at least not heated up.

    • says

      Jennifer — Adding lime juice is fine. Someone mentioned adding lime juice on Facebook to prevent discoloring. I’d like to try that. I did try keeping the avocado seed in there — but it still turned brown. :)

      • April says

        I make homemade guacamole all the time. The key is to leave the seeds in to keep from turning brown. In addition to lime and garlic…. I dont think this would upset the fermentation.

        Ive made gauc in the morning and it stayed green through til the evening.

  5. says

    This is so inspiring! Do you know if there are any things you canNOT lacto-ferment? Also, does the fermentation of avocado mean that it can last a longer period of time in the fridge? I know guacamole is something that usually gets demolished on contact, but I’m just curious… Thanks for all the great ideas!

    • says

      rcakewalk — There might be some foods that one cannot lacto-ferment, but it probably has more to do with texture than the food itself. I’m thinking lettuce, for instance. :)

      As for how long it lasts, I am assuming a few weeks in cool storage (similar to ketchup and mayonnaise which are lacto-fermented), but I have not tested it. We have eaten it too fast. :)

  6. Monica Dewart says

    I am unable to consume any form of dairy proteins due to celiac disease. I use sauerkraut or kimchi in my guacamole instead. In fact, kimchi guacamole has become one of my favorite things! Those two things don’t sound like they should go together, but they certainly do!

    • says

      Cheryl, I am not certain about using Kombucha. It is a question I have had myself before. If you google it, you’ll find that some people do this and say it works — while others say no. Because Kombucha contains lactobacilli (the beneficial organisms responsible for lacto-fermentation)) then I say, yes, it could work. My only concern is whether the acetic acid (vinegar) prevents lacto-fermentation. I haven’t gotten to the bottom of this yet.

      I am certain that you can use water kefir in place of the whey though — do you have any of that?

      • Jay says

        As I understand SCOBYs, the lacto bacteria will act at an earlier stage of the fermentation and the aceto bacteria will act later in the process. This is why, to begin with, your kefir will lose sweetness (lactose being metabolized by lacto bacteria) but later in the fermentation it will sour (aceto bacteria producing acetic acid).

        At which stage of the fermentation the different bacteria act and how it happens depends on conditions, as well as the various strains of bacteria and yeast that are in the SCOBY.

        I think I’ve raised more questions than answers here, but I hope that sheds a little light on the situation.

    • Krista says

      My kids have a dairy sensitivity so for my cultures I use extra water kefir grains. I always have much more than I need and it’s the perfect use for them. I just play around with it, so I don’t have exact measurements. When I make a half gallon of fermented bean dip I use about one tablespoon of grains stirred into the warm beans and it ferments in 1-3 days. I hope this helps!

      • says

        Hi Krista,
        You mentioned using water kefir grains for fermenting. Do you use the actual grains or the water from them? I also have a dairy sensitivity and do not want to use whey, but would like to lactoferment foods and condiments.

  7. says

    Hi Wardee!

    Great video! I’m a native Texan, so guacamole has always been a staple in our house. I add fresh lime juice & homemade salsa (lacto-fermented is good) to it. Watching your video is making me hungry! :-)

  8. says

    I never thought to ferment guacamole. I’ll be trying this soon! Have you tried covering the top suface with wax paper pressed to the guac to keep it from turning brown? I know it works with regular guac and avocados.

  9. Racheal says

    I followed the recipe except I added juice from half a lime. There was still a bit of browning on top the next morning but it stirred in easily enough and it tasted delicious! Thanks Wardee!

  10. Jessica says

    If I am collecting whey from store bought yogurt, how long will it last in the refrigerator?
    Thanks! Love this recipe and can’t wait to try it out! Lacto-fermentation is new to me, so will enjoy researching your site for more ideas!

      • says

        Hi there! I’ve had whey in the fridge for a few weeks and there are little white chunks in it- is it mold or milk/fat solids and how will I know? THANKS! Don’t want to pitch it if it’s still ok to use!

        • says

          A — Yes, it is usually fine. What you do is skim off the chunks, even strain it through cheesecloth to get it really pure. The chunks go in the compost and the whey can be used. :)

  11. Dawn says

    I never would have thought to ferment guacamole. I am definitely going to try this! Also, if you press the plastic right on top (touching) the guac, it does not turn brown!

  12. Roberta says

    Thanks for another wonderful recipe. I would like to suggest that we use a plate on top of the bowls of guacamole. All plastics give off toxic vapors continuously and using a plate will not waste our precious resources. I also hope folks will consider replacing plastic storage containers with glass containers.

