Friday, April 26, 2013

Raw Mango Fruit Tarts (Vegan, Gluten Free)

Have you guys met Em over at This Rawsome Vegan Life? I haven't either, but I always leave her blog drooling with a brain full of new ideas. These fruit tarts were inspired by her recent post Just the Bare Fruit. In an attempt to keep my sweet tooth in check, I try to only have raw desserts (I said try!). They're sweet enough to sooth my cravings, but are usually chock full of nutrients so that I feel satisfied after indulging, not reaching for another cookie. 

These tarts are so easy to make it's almost laughable, yet you'll leave your friends and family impressed, with a full serving of fruit and no sugar high. The mango is pureed with chia seeds to give it an almost custard-like consistency. The crust is nothing but fruit and a few nuts for texture. From there you can get as creative as you like, topping it with whatever strikes your fancy. Since I had strawberries, blackberries and shredded coconut on hand, that's what I used. But you can use whatever fruit you'd like. You could also garnish it with lemon or lime zest, chocolate shavings, goji berries....the list is endless. 

Apart from making a custard out of mango and chia seeds, another cool trick I figured out is using mason jar lids as mini spring form pans for the crust. Just press the fruit and nut mixture into the lid and place in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to set. Then pop up the bottom of the lid and peel off the crust. Viola! A perfectly circular base for your tarts!

Raw Mango Fruit Tarts

Makes 4 Tarts.

For the Mango Custard:
  • 2 Ripe Mangoes, peeled and pitted
  • 2 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
  • 1 inch Fresh Ginger, grated
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until a smooth consistency is reached, about one minute. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate. Clean and dry food processor for the next step.

For the Crust:
  • 1 Cup Dates, pitted
  • 1/2 Cup Dried Apricots or Figs
  • 1/2 Cup Raw Pecans, Cashews, Mac Nuts, or whatever other nut you fancy
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
Place all the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until it starts to create a sticky consistency and all the pieces are a uniform size. Press the mixture firmly into the mason jar lids (or whatever you decided to use), splitting the mixture evenly between the four lids, creating a smooth and even layer. You can either make a flat layer or press the mixture onto the sides to create more of a pie crust, both methods work. Place crusts into the refrigerator to set. 

While the custard and the crust are setting, prepare your garnishes. Slice any fruit, shave any chocolate, whatever you need to do. After about 10 minutes, or once you're done with your preparations, pull the crusts from the refrigerator and pop them out from the mason jars. Next, take out the mango custard and spoon it onto the crusts, splitting it evenly between the four crusts. Finally, garnish your tarts however you like. Take a step back, admire your beautiful creation. Serve and consume with a smile.

Do you guys have any fun plans for the weekend?
It's supposed to be warm and sunny here. I'm psyched!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (Vegan, Gluten Free)

Growing up I can hardly remember a time when ice cream wasn't present in my parents' house. There were always at least two cartons of ice cream in the freezer and we all knew the flavor with nuts was for Dad; whether it was Pistachio, Rocky Road or Butter Pecan. If it contained nuts, it might as well have Property of Dad stamped across the top. Mom would take turns getting us kids our favorite flavors. Mint Chocolate Chip for Dan. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough for me. Anything with caramel for Sherie. Occasionally she'd get some Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup frozen yogurt for herself. Now when I say we had ice cream just about every night I don't mean we each had a scoop, we each had a bowl...with multiple scoops. Delicious? Of course. Healthy? Not so much.

Over the years as I've become more health-conscience and less able to digest dairy, I've sought out ways to appease my cravings for something sweet, cold and creamy. Banana ice cream has come to my rescue time and time again. It's fast, it's easy, it's cheaper than regular ice cream, healthier than regular ice cream and most importantly it tastes great! 

This particular flavor is one of my favorites. Inspired by the Ben & Jerry's flavor Oatmeal Cookie Chunk (which fortunately I can no longer find in stores), it combines the tasty, comforting flavors of cinnamon and chocolate. Plus, it's a bowl full of fruit that looks like cookie dough!

