The weather was so gorgeous this past weekend, all of the restaurants in town had their front doors wide open with little bistro tables lining the street. I was sitting outside, enjoying a nice date-night dinner when a waitress at the restaurant next door pulled a cart alongside one of her tables. Being the Nosy Nelly that I am, I couldn’t help but notice a huge bowl of guacamole being prepared tableside. This got me thinking, is it possible to diet-up guacamole? Can something with so few ingredients stand up to substitutions?
I hit the supermarket the next morning on a mission to see if this would actually work. A friend of mine saw Bethenny Frankel from Real Housewives of New York City make a “Mock-a-mole” which substituted mashed green peas for some of the avocado. Let me tell you, if there’s anything I hate more than any of those horrendous Housewives shows, its peas! I’ll try just about anything, but peas score highest on my “I won’t budge, this just doesn’t taste good to me” list. Plus, peas have a pretty strong flavor and I felt they would change the taste and texture of the dip.
So, I opted for white beans instead. Goya sells “small white beans” in a can that have a very mild flavor and are much less grainy than the texture of some of the larger beans. I used one avocado and mashed it up along with the white beans, flavored with typical guacamole flair and voila my friends, guacamole!
So let me explain why guacamole needs a substitution anyway. You’re probably thinking, how can mashed-up fruit be all that bad for you? Avocados are actually very good for you. They’re high in “good” monounsaturated fats that help promote healthy cholesterol. However, fat is calories no matter how you slice it and avocados are very fatty. A medium-sized avocado packs on about 30 grams of fat which translates to over 300 calories. For someone trying to watch their overall calorie count, this is an awful lot of calories to invest in a very small amount of food. By swapping out some of the avocado for beans, you’re still getting the health-benefits from the avocado, but also cutting the fat and adding some fiber and protein to the dish.
Most importantly, this really does taste just like guacamole. I’m the first to admit when something is a nice substitution but doesn’t come close to the original. This is a home run. I like a chunky texture to my guacamole, so you can see some of the white beans mixed throughout. If you really wanted to hide the beans, you could run them through the food processor for a smoother texture.
I baked up some of my own cumin-dusted whole wheat chips to dunk. You can score the recipe for both the chips and the guac here.
* Get cooking. Let me know what you think. Love it? Hate it? I’m interested in hearing your feedback and suggestions.