QUINN ON NUTRITION: Make some great guacamole
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QUINN ON NUTRITION

QUINN ON NUTRITION: Make some great guacamole

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Avocados

Some people are funny about sharing recipes. And I get that, especially if it's something special. So l was extremely pleased when I asked Gabe Georis from Pescadero restaurant in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, if I could share his yummy guacamole recipe with my readers. He said, "Go ahead and share it. Our pleasure."

Yay! But first you have to hear a little nutrition lesson about some of the ingredients in Gabe's guacamole.

  • Avocados: One-third of a medium avocado (what is considered a serving size) contains 80 calories, most of which comes from fat. Hold on, though. The major type of fat in avocados is monounsaturated fat, the same healthful type found in olive oil. And these funny fruits with the big seed are also loaded with dietary fiber, potassium, copper and B vitamins that help our bodies convert food into energy. 
  • Chili peppers: If you can stand the heat, these small but mighty peppers are loaded with good-for-you nutrients including dietary fiber and vitamins A and C. Even though hot peppers may inflame your mouth, they contain antioxidant substances that can actually quell harmful inflammation that can occur inside our bodies.

Lastly, according to the Chile Pepper Institute at New Mexico State University, the chemical (capsaicin) that makes chili peppers hot is the same substance used in some topical medications to relieve muscle aches and pains. Capsaicin is also being studied for its role in cancer prevention and weight loss. 

  • Tomatoes: Besides being a major player in many cultural cuisines, including Mexican and Mediterranean eating styles, tomatoes are nutrient-dense superstars. One medium tomato contains just 25 calories and less than 5 grams of carbohydrate. That qualifies it as a "free" food in diabetes exchange lists. Tomatoes are also rich in antioxidants vitamin C and beta carotene as well as the red pigment lycopene, which may help reduce the risk for prostate cancer. 

Gabe's guacamole

  • 1 avocado, cut in half
  • 1/3 jalapeno or serrano chili, diced, no seeds
  • 1/2 small tomato, diced
  • Diced onion (about equal to the amount of tomato)
  • Small handful of cilantro leaves
  • Juice from half a lime
  • Pinch each of salt, black pepper and ground cumin

"There is only one small detail that I think makes the difference," Gabe adds, "and that's the addition of a pinch of ground cumin. Adjust the recipe for your taste. And I prefer to mash the avocado, still leaving chunks. Some prefer it more ground, but I was taught that in good guacamole you can see two shades of green from the avocado. If it's too mashed, it becomes one shade of green."

Thanks, Gabe!

Barbara Quinn is a registered dietitian. Email her at barbara@quinnessentialnutrition.com.

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