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
  • 2 Frozen Bananas
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Almond Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips (Vegans, make sure they're dairy-free)
Makes 2 scoops.
In a food processor, blend bananas, almond milk, cinnamon and vanilla extract until the bananas have become smooth and creamy (you may need to scrape down the sides occasionally). Once, the mixture has reached the consistency of soft serve ice cream, add the chocolate chips and pulse a few times to break up the chips (this is optional, feel free to just stir in the chips, I like to have them shaved down into smaller chunks). At this point you can either enjoy the ice cream as soft serve or place in the freezer for about a half hour or so if you prefer a firmer texture. Whatever you decide, be sure to savor this guilt-free treat with a smile on your face.

Do you have an ice cream habit you're tricking to kick? 
If you've had success, share your secrets!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Strawberry Ginger Green Smoothie (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Today I woke up feeling very defeated. Tired, shaky, foggy, sad and on the verge of sickness. But it's my goal today to stay positive. We can't control everything that happens in our lives, but we can control our reactions. Step one in operation stay positive: focus on things that I am grateful for... my wonderful roommate, an awesome home, new friends, a job I enjoy with friendly co-workers, that it's sunny outside today and for coconut milk lattes from this place:

I am also so incredibly grateful  for the fact that Molly's brother had a small food processor and Magic Bullet that he never uses and said I could keep! I've been whining and complaining about my blender/ food processor-less life for a couple weeks now and these two appliances will be perfect to help me get by until I can afford a Vitamix. Thank you Spencer!

Another wonderful surprise yesterday was discovering I had $150 in my Paypal account left over from my Etsy days! Plus, Beanilla is having a sale on Madagascar vanilla beans 25 for $25! So I used money from my Paypal account to buy the beans so that I can make more vanilla extract since I'm running low! 

*Sigh* Feeling better already :-) Now, onto the smoothie!

Step two of operation stay positive was to make a smoothie. Smoothies are one of my happy foods and I loaded this one with Vitamin C and antioxidants to hopefully kick this oncoming cold in the butt. I also love drinking anything ginger when I'm feeling under the weather. Ginger has been used medicinally for centuries. It helps to settle upset stomachs, it's loaded with essential vitamins and minerals and the spiciness helps clear sinuses and relieve colds. This smoothie doesn't have the most appealing color, but it tastes great!

Strawberry Ginger Green Smoothie
  • 1 Heaping Cup Strawberries
  • 2 Mandarin Oranges or 1 Large Orange*
  • 2 Handfuls of Spinach
  • 1/2 Cup Almond Milk
  • Approximately 1 inch of Ginger Root, peeled
*If you don't have a high powered blender, the oranges may not fully blend, if that texture bothers you, you can add 1/2 cup orange juice instead and omit the almond milk.

Place all the ingredients in the blender. I find leafy greens are blended more thoroughly when closest to the blades, so in most blenders add the spinach first, in Magic Bullets add it last. Also, if you are using a Magic Bullet you may need to add half the ingredients, blend and then add the rest and blend again to make it all fit. 

How do you make yourself feel better when you're having "one of those days"?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Barbecue Black Bean Sweet Potato Quesadillas (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

It all started last week. Molly and I were talking with our friend Chris and somehow we got on the subject of eating black beans, sweet potatoes and barbecue sauce together. Chris thought it was just about the most disgusting combination imaginable; Molly and I were practically drooling talking about it. There was only one way to get Chris to believe us: We had to make him some Barbecue Black Bean Sweet Potato Quesadillas. So Friday night, we did just that.

But before I get to that, LOOK AT THIS:

No, this is not a duplicate picture or a repeat from this post. This is fresh snow that was not here when I went to bed last night. And it's still coming down hard. Will it ever end? 

On a happier note, I discovered another great vegan bagel topping; a thin layer of mashed or pureed sweet potato. You're probably thinking you're topping a carb with a carb? And to that I say, I still haven't received my first paycheck so I eat free food that we already have at the house whatever strange combination that may be. Besides, you put a banana on your toast or in a sandwich don't you? *sticks tongue out immaturely* 

*Ahem* Moving on.

Back to the quesadillas...So Friday night Molly and I went over Chris's house and made him this delicious meal. And you know what? He likes it, hey Mikey! (old Life cereal commercial, anyone?) And how could you not love this spicy, sweet, smokey flavor combination?