    • Joshua says

      We’ve been saving glass jars from various store-bought items (I’ve found that some things come in actual Mason jars!) and use them for everything from storage of dry goods to brewing kombucha! We have one stainless steel container we typically use for leftovers, since it is low and wide.

      Related to that thought, some blenders have the same thread & diameter of a standard mason jar, and you can blend small batches (single serve smoothies, sauces) right into the jar and have less mess.

  13. says

    Hi Wardee,
    I just viewed your video and wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it! The music was neat and I like how you included text in the video. Of course, I also loved the recipe. We eat avocado all the time. I like how you mashed the garlic with the mortar and pestle! I am going to see about getting one for myself! Thanks so much for the info in this video!

  14. Cathy says

    My friend from Honduras leaves the avocado pit in the same dish. She says it keeps the guac from turning brown. Worth a try?

  15. says

    When I have made guacamole To help so that it doesn’t turn brown I put the saran wrap directly on the guacamole so that there is less air. And also a friend who owns a taco stand in Mexico purees a little bit of purple onion with the guacamole and she says thats what helps her guacamole from turning brown. (I haven’t personally tried that method yet) Also people here in Mexico add a little bit of lemon juice

  16. says

    Interesting. You can even ferment avocado! Who knew? Sounds like almost everything can be fermented and eaten. Even the almond milk I threw out yesterday that had apparently sat too long and gotten gloppy–was it probably fermented and very good to eat? I doubt I could get anyone in this house to believe that…

    So what I’m beginning to “get” from this whole fermented/cultured food thing is that it is healthier to eat foods that are NOT fresh but rather have decayed a bit (7 or so hours, at least). But that doesn’t make sense because MOST of the food we eat is not perfectly fresh, and in fact could be many days or even weeks old by the time we get to it. We don’t eat everything perfectly fresh but I do try to not make it any sooner than necessary in order to avoid spoilage. So what am I missing?

    I’d like to try cultured vegetables–even made some last summer–but ended up throwing it in the compost because I couldn’t bring myself to eat it. Anything dairy-ish would be doubly so, like the almond milk I mentioned above.

    What is it in my thinking that needs to change?

    Thanks,

    Connie

    • says

      Connie — Keep in mind that all foods will decay. And good bacteria and bad bacteria (or yeasts, molds, fungi) can do that work. You’re right that with fermented foods, they are healthier in many cases than their fresh counterparts — but not if bad organisms have done the decaying. ;)

      The key with lacto-fermentation is that the right organisms are doing the work. This lacto-fermentation encompasses sourdough breads, veggies, fruits, meats, condiments, beverages, dairy… With the right environment, these organisms can proliferate and establish dominance really quickly (holding the others back). Or you can inoculate a food with an established colony of organisms to ensure a surer start. That’s what I’ve done in the guacamole by adding whey. The whey is full of lactic acid producing organisms which consume the food, giving off lactic acid and proliferating. The presence of the acid and the organisms is what keeps the bad stuff at bay.

      I hope that makes sense! Oh, and over time, you may adjust to the flavors. You’re not the first person to not enjoy them from the get-go.

      Also — your almond milk was probably spoiled. You can usually tell just by smelling. A sour smell doesn’t mean spoiled — but an offensive smell does.

    • Lisa Matthews says

      Eating fermented foods is so-o important for us. They are full of raw, living probiotics whih are necessary for our guts to do their job. Lactobacillius, which is in all fermented foods, is the most important and best bacteria for our gut. Also, fermented foods are important because of phytic acid. All grains, seeds, and nuts contain phytic acid. Phytic acid protects the grain from our digestion system and won’t allow the nutrients in the grain be digested by our systems. Additionally, because of the snowflake like structure of the phytic acid, when we eat grains, seeds, and nuts, the phytic acid binds to the calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium etc. in our bodies and carries it out of us. To combat this, all of our seeds, grains and nuts must be soaked and sprouted. Doing this greatly reduces the amount of phytic acid in the grain, but doesn’t completely get rid of it. To further unlock the phytic acid, one must eat lacto-fermented foods. The lactobacillius in the fermented foods attacks the phytic acid that is left in the grain and neutralizes it. Also, I read recently that eating fermented foods will diminish your sweet tooth. it can take away any sugar cravings that your family may have…… If you’re totally new to all of this, I highly recommend sprouting brown rice. White rice cannot be sprouted. Sprouted brown rice contains 10 times as much GABA as non sprouted brown rice and is more bio-available than in non sprouted brown rice (all sprouted grains, seeds, and nuts have an increase in nutrients over their non sprouted counterparts). GABA reduces the number of beta waves in our brain. Beta waves produce inattention, irritability, aggression, impatience, and more. Alpha waves produce a mellow, calm, meditative like state. GABA soothes the brain and tells it everything will be okay.

