Chunky Guacamole

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It’s a tragic day at the Rowland household. Our eldest decided to taste the guacamole. She was hungry and desperate and tired of waiting for her mother to finish taking photos. She went for it.

“Yum!” she said, “I like guacamole!”

My heart sank. My husband and I have enjoyed exclusive access to the the guacamole bowl for several years now. Apparently, those days are over.

She’s lucky I love her so much. Sigh.[/donotprint]

Chunky Guacamole Recipe

I insist, the avocado must be Haas, preferably ripe but not too ripe. And the lime juice must be from a real lime. I’m a big fan of convience, but quality fresh ingredients make a big difference in this recipe. 

2 ripe Haas avocados
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 – 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice from one half of a lime

Slice the avocados in half. Discard the pits and remove the flesh from the skins. Place the flesh in a small mixing bowl. Add the garlic, cumin, salt, cilantro,and lime juice. Mash it all up with a fork. Serve with tortilla chips.

Store any leftovers (!?) in an airtight container in the refrigerator placing a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the guacamole in order to prevent browning.

Yield: 1 1/4 cups
Prep time: 10 minutes

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Smashed Avocado on Toast

[donotprint]My New Year’s resolution is to prepare devestatingly simple healthy snacks whenever possible.

Seriously, snacks featuring toast as a base are relatively unexplored territory for me. And I love it because it has that breakfasty connotation. And we all love breakfast anytime of day. It has been scientifically proven.

My kids wouldn’t eat this. Would yours? I used to feed them avocado often when they were small. But these days I get to keep it all for myself which is nice because I’m attempting the vegan before 6 thing a la Mark Bittman. I’ve surrounded myself with fresh fruit and bags of frozen leafy greens. We’ll see what happens.

Also, I need to mention my new favorite beverage: Lemon Honey Tea. Does everyone else in the world already know about this? You heat up some water and add a dollop of honey and a squeeze of lemon. I feel like maybe I’ve seen my friend Debbie drink hot water with lemon. Regardless, it goes a long way toward curing my family’s winter-time wheezing. I just love it. My kids really enjoy it with apple cider vinegar instead of the lemon.

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Smashed Avocado on Toast Recipe

1/2 of a ripe Haas avocado
1 teaspoon lime OR lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch salt

Remove the pit from the avocado and scoop the pulp out into a small bowl. Add the lime juice, cumin, and salt and smash it all together with a fork. Spread on toast. Serve immediately.

Yield: about 1/3 cup of smashed avocado, enough for one or two pieces of toast
Prep-time: 5 minutes

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Green Monster Smoothie

We had a bit of a situation developing at my house this morning. A ripe avocado was on its way out. I just can’t stand to see an avocado go to waste. In addition, some bananas were looking like no one was going to eat them.  All this amounted to the perfect excuse for some experimentation. Thus the Green Monster Smoothie was born.

According to Lori at Fake Food Free, bananas and avocados are a popular snack combination in Brazil. And Dani Spies whips up some mighty fine lookin’ baby food using the same ingredients.

My preschooler happily took a taste, told me it was perfect, and then didn’t touch the rest of it. Is she actually trying to be polite and make me happy???!? This makes no sense at all.

I can see this being more of a hit with the toddler-set. I enjoyed it, but it is super rich and all I could put away was about a cup. So, unless you have a crowd, you might want to halve the recipe.

 

1 ripe Haas avocado, pitted
1 ripe banana, peeled
1 1/2 cup milk (or more if you’d prefer it thinner)
1 tablespoon sugar
Small pinch salt

Place the avocado, banana, milk, sugar, and salt in a blender and process until smooth. Serve.

Note: Cut up the banana and freeze it beforehand for a snack on a hot day like Lori did.

Yield: 2 1/2 cups
Prep time: 10 minutes

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Avocado and Tomato Face

The cuteness came out of nowhere. I just wanted an unadulterated shot of avocado. But it turned into a healthy snack with some serious visual appeal. The kids ate it and enjoyed it, which was sort of big deal. Then I ate four more. Num!

The recipe below is approximate as everything depends on how thick you slice the bread, how big the bread is, how thick you slice the avocado, and so on. I’m not going to get into that level of detail. Eyeball it. I’m sure you’ll be fine.

10-12 slices of bread (preferably from a  french baguette)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 ripe avocado (preferably Haas)
3 grape tomatoes, sliced
Fresh cilantro
One wedge of lime

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

For the crostini: Prepare the bread by laying the slices out onto a baking sheet. Brush a bit of olive oil onto each slice with a pastry brush. Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are golden and bread is crisp. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Gently wash a small handful of cilantro. Remove the stems and set the nicer looking leaves on a paper towel to air dry. Wash the tomatoes and slice them. Set aside. Slice the avocado just prior to assembly. If it the slices sit too long they may brown.

For assembly: Place an avocado slice on the lower half of a crostini. Place two or three of the cilantro leaves on the top half. Set two tomato slices on top of the cilantro for the eyes. Squeeze a few drops lime juice over the top of the avocado and tomato. Serve immediately.

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Guacamole

Whenever I eat guacamole, I feel like it might be okay to become a vegan someday.  The creamy goodness an avocado imparts is right up there with cheese and butter in my book. 

For more “authentic” guacamole, omit the beans, chop the cilantro, and mash all the ingredients up with a fork.

 

1 small clove garlic, peeled and chopped fine
1/3 cup canned cannelli beans, rinsed (optional)
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 ripe hass avocados, pits and skins removed

Place the garlic, beans, lime juice, cilantro, cumin, salt, and avocados in the bowl of a food processor. Cover and process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Serve with tortilla or pita chips. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Press a piece of plastic wrap on top of the dip to keep browning to a minimum.

Yield: 1 1/4 cups
Prep-time: 10 minutes

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Avocado Cookies

[donotprint]Cookies are a personal battle when it comes to making “healthy” snacks. When I first started investigating and experimenting, I tasted a lot of low-fat, low-sugar baked goods that were cookies in name but definitely not in spirit. Therefore, my official policy is that cookies should not be tinkered with and be allowed to do what they do best: deliver a luscious combination of fat and sugar.

I am nonetheless tempted to experiment from time to time. And simply because I’ve never eaten an avocado cookie before and avocados are so high in good-for-you fat, I’ve come up with this “healthier” cookie that I feel a little bit better about putting in my kid’s lunch box. Its taste is no where near a Toll House. But I feel like they are probably as close as I am going to get to a “healthy” cookie that my family still enjoys eating.[/donotprint]DSC01810

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt

1 ripe haas avocado, pitted and skin removed
½ cup butter (1 stick), softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 large egg
½ cup low-fat milk
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, oats, coconut, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Mash avocado with a fork in a large bowl until there are no large chunks remaining. Add butter and mix very well with avocado. Add sugars and stir well. Add egg and stir. Finally add the milk and stir until incorporated. Add the flour mixture and stir until combined. Fold in chocolate chips (if desired).

Drop heaping tablespoons full of batter onto ungreased baking sheets or jelly roll pans two inches apart. Bake for 15-17 minutes near the center of the oven, rotating once if necessary. Once the edges of the cookies start to brown, remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack with spatula. Allow to cool slightly and serve.

These cookies will soften considerably if left out overnight. They are best stored in the freezer in an airtight container and thawed on demand.

Makes 38 cookies.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes

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