This meal is easy, simple, cheap, filling, tasty and loaded with nutritious ingredients like sweet potatoes, black beans, onions, cayenne pepper and cinnamon (yes, spices are good for you!). For an added nutritional boost, mix in your favorite leafy green. Another reason this meal is great? If you are dining in the company of people with different dietary preferences, it's easy to customize to their needs while still all enjoying the same meal.

Barbecue Black Bean Sweet Potato Quesadillas
Recipe by Molly
  • 1 Large Sweet Potato
  • 1 Can of Black Beans
  • 1/2 Cup of Diced Onion 
  • 8 Tortillas* 
  • Colby Jack Cheese, optional** 
  • 1/4-1/3 Cup Barbeque Sauce***
  • Pinch of Cumin
  • Pinch of Cinnamon
  • Sea Salt, Fresh Ground Pepper and Cayenne Pepper to taste
  • Coconut Oil for Cooking****

*Use Corn Tortillas for Gluten-Free. Vegans make sure they're free from any animal products or just make these.
**Vegans either omit cheese, substitute your favorite vegan cheese or sprinkle some nutritional yeast.
***Read the labels on the barbeque sauce, to make sure they are vegan and gluten-free, but also be careful because many list high-fructose corn syrup and modified corn starch as some of their first ingredients.
****It is not necessary to cook specifically with coconut oil, I just prefer to do so because it has a higher heat tolerance, therefore it is better for you because it is less likely to turn into a trans fat during the cooking process.

Makes 3 Quesadillas (12 wedges).
Bake the sweet potato for 35-45 minutes at 425 degrees or until soft. Scoop the potato out from it's skin and mash it with a fork. Mix in diced onion, cumin, cinnamon, sea salt, pepper and cayenne pepper, set aside. (To save time, prepare the sweet potato mixture ahead of time). Drain and rinse black beans. Heat skillet over medium-high heat, melt oil. Take tortillas, on one smear the sweet potato mixture, sprinkle with beans (and cheese or nutritional yeast). Take another tortilla and generously spread the barbeque sauce across it, covering the whole side. Flip the side with the barbeque sauce onto the side with the sweet potato. Place in skillet and flatten with spatula to ensure it sticks together. Cook for approximately 3-5 minutes on each side, or until tortilla is toasted and the inside warmed. Repeat this process to make the other two quesadillas. Serve with sliced avocado, guacamole, or cashew sour cream. As always, enjoy!

What are your favorite strange, although tasty food combinations?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Let's Paint the Town [Green]

First of all, allow me to apologize in advance. This is a rather long post, but it's mostly pictures, so that's not so bad, right? Also, there is no tasty recipe at the end (but there are pictures! lots of pictures!). 
Let me explain. 
In case you were unaware, today is Earth Day! And I thought it would only be appropriate to talk about this planet of ours.

Big Sur, California
 It is not my goal today to shove my beliefs in other people's faces. Nor is it my goal to spew out a bunch of facts. I care about this planet and I'm continually learning how to take better care of it. I just want to share that in celebration of today.

Bamboo Forest, Maui
I eat the way I do for many different reasons and one of those reasons is because it is so much better for the earth. When people think about vegans and vegetarians they tend to focus on the animal rights aspect of it, which is very important, but not the whole story. 

Kangamangus Highway, New Hampshire
The consumption of animal products has a major global effect. Many of the world's crops, approximately one-third, are fed to livestock. It takes thousands of gallons of water to produce just one pound of meat. Not to mention the fuel used to transfer livestock from ranch to slaughterhouse to packaging plant to distributor to grocery store causes major pollution.

Kohala Mountain Road, Island of Hawaii
 Okay, so maybe I'll spout off a couple facts, but that's it, I promise. If you are interested in learning more about the global effects of meat consumption, check out this post by Sarah from The Sweet Life. She explains it much more eloquently than I ever could. You can also check out this article by The New York Times, Rethinking the Meat Guzzler, it's a few years old, but still very informative.

Seriously, guys, look at the world around you! Is it not gorgeous?

Haleakala Summit -Maui
And breath-taking?

Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii
I want to leave behind a beautiful world for my children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren to experience and discover.

Elephant Seals -California Coast
I want to hear them laugh at the funny creatures we share this space with.