  17. Rebecca says

    Do you think store-bought raw almond butter could be lacto-fermented in the same way vs. making my own by overnight soaking and then pulverizing?

  18. Rebecca says

    Could this same technique be used to ferment other things? For example, because of ease and taste I buy already prepared raw almond butter. Obviously it has not been soaked and/or sprouted first. Could I use the above method so that it would be prepared properly for consumption?
    Thank you.

  19. Liz says

    I’ve been enjoying this method for quite a while now thanks to you, however suddenly I have to stay away from all dairy even the tiny bit of whey. Would lemon juice alone work for this like it does for other things? Or extra salt?

    • says

      Liz — Doubling the salt should work — it might taste too salty though. Or you could use a pinch of a cheese starter culture. Or water kefir in the same amount as whey.

  20. Barbara Cleveland says

    If you google it, you’ll find that some people do this and say it works — while others say no. We just got interested in fermented foods in the past couple weeks, and just yesterday I was wondering about fermented guacamole! This is so inspiring!

  21. shalom says

    I just got an idea while reading through the posts about preventing guac from turning brown. Exposure to air oxidizes it and turns it brown. Put the guac in a food saver container and suction the air out. Since there is no oxygen in there I think it should keep it fresh and green (may not be good for the lacto critters if they need oxygen). If you’re concerned about the food touching plastic, put it in a glazz bowl that will fit in the container.

  22. Debbie D. says

    I may try this. Our family loves guacamole. We usually put tomatoes, onions and cilantro in ours, along with lime juice. I’m assuming none of those will interfere with the process? Does it change the flavor also?

  23. Louise Baker says

    I often make regular (unfermented) guacamole, but I’m excited to try this. I’ve always got whey in the fridge, skimmed off the top of yoghurt & sour cream, cottage cheese, etc. I make fermented mayonnaise and ketchup also, and they last much longer than the unfermented homemade versions. Which makes me wonder, would the fermented guacamole keep any longer in the fridge than the regular stuff, which is only good for 1 or 2 days?

    Also, I often freeze little silicone muffin cups full of guacamole and then empty the “pucks” into a freezer bag to store. If I did that with the fermented version, would freezing kill all the beneficial enzymes & bacteria?

    • says

      Louise — It keeps a little bit longer, like up to a week, but not like the mayonnaise and ketchup.

      Freezing is a great idea. You won’t lose beneficial organisms or enzymes while freezing. Actually, some do perish in the freezer, a little over time. But freezing is still a good option. :)

  24. bee says

    Does one need to use a mortar and pestle to crush the garlic or can we use a garlic press just as well? Is there a benefit to using the mortar and pestle?

    Also, I have a jar of home-made cabbage kimchi that I purchased. I was told to leave some of the kimchi and the juice from the bottom of the jar to make other fermented dishes just be adding to the jar with the kimchi. How would I do this? How much kimchi & juice? How do I add to it and how long and where should it be kept to ferment? I’m very new at this..

    Thx. bee

    • says

      Bee — You can use a garlic press. I don’t have one and I love my mortar and pestle, so that’s why I do what I do.

      The general rule on saving juice is 1/4 cup per quart of the new ferment if it is chopped up mixture like kraut. Or more or less — there’s lots of flexibility.

      If you had lots of leftover juice, you could actually pour it to cover garlic or other cut up hard veggies, “pickling” them.

      Have fun. Fermenting is great!

  25. JT says

    My son has a severe dairy allergy. I wonder if it would work to use a dairy-free probiotic capsule, opened up and sprinkled on the guacamole? Years ago, I used to make almond milk yogurt from fresh almonds, honey, and a probiotic dairy free yogurt starter. Do you know if the yogurt starter (a powder) could be used for culturing guacamole, or veggies? Would I stir the powder directly into the guac, or would I need to add a little water first?

  26. Marcia Jacobson says

    Louise — It keeps a little bit longer, like up to a week, but not like the mayonnaise and ketchup. A sour smell doesn’t mean spoiled — but an offensive smell does. If I did that with the fermented version, would freezing kill all the beneficial enzymes & bacteria?

