As the new year begins, many people vow to eat more fruits and vegetables and become healthier for 2013. We all know the benefits of eating a diet heavy in fruits and vegetables ( I believe the daily recommended amount is actually up to 50% of your diet). One can only eat so many raw carrots, spinach, apples, bananas, etc… It is time to think outside of the box and get creative, and tasty, on what options you have in order to keep your resolution.
Yes, the avocado is a fruit, and yes, it is high in calories and fat. But wait…don’t stop reading yet! This is exactly what you have been waiting for – a way to decrease the bad fat in your diet and not lose the stupendous flavor that high fat foods carry. Avocados have many health benefits. For instance, the type of fat found in the Avocado is the super healthy fat – monounsaturated – that’s great for your heart. Many studies suggest that diets that replace the unhealthy saturated fats with more healthy monounsaturated fats, reduces the risk of heart disease.
Now wait, that’s not it. Avocados also are sodium and cholesterol free, yet high in fiber and potassium. They also have almost 20 other vitamins and minerals to make them even better for you. So if you are truly just counting calories, this fruit isn’t the one for you. However, if you are trying to become healthier, than an avocado recipe might be just the answer to those cravings.
This recipe was a little out of the comfort zone for Jim and I. We both enjoy the taste of guacamole, however, the sight isn’t that visually appealing to us. I knew I had to do something to make that green mush into something that we both could look at while we ate it: A Guacamole Make-Over was needed. After a few minutes in the kitchen, I had the perfect solution.
Since the holidays have just ended, we had a lot of left over fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator. I added a little bit of color and heat, and we had the perfect Guacamole – even one Jim would eat!
- ½ cup finely diced red bell pepper
- 2 ripe Avocados
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (juice of 1/2 of small lemon)
- ½ cup
small cherry tomatoes (cut in halves or quarters, if large)
- ¼ cup thinly sliced green onion
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- ½ tsp. chopped, fresh thyme leaves (1/4 tsp if using dried thyme)
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- ⅛ tsp. cayenne (I added a little more because we like more heat)
- Set aside a small amount of the diced red peppers for garnish.
- Coarsely mash (DO NOT PUREE) avocados; stir in lemon juice.
- Fold in remaining ingredients.
- Top with reserved red peppers and serve.
*Serve with celery stalks, crackers, pita chips, or tortilla chips. Can also be used a spread for sandwiches and wraps.
**Guacamole is best when made as close to serving time as possible. For short-term storage, seal in an airtight container with a piece of plastic wrap directly against the surface of the guacamole.
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