Alternative Ingredients for a Healthier Avocado Dip

Avocado dip, also known as guacamole, is a very popular dip for chips, breads, cheeses and vegetables. The main problem is it isn’t very healthy for you, because the avocado fruit is very high in fat. With a total fat content of 14.66 grams of fat, the avocado has the highest fat content of any commonly cultivated fruit. These fats are broken down into mostly saturated fats (2.13 grams) and monounsaturated fats (9.8 grams). The avocado is prized in many cultures as a tasty means of obtaining required fatty acids. Monounsaturated fats (MUFs) have been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. 

Typical Ingredients of Avocado Dip (Guacamole)

Guacamole is a traditional Mexican sauce or soup.  Literally translated it means “avocado soup or sauce.” Traditional Mexican guacamole is made with both chopped and pureed avocados. This makes the base for the soup or sauce. Other ingredients such as diced tomatoes, chopped onions and cilantro and jalapeno (hot/chili) peppers are then added. Lime or lemon juice is then added to keep the guacamole from turning brown, which is a natural tendency of the avocado fruit when exposed to the air. Americanized versions of avocado dip will normally remove the cilantro and hot peppers, since they are normally not pleasing to the American palate.

Here’s a look at some alternative ingredients you can use to make a healthier avocado dip:

Cilantro

Cilantro is also known as coriander. The essential oils that the leaf contains give it the distinctive aroma and taste. Most Americans don’t find the flavor or aroma pleasing, and thus don’t use it very often in cooking. However, cilantro has been shown to be a very effective chelation agent, especially if you’ve been exposed to high levels of mercury. The chemicals in cilantro bond to heavy metals and help remove them from your body. Cilantro has also been shown to increase beneficial cholesterol while lowering harmful cholesterol. It may also help relieve symptoms of arthritis. Cilantro has also been shown to have many other health benefits.

Garlic

Garlic is a great flavor enhancer in any form of cooking. From sauces to meat dishes and dips, adding garlic will help add a spicy punch to anything you cook. Garlic has also been shown to be very good for your heart by lowering blood pressure and reducing bad cholesterol levels. Garlic also helps fight parasite infestations, since most parasites are driven off by the odor your body gives off when you have a diet high in garlic. Garlic has a main ingredient known as allicin. This chemical has been shown to be a very effective agent at fighting fungi and bacteria, and as an antiviral. It also has excellent properties as an antioxidant.

Fat-Free Sour Cream

Sour cream will add volume to your avocado dip and allow you to use less avocado, thus decreasing the total fat content of the dip. This will make it healthier, while still retaining the wonderful avocado flavor we all love. By using fat-free sour cream, your avocado dip should have around 5 grams of total fat and only 1 gram of saturated fats.

Chayote Squash

Once ripened, the chayote squash is an excellent substitute for avocado. You will want to still use at least one real avocado when making the dip in order to still obtain the avocado flavor.

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