Manta Ray -Island of Hawaii
I want them to be able to explore the ocean and it's inhabitants the way I have. People often ask me if I'm scared of sharks when I go diving, but the sad truth is that out of the countless times I have gone diving, I have only seen one shark. Some people may view this as a good thing, but I assure you it is not. To put it simply, we will all be in trouble if sharks disappear from our oceans. They are a vital part of our ecosystem and are a huge factor in keeping our oceans clean and balanced. For more information, check out the Shark Savers website.

Hawiian Monk Seal (critically endangered) -Island of Hawaii
There are many species that I would love for my children to be able to see and experience in person, not read about in books because they have disappeared.

Aerial View of Utah
Our world is so diverse. I'd like it to stay that way.

Pololu Valley Lookout -Island of Hawaii
I don't want our trees to disappear or our oceans to die.

Jamestown, Rhode Island
I want to pay attention to the little details and the subtle beauty in nature. 

Island of Hawaii
I just want to remember to not take this world for granted. To remember that it is up to us to take care of it. That unless we do something, the world as we know it will no longer exist.

Mahana Beach- Island of Hawaii
Thank you for allowing me to rant today today (believe me, it could have been oh, so much worse, just ask my family). Now I want to hear from you. 
What are some ways you help protect and conserve our planet?
What are you passionate about when it comes to being green?

I hope you are all having a wonderful Monday.
Happy Earth Day!

*These are my personal photos. I would love it if you didn't take them and use them as your own. Thanks.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Vegan Banana Cake

Bread? Cake? Bread? Cake?
This was the debate going on in my head as I tried to determine what to call this banana deliciousness. I originally came up with this recipe while I was living in Maui. My friend, who was vegan, loved banana bread, but as it's traditionally made with eggs and butter he was unable to partake of it. Being the oh-so-compassionate *read always up for a baking challenge* person that I am, I took it upon myself to create a tasty vegan banana bread. I believe I have done just that (and I think the whole loaves that were consumed within the day they were made stand as proof).

Fast forward to this morning. 
I had not made this recipe since I left Maui in February. Now for those of you a little rusty on your geography, Colorado Springs is slightly higher in altitude than Wailuku, HI where this recipe was born. And for those of you unfamiliar with baking, altitude affects baking results. So as you can imagine, I was slightly nervous that this banana bread would be a giant flop.

As you can tell from the pictures, it came out just fine, if not just more cake-like. However, I am unsure if the cakiness (yes, I've decided that's a word) is more of a result of the altitude or the fact that neither Molly or I have a loaf pan anymore so I had to use two cake pans to bake it.

 It would have been totally awesome if i had a food processor and some cashews. Then I could have made some cashew cream to smear in between and on top of the cakes to make a layered banana cake. That would have been really tasty. But I'll just throw that idea out there for you guys to try and hopefully sometime in the near future I'll be able to make it too. 

Okay, I'm done rambling now. On to the recipe! 

Vegan Banana Cake
  • 3 Ripe Bananas
  • 1/3 Cup Coconut Oil, melted or at least softened
  • 2/3 Cup Pure Cane Sugar (Date, Palm or Coconut are fine, too)
  • 1/3 Cup Almond Milk (2/3 Cup for muffins or cupcakes)
  • 1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Flax Egg (1 Tablespoon Ground Flax seed dissolved in water)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
Makes 1 loaf or 2 6-inch cakes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flax seed with 3 tablespoons water and set aside. In a medium bowl, use a fork to mash the bananas with coconut oil and sugar, mix well. Add flaxseeds, vanilla and milk, mix well. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add the dry mix to the wet and stir until just combined, do not over mix. Pour batter into loaf or cake pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and removed cleanly. 

One thing is for sure, this recipe has been tested at various altitudes and always comes out dense and moist. Whether you decided to make it a bread or a cake, I will leave that up to you.

