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The Vegetable Diaries: 3 Glutton-Free Guacamole Recipes

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Mallory Stuchin

    Guacamole is to my social life what porridge was to Goldilocks’. In these warmer months, I seem to skip around town armed with a pita chip and an insatiable appetite for avocados. I have chosen to embrace this affection since this creamy dish is seemingly inescapable.

    The argument can be made that guacamole is an unhealthy indulgence. We’ll get there, but before we do, I have some thoughts on why I’m such a fan of this unique snack.

    Guacamole is the food equivalent to buying a car, choosing a college or finding true love. When the chemistry is right, it’s completely impossible to explain and out-of-the-question to ignore. But that magic formula for the ideal mix is hugely different depending on who is doing the dipping.

    I consulted many people -- friends, chefs, a 5-year-old I met on the 6 train -- regarding their preferences when it comes to this dish. Interestingly, no two people had the same favorite. A California vegetarian said she always added beans to provide protein. A Brooklyn-based chef said it should be fruity because, “fruity guacamole is slammin'.” The 5-year-old said, “Mommy makes it with miso.”

    The common denominator in each scenario, however, was that the mention of this glorious green treat was met with enthusiasm and personal anecdotes. Of course, I could’ve just as easily written this post as an ode to the cocktail olive, but I’ll save that one for another day.

    In regard to guacamole’s health hits and misses, this snack can be a double-edged sword. Often, it’s eaten with intensely salty, processed chips and a few margaritas. Avocados on their own, however, offer many health benefits, including decent doses of vitamin E, fiber, folic acid and potassium. Guacamole can also be made healthier still depending on what additional ingredients are added to it. Choose your favorite fruits, vegetables and spices and experiment.

    Avocados can quickly turn when in use, so there are some key factors to keep in mind when preparing guacamole at home. First, prepare your other ingredients before you slice your avocado. When you do, cut the avocado in a circle from top to bottom, twist open and remove the pit with the edge of a sturdy kitchen knife. Some acid, like lemon juice, will help the avocado from browning, so squeeze some on top (an acidulated ice water bath will do the same if you’re working in larger batches).

    Next, make long slices lengthwise in the avocado and then score it in the opposite direction. Scoop out the inside with a spoon and mix with the other ingredients. If you enjoy a creamier, smoother guacamole, combine and pulse ingredients in a food processor. For a chunkier variety, prepare with a mortar and pestle or by using the back of a fork.

    Try different ingredients and decide what’s too salty, what’s too sweet and what’s just right.


    The Recipes:
    Guacamole can be made many different ways but always contains some combination of avocado and salt. When shopping, look for avocados that are slightly dark and tender to the touch. Add the seeds of peppers for a MUCH spicier dish. For smooth and creamy guacamole, prepare in a food processor. For a chunkier variety, use a mortar and pestle or the back of a form. These recipes were inspired by and adapted from ones that can be seen on avocado.org. Enjoy them with a toasted, whole wheat pita or Vegetable Chips.


    Roasted Corn Guacamole
    Serves 4 as an appetizer

    3 ripe avocados
    1 cup roasted corn removed from cob
    2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
    1/2 small red onion, diced
    1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
    2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
    2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
    1 tsp salt

    Add onion, pepper, cilantro and lime juice to a food processor and pulse to combine. Add avocados, salt and tomato and blend to desired consistency. Adjust seasonings and spices.


    Mango and White Peach Guacamole

    Serves 4 as an appetizer

    3 ripe avocados, diced
    1 ripe mango, diced
    1 ripe white peach, diced
    2 Tbsp scallions, light green and white parts only, sliced
    1 ½ Tbsp cilantro, chopped
    2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
    1 tsp salt

    Combine mango, peach, scallions, cilantro in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix avocado, lemon juice and salt and mash slightly. Fold fruit mix into avocado. Adjust seasonings.


    Greek Style Guacamole
    Serves 4 as an appetizer

    3 ripe avocados, diced
    2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
    1 small hothouse cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
    1 small red onion, diced
    2 Tbsp Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
    1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
    1 oz feta cheese, crumbled
    2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
    1 tsp salt

    Combine tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, olives, oregano and feta in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine avocado, lemon juice and salt and mash to desired consistency. Fold vegetable mix into avocado mix. Adjust seasonings.


    Mallory Stuchin, a native Manhattanite, is a freelance food and health writer. She studied Ashtanga Yoga in Mysore, India and has taught classes at PURE Yoga and New York University. She is also a Natural Foods Chef  and has worked for Mario Batali. Her writing has previously been featured in The New York Observer, Glamour and Maxim, as well as other publications in New York and Los Angeles.