  27. Lynne says

    I have been told by one source that freezing fermented foods like sauerkraut does not kill the good bugs but other sources say, yes, it does. I had some homemade sauerkraut that I froze and some out of the same batch that I did not freeze (just put it in glass jars in the fridge when it came out of the crock). The kraut that was not frozen first lasted in the fridge for a good long time. When I thawed frozen kraut and put it in glass jars in the fridge, it went bad on me within a few weeks and I had to dump it. My thinking is that the good bugs were dead from the freezing and allowed the kraut to go bad after a while. I am thawing only enough kraut to use up in a reasonable time now. I don’t think I want to freeze it anymore. I would love to be able to dehydrate kraut and keep the good bugs alive somehow… ??? I love guacamole so I’ll be giving this recipe a try. I think the addition of lime/lemon would help with the discoloration but I’m glad to see a recipe that doesn’t use them. Now I know I can make guacamole even if I don’t have the lemon or lime laying around… thanks! :-)

  28. Bethany says

    Hi! I’m a semi-newbie at lacto-fermented foods, but am loving it. Your videos are very informative which I appreciate. However, I’m wondering if you can help me with a question I have. I have tried fermenting guacamole as you have done in the video, and also making pickles via the Nourishing Traditions recipe. My question is this: the only whey I currently have access too is the stuff I drain off from organic plain yogurt from the store. Will this work? It has live active cultures so I wouldn’t see why not. BUT it doesn’t seem to make stuff “bubbly” like I think it’s supposed to. My mom made pickles with her homemade whey and she said hers became slightly bubbly and basically carbonated. Mine taste absolutely delicious, by the way. Not rancid or anything. How do I know for SURE if I fermented it, or just wasted my money buying yogurt for whey?? And in Nourishing Traditions it says you can use extra salt if you don’t have access to whey. If that’s the case, then would the salt “bubble” as well?? Any wisdom or insight you have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!!!

    • says

      Bethany — yes, the whey dripped off plain yogurt with active cultures will work.

      Here’s a video about whey and what to use (and what not to use):

      http://gnowfglins.com/2011/07/20/free-video-whey-what-it-is-how-to-get-it/

      Bubbling varies. Are you using an airlock? The gases escape slowly through the airlock so things don’t “seem” as bubbly because it isn’t building. Guac won’t get bubbly, and other ferments vary in bubbliness. Just because it doesn’t bubble doesn’t mean it isn’t work. :)

      Yes you can use extra salt if you don’t have whey. However, NT recipes are usually too salty by double. Too much salt can also prevent bubbles because it’s too much for the ferment.

      Enjoy!

      • Bethany says

        Thank you for the response. So another question! If the bubbling varies so much, is there a way to know if its for SURE been fermented?? For example, my mom and I both made fermented pickles. She used homemade whey from her yogurt, and I used whey from store-bought yogurt. I also had to use cucumbers from the grocery store, whereas she used ones from her garden, which I also realize may have been an issue with mine. BUT. In the end, hers tasted really zingy (her words) :) and they bubbled. Mine tasted very smooth and delicious, with no zing and no bubbles. We used the same recipe. Basically I’m just doubting that mine were fermented because they tasted SO GOOD (isn’t that bad?? Haha) I know that fermenting is not a concrete formula and that each batch varies. I’m just curious if you have any insight on how to tell for sure… I don’t want to go the effort and then in the end, it didn’t ferment anyway. Thank you so much!!! I truly appreciate your information, videos, and responses!!!

        • says

          My experience is that fresh from the garden produce will be more bubbly and that’s because there are more naturally present organisms on them (due to conditions)… it doesn’t mean yours haven’t fermented. If yours tasted good that is a good sign. If they didn’t ferment properly, they would have spoiled. It isn’t salty enough to prevent spoiling if the ferment doesn’t go the right way. So it’s one or the other — UNLESS you used a ton of salt in which case neither spoiling nor fermentation would likely occur.

  29. Mirian says

    Can I use the pickling liquid from “Bubbies” pickles? The liquid has live culture. I’ve reused this liquid by adding julienned daikon and carrots and after a few months it tastes fine. How many times can I reuse this liquid? And I’ve read that no metal should come into contact with this live culture (utensils, containers, etc.). Is this true? I’m hoping to reuse the pickling liquid in the guacamole. Thanks for the recipe.

  30. Marci says

    Gonna try this! Was thinking … couldn’t you use a small mason jar or fido jar and put this in like you do when making other ferments? Guess it can’t hurt to try! :D

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