Dr. Lani Nykilchuk
Naturopathic Family Doctor
Here is a recipe that incorporates veggies into a much-loved dip/condiment- guacamole. It is surprising how easy it is to sneak veggies into foods and no one else is the wiser. This is a great recipe for those picky eaters who you just can’t seem to get hooked on veggies.
The other highlight of this recipe is that this is a great time to be loading up on nutrient dense foods since along with Spring comes fresher ingredients and also for many of us seasonal allergies. There are also a few key foods that are best avoided if allergies are running you down. These include mucous forming foods (such as dairy and bananas), processed/refined foods (packaged foods, white flour and sugar) and any known food allergies or sensitivities. These foods increase mucous production and can increase inflammation in the body, which in turn aggravates allergy symptoms.
This guacamole recipe can act as a substitute to some of the above-mentioned foods and also has the bonus of containing ingredients that can decrease inflammation and foods rich in nutrients that can calm down allergies. Here’s how:
Guacamole can act as a nice substitute to dairy since it can be eaten as a snack (chips/veggies and dip) or as a condiment on any savory breakfast, lunch or dinner meal.
While you are avoiding banana’s avocados can meet your potassium needs. One avocado has the equivalent potassium to that found in 2.5 bananas.
Spinach and lemon/lime and onions are all good sources of Vitamin C, which helps stabilize and decrease the allergic reaction.
Red onions are rich in the nutrient quercetin, a bioflavanoid that acts as a natural anti-histamine.
Using flaxseed oil lends some anti-inflammatory omega-3’s to this recipe.
The aim in a day is to obtain 6-8 servings of vegetables so adding in extra veggies wherever possible will bring you closer to your daily quota. See if you can think of another place you can add veggies into your daily meals.
Sneaky Veggie Guacamole
1 cup spinach
1 large handful cilantro- remove large steams but keep little ones
1 large avocado
1 1/2 Tbsp flaxseed oil or olive oil
1 lemon or lime- zest and juice
1/4 red onion finely chopped
sea salt and pepper to taste
Cut a small portion of cilantro leaves ( I usually cut from the tops where the leaves are full) and set this aside.
Combine spinach, rest of the cilantro, 1 avocado, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 lime and zest and salt/pepper in bowl and using a hand blender, blend until smooth and creamy. Cube the other avocado and add it along with remaining oil (1/2 Tbsp), the rest of the lime and zest, chopped red onions and cilantro. Mix with spoon and serve.
By blending half the recipe you can sneak in some veggies - spinach being a great option since it is quite inert in flavour and blends down very well, but feel free to experiment with others (I would suggest other greens like arugula, dandelion or maybe even steamed and cooled broccoli/kale). If you like a really smooth dip you can blend everything together but reserving some of the avocado gives this dip a nice balance of smooth and chunky textures.
Double the recipe if you are making this as a dip for a party.
Serve with non-GMO corn chips or bean chips.
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