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Posted Nov 20 2009 10:04pm
I love to snack and there is no better snack than guacamole! Guacamole can be used as a dip and is great as a salad dressing when mixed with a little extra-virgin olive oil. It is simple to make and is full of nutritious ingredients. My first food preparation assignment when I was becoming a nutrition educator involved making guacamole, and below is an excerpt from my write-up.

Avocados contain oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that studies have shown help lower cholesterol and help prevent breast and prostate cancer. Avocados are a good source of potassium which can help to guard against circulatory diseases, like high blood pressure, heart disease or stroke. Avocados also contain the highest amount of carotenoid lutein among all commonly eaten fruits, plus significant quantities of vitamin E. Carotenoids are fat-soluble, which means fat must be present to ensure that these bioactive carotenoids will be absorbed into the bloodstream. Just as nature intends, avocado delivers the whole heath-promoting package.

Chili peppers contain a substance called capsaicin which is being studied as an effective treatment for sensory nerve fiber disorders, including pain associated with arthritis, psoriasis and diabetic neuropathy. Capsaicin not only reduces pain, but its peppery heat also stimulates secretions that help clear mucus from your stuffed up nose or congested lungs. Red chili peppers have been shown to reduce blood cholesterol, triglyceride levels and platelet aggregation, while increasing the body's ability to dissolve fibrin, a substance integral to the formation of blood clots. Cultures where hot pepper is used liberally have a much lower rate of heart attacks, stroke and pulmonary embolisms. Chili peppers have a high content of beta-carotene, can kill bacteria in the stomach and stimulate the cells lining the stomach to secrete protective compounds.

  • 3 ripe, medium-size avocados
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 2 to 3 serrano, jalapeno or anaheim chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 ripe, medium-large tomato, cored and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 10 sprigs fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • sea salt to taste
  • brown rice tortilla chips (optional)
  • fresh veggies (optional)

    In a medium-size bowl, mix the chopped onion, chilies, tomato, garlic and cilantro.

    Using a fork or spoon, roughly mash the avocado while mixing in the other ingredients. Flavor with lime juice and sea salt. Set aside for a few minutes to let the flavors blend.

    I eat my guacamole with vegetables or homemade brown rice tortilla chips. I make these chips by slicing the tortillas into sections with a pizza cutter or knife. I then brush on extra-virgin olive oil and some sea salt and bake them, turning once, in a 400 degree oven/toaster oven for 6-8 minutes.

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