I love guacamole and have been preparing it for years. Most times I vary the recipe to accommodate what is readily available at the market and in my herb garden. With avocado season in full swing my fruit bowl is full of ripening avocados at various stages of readiness to eat. Immediately, in three days or five. Today happens to be a fast day but I still want to use up my avocados. Today’s 5-2 challenge? Produce a fast day, low calorie version of guacamole. It has to be fresh, delicious and vibrant. Something I will love to eat.
A quick google search of low calorie guacamole yields some interesting variations. Guacamole prepared with all manner of fillers. Dried beans and peas and even zucchini. This one was a no brainer. I adore baby spring peas and always have a bag in the freezer. Not entirely convinced how this will work, taste or texture wise, I threw caution to the wind and had a go, substituting one avocado for a three quarter cup of blanched baby peas, and a little of the coriander for mint. Keeping to the low calorie brief, I opted for a chunkier textured guacamole with not a skerrick of sour cream, creme fraiche or yoghurt. The result? Moreish and delicious. A keeper.
So here it is, a recipe for a fast day guacamole. Completely dairy free. Retaining all the flavour and fresh green vibrancy of a regular guacamole. At just 52 calories per serve it is incredibly good for you. This version gained a definite thumbs up from my appreciative family who remained completely oblivious to the addition of the peas until the verdict had been delivered. And before I forget. Just one last piece of advice. Tortilla and corn chips might be the traditional and delicious accompaniment for guacamole but on a fast day it may be prudent to steer clear. Its easy when you consider the relative energy values. Half a cup of tortilla chips at 76 calories versus that of an equivalent quantity of crisp, sliced vegetables; carrot sticks at just 35 calories, red capsicum (pepper) a mere 16 calories and last but not least celery a very impressive 8 calories. When all is said and done if I’m preparing my guacamole with a healthy dose of spring peas, I’m also preparing a plate of crisp sliced vegetables as my accompaniment.
Fast Day Guacamole With Crushed Spring Peas
Guacamole is best eaten on the day it is made but can be stored in the refrigerator tightly covered with cling wrap. Lime or lemon juice will help keep the guacamole vibrant green and prevent discolouration.
Makes 2 cups
1 serve = 1/4 cup (52 calories per serve)
3/4 cup fresh or frozen baby green peas (90 calories)
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced into a small dice (22 calories)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander, finely chopped (2 calories)
1/2 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped (1 calorie)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (4 calories)
1 long green spring onion, thinly sliced (10 calories)
1 long red chilli, finely sliced (18 calories)
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed (4 calories)
1 ripe Hass avocado (250 calories)
juice and finely grated zest of 1 fresh lime (12 calories)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
BLANCH peas by placing them in boiling water for 2 minutes to soften. Drain peas and immediately shock with cold water to prevent further cooking. Drain well and using a food processor pulse to a coarse purée. Set aside.
POUND or process the chilli, garlic, coriander, mint, spring onion, tomato and cumin to a chunky paste. Add to the pea purée.
SLICE the avocado in half from stem to bottom. Remove the pit and use a spoon to scoop out the inside.
PLACE the avocado flesh in a medium sized bowl. Add lime juice and zest. Mash with a fork to the desired consistency. For a creamy texture use a food processor.
ADD mashed avocado to the spiced pea and herb mixture. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.