The Tart Fruit Your Guacamole Needs Yesterday

For many of us, guacamole ranks at the top of the list of delicious dips. Guac features a perfect blend of ingredients, including mashed avocados, tomatoes, cilantro, and diced onions, all accompanied by a zesty spritz of lime juice, a dash of salt, and optional spices. It's not hard to see why this tasty combination makes for a tantalizing flavor that keeps you coming back for more. However, if you're getting a little bored of classic guac, or want a winter season-themed spin on the dip, there's one ingredient you should definitely try adding to the mix: cranberries.

Most commonly served as a salad topper or in pies, cobblers, holiday sauces, and the like, cranberries can certainly add a little festive spin to any guacamole recipe. When fresh, the small red fruits add a nice crunch and a delicious tartness to each and every bite, complementing the rich avocado. Serve cranberry guac with a side of chips, crackers, or pita bread for an easy fall- or winter-inspired side dish that can be enjoyed at any time of year.

Cranberries add a crunchy tartness to guacamole

If a crisp and crunchy texture and a slightly sweet and bright flavor are what you're after, use a spatula to fold a handful of whole or halved cranberries into your favorite guacamole recipe, then serve as usual. Alternatively, if you want to test the waters before adding the berries into every bite of your guac, you can also top your dip with a few cranberries for a delicious burst of tartness and appealing colorful flair. It will be perfect for gatherings around the holidays, when cranberries are commonly found in stores and we all want a little extra festivity in our dinner party dishes.

Not a fan of fresh cranberries? There are a variety of other tasty fruits that can help take your basic guacamole recipe to the next level with a boost of sweetness and tartness. Chop up a cup of fresh strawberries and toss them in for a variation that's easy and delicious year-round, or opt for a tropical twist by adding some diced mango or pineapple. You can even throw in grilled peaches for a delectable dip that's equal parts sweet and savory. 

Give your guac a spicy kick, too

Cranberries aren't the only game-changing ingredient you should add to guacamole. One of the best things about the creamy, avocado-based mixture is that it's incredibly versatile. For those of us who enjoy our guacamole a little on the hotter side, rather than a sweeter flavor, you can go beyond the jalapeño or serrano peppers typically included in classic recipes. Try adding in crushed red pepper flakes, ground cayenne pepper, diced green chiles, or even a few splashes of hot sauce or sriracha to amp up the heat even more.

Another fiery option for kicking up the heat is to stir a spoonful of chili crisp into your guacamole to taste. The fragrant, crunchy condiment adds a notable touch of spiciness to the dip, with a bit of palate-pleasing crunch that you'll be thinking about long after you've indulged in the last bite. Or, for a more traditional flavor profile, try sprinkling in a couple teaspoons of Tajin seasoning. This tangy chile-and-lime blend is sure to make this classic Mexican spread even more enticing.