So what would you call this recipe? Cake or Bread?
Have you had much experience baking at different altitudes?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Garlic Whole Wheat Flatbread (Vegan)

I'm just going to be honest and come out and say it. This morning for breakfast I had an everything bagel with guacamole. Now, before you start judging me, allow me to explain. Last night at work we had leftover bagels that we were able to take home. Being as poor as I am, I'm not about to pass up free food, especially everything bagels- score! What I didn't consider is that we don't have any butter or cream cheese in our house; I rarely consume either of those products. We do have almond butter, but I thought that would be weird. I used to just toast bagels and eat them plain so that's what I was prepared to do until Molly suggested dipping the bagel in some guac. My ears perked up- any excuse to eat more avocados! And you know what? It wasn't half bad! I'd eat it again actually. Plus, topping my bagel with fruits and vegetables is always going to be a healthier option than dairy products loaded with saturated fat and growth-hormones. So the moral of the story is sometimes I eat weird combinations of foods and that's okay and sometimes it's even better that way. 

After that strange, but oh-so-tasty breakfast combination, I thought I should make something a little more...traditional. And what combination is more traditional than garlic and bread? Now for this flatbread recipe you have a few options when it comes to the garlic portion. In my opinion, if you have a little extra time or if you are able to do it ahead of time, you should totally roast the garlic. This will give it a mild, caramelized flavor that won't reek as much havoc on your breath. To roast garlic, all you do is slice the top off of the garlic bulb, just enough to expose the cloves inside. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil, rub in the oil well, wrap it loosely in aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees for approximately 45 minutes or until the garlic  is soft. Then you just squeeze the garlic out of the peel and viola! Delicious roasted garlic!

The other options are simpler and will save you some time- just used garlic powder or minced garlic. Whatever you have to do to get that garlic flavor in there! You won't regret it.

This flatbread is great to just have on hand. Whenever I buy flatbread at the store it never goes to waste, I always find ways to use it- usually wishing I had more. You could eat it with your favorite curry dish, use it as a wrap for a sandwich, as crust for pizza or on the side of a salad such as this Curried Lentil Salad.

Garlic Whole Wheat Flatbread
  • 1 Package Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 Cup Warm Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Agave, Pure Maple Syrup or Honey (for non-vegans)
  • 1/3 Cup Almond Milk
  • 2 Teaspoons Sea Salt
  • Garlic (1 roasted bulb, 2 teaspoons garlic powder or 3 garlic cloves, minced)
  • 3 1/2-4 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • Oil for cooking
Makes 12 Flatbreads.
Dissolve yeast in warm water and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Mix in the sweetener, almond milk, sea salt and garlic. Add in flour a little at a time as needed. If you find that the dough is too dry just add a teaspoon of water at a time until the dough is soft again. Turn dough out on to a clean, lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until smooth. Return dough to bowl and cover with a damp towel and allow to rise for one hour. An hour later the dough should have about doubled in size, punch it down and roll the dough into 2 inch balls. Place on a baking sheet, cover with towel and allow to rise for 30 more minutes. Preheat pan to high heat and lightly oil. Roll each ball into a thin circle and one at a time place them in the heated pan. Cook 1-2 minutes until the bread begins to bubble, flip bread and cook another 1-2 minutes. Repeat until all the dough has been cooked. Serve and enjoy!

*You can also mix in onion powder, rosemary, coriander, cumin...get creative!

What do you usually top your bagels with?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Banana Nut Breakfast Cookies (Vegan, Gluten Free)

This morning I woke up to this...

...and this...

No one warned me before I moved out to Colorado that springtime in the Rockies is unlike springtime anywhere else. Apparently, it is the coldest, snowiest, cloudiest season and if you know me, you know I do not enjoy any of those things. I thought I was out-smarting Mother Nature by moving in here in April, but clearly the joke was on me. 

I'm trying to maintain a good attitude about it and tell myself it'll feel like spring soon and that we need the precipitation since we're in a drought, but when that didn't work I took to the kitchen. Homemade cookies are one of my ultimate comfort foods and when those cookies are actually good for you, so much so it's acceptable to eat them for breakfast... double win!

Don't you love the old school blue mason jars Molly found in her grandfather's basement?

These cookies are full of nothing but wholesome ingredients like old-fashioned oats, ground flax seed, almond butter, bananas and a hint of honey. They're soft and chewy and I definitely did not burn my mouth taste-testing one straight out of the oven. They make the perfect grab-and-go breakfast on those cold mornings like today when you hit the snooze button a few times in an attempt to avoid the chilly air. Or bring them on a hike or on a picnic or to the beach. They're filling and satisfying without weighing you down. They're loaded with protein, fiber, potassium, Vitamin E and healthy fats like Omega-3. Plus, they're cookies for breakfast, how can you complain about that? 

