Rock that Guac

Move over, avocados! Swapping out some of this lush, rich fruit and swapping in other healthful ingredients can transform traditional guacamole into a nutritional powerhouse. Think beans, broccoli, or even yogurt, seasoned with a nice hint of fresh or dried herbs and/or spices.

Of course, you’ll want to keep the avocado as the central ingredient, since it is an excellent source of healthy monounsaturated fats. But the next time you’re feeling adventurous, go a little wild and try one of our variations on this classic green dip.

Before trying a variation, however, why not master a traditional guacamole? Simply combine 1 peeled, mashed ripe avocado with a little chopped onion, 1 or 2 tablespoons of fresh lime or lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. You can add a little extra lemon juice, salt, and/or pepper, depending on your personal preference. Then experiment with some of these unexpected add-ins:

Canned beans. (Beanamole) Besides requiring no pre-prep at all, canned white beans add fiber as well as protein, and they contain some iron. Rinse and drain 1/2 cup of canned white beans and place in the work bowl of a food processor. Purée for a few seconds. Add 1 large, ripe avocado (peeled, pitted, and cut into chunks), 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon fresh crumbled sage, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, and 2 tablespoons chopped white onion. Process until very smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Edamame. (Edamole) Also known as young soybeans, these fiber-rich beans are a good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and plant-based protein. In the work bowl of a food processor, combine 1/2 cup cooked, shelled edamame, 1 large, ripe avocado (peeled, pitted, and cut into chunks), 2 tablespoons chopped red onion, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley. Purée until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Broccoli. (Broccomole) A good source of vitamins A and C, this vegetable also has some iron and calcium. In the work bowl of a food processor, combine 1/2 cup chopped, cooked broccoli, 1 large, ripe avocado (peeled, pitted, and cut into chunks), 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons chopped white onion, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin. Purée until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Greek yogurt. (Greekamole) Higher in protein than other yogurt, Greek yogurt adds a pleasant tanginess to guacamole. In the work bowl of a food processor, combine 1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt, 1 large, ripe avocado (peeled, pitted, and cut into chunks), 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons minced white onion. Purée until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Guac guidelines
The good news is that guacamole can be eaten on any Phase of the South Beach Diet. Enjoy it as a dip or as a garnish for sandwiches or lettuce roll-ups, being sure keep your portion size to about 2 tablespoons. You can also serve it with raw cut-up vegetables, spoon a dab on top of a grilled turkey cheeseburger, or use to garnish an omelet. Once you’ve made your guacamole, spoon it into an airtight container and refrigerate it until you’re ready to serve. Guacamole is best eaten within several hours.

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