*Since we just moved our pantry is still a little sad and empty so I used what nuts and nut butter I had on hand, feel free to substitute walnuts (which I would have preferred to use) or other nuts in place of the almonds and feel free to substitute peanut butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter, mac nut butter....or whatever you fancy. You will notice very quickly that both Molly and I love almonds.

Banana Nut Breakfast Cookies

  • 1 Ripe Banana
  • 1/4 Cup Almond Milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 1/4 Cup Almond Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey (Vegans substitute Pure Maple Syrup, Agave or Brown Rice Syrup)
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Ground Flax Seed
  • 1/4 Cup Sliced or Chopped Almonds
  • 1 Cup Old Fashioned Oats (make sure they're Gluten Free for those with sensitivities)
Makes 12 cookies.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium size bowl, mash banana and add the almond milk, almond butter, honey, vanilla, cinnamon and flax seed. Mix thoroughly. Add the almonds and oats, mix to combine. Batter with be slightly loose and wet. Spoon batter onto a silpat, wax paper or greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-15 until slightly toasted looking and slightly firm to the touch, be careful not to over bake or they may become crumbly. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and dig in!

*Feel free to mix in other fun ingredients as well such as shredded coconut, dark chocolate chunks or dried fruit.

Are you one of the lucky people experiencing spring weather? 
Tell me about it so that I may live vicariously through you.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Holy Guacamole! (Vegan, Gluten Free)

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love guacamole or just avocados in general. I have been known to order a specific item off a menu merely because it contained avocado. So when Molly and I were invited to dinner last night, we both knew exactly what to bring- any excuse to make guacamole! My name is Joy and I have a problem; I am addicted to avocados.

Many people tend to avoid avocados due to their their high fat content (or green color *ahem Mom*), but this tasty fruit is loaded with healthy unsaturated fats that our bodies needs to thrive. Did you know that our brains are made up of approximately two-thirds fat? Plus, eating healthy fats can help lower cholesterol, maintain a healthy immune system, lower the risk of diabetes, fight against heart disease and stroke, promote cell development and vitamin absorption.[source]  Avocados also contain Vitamin C, Vitamin E, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, Vitamin B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, fiber and protein.[source] So what are you waiting for? Let's make some guacamole!

Holy Guacamole
  • 4 Ripe Avocados
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, about 1 Teaspoon, Minced
  • 1 Medium Tomato, Diced
  • Approximately 1/2 Cup of Diced Red Onion
  • 1 Thai Chili Pepper (or Serrano), seeded and minced
  • Juice of half 1 Lime
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste
Makes 6-8 servings.
In a medium size bowl, mash avocados with garlic using either a potato masher or fork. Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Taste test and add more salt and pepper as needed. Enjoy! Make sure to share it with your friends so you don't eat it all.

A few tips:
  • To cut avocados, slice into it length-wise until you hit the pit, then continue running the knife around the avocado against the pit. Twist the two halves apart. Hit the pit with the blade of your knife and twist, the pit should pop right out. Use a spoon to scoop out the fruit. 
  • If you prefer chunkier guacamole like I do, mash the avocado just enough to break it up, it'll get mashed more as you mix in the other ingredients.
  • Be sure to make guacamole as close to serving time as possible so it looks and tastes fresh.
  • Save one of the avocados pits, if you happen to have leftovers and need to store it, place the pit in with the guacamole and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic as close to the guacamole as possible to create a seal. These tricks in addition to the lime will help avoid discoloration. 
  • For an extra health boost and more green color, mix in 1/2 Cup of finely chopped spinach.
  • Guacamole isn't just for chips. I also enjoy dipping carrots into it for a healthier option, using it as a spread for sandwiches and wraps and of course as a topping for tacos or burritos. 
Planning a Mexican night? You may want to check out my recipes for Whole Wheat Tortillas and Refried Beans Minus the Refry

What's your favorite way to eat avocados?