Guacamole

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Since moving to Southern Ontario and really getting into the tourism and restaurant industry, I have celebrated this “holiday” with excitement, because I love Mexican food and drink of all kinds. I actually have no vested interest in the day other than to celebrate the cuisine.

Cinco de Mayo isn’t really a big deal in Mexico tbh. The anniversary signifies victory by Mexico over France in the Battle of Pueblo, which was more of a symbolic win vs a strategic war victory. Today in Mexico, May 5th is mainly celebrated in the state of Pueblo, where the triumph occurred.

However, the holiday is widely celebrated in the United States, especially in areas with large Mexican-American populations. Los Angelos, Chicago and Houston host large festivals honouring Mexican culture with parades, music, dancing and, of course, all of the delicious food, including tacos and mole. The tradition eventually made it’s way north of the border to Canada, mostly on the backs of American chain restaurants that featured Cinco de Mayo food and drink specials to get people out to try something new.

Today I will celebrate with a Margarita in one hand and a taco in the other (well, more likely a taco bowl and a fork but we shall see what the day brings), and no taco is complete without guacamole.

My guac recipe borders on traditional, but omits cilantro (I prefer it as a garnish vs throughout the dip) and the jalapenos, again because I prefer those as a garnish. I also add a wee bit of garlic to mine, as I find it really compliments the flavours well without overpowering them. This dip is also an opportunity for you to #snacksmarter by avoiding processed dips that almost always contain inflammatory refined vegetable and seed oils and unnecessary additives and preservatives.

IMG_2887

 

Guacamole

2 avocados, flesh removed and smashed with a fork

1 clove of garlic, finely diced or grated on a Microplane

2 tsp sea salt

Juice of 1 lime

6 grape tomatoes, cut in half and each half cut in 6

1/4 of a medium red onion, finely diced

Smash the avocados until a bit smooth and a bit chunky. Add garlic, 1 tsp of salt, and the juice from half the lime. Mix thoroughly with a fork. Add the grape tomatoes and the onion, making sure to separate the onion as you drop it in. Mix with a fork until tomato and onion can be seen throughout. Add the remaining lime juice to the top of the dip, and then sprinkle on the remaining salt. You can adjust the salt to taste, but I like my guac salty, so it makes me thirsty for a margarita 😉

Serve immediately with bell peppers or flax chips for dipping, on your favourite taco or bowl, as a spread on crackers or sandwiches, or as a topper for fish or chicken. This dip, unfortunately, due to the quick browning nature of avocados, does not keep well in the fridge. However, you can freeze for later use, and it actually works out just fine.

Avocados are high in healthy fats and are high in B Vitamins, Vitamin E and Omega-3 fats, and are a great addition to any food lifestyle you may be following. This dip is also another option to #snacksmarter.

 

 

Almond Flour Crackers

Part of my business is working as a fasting coach, helping clients with strategic planning to reduce calorie intake and reap all of the benefits that fasting offers. An essential part of any fasting strategy is ditching snacks because your goal is to a) not eat and b) leave ample time between meals to allow your body to process them completely. Unfortunately, during this time, when we are all required to stay at home, I have become a snacker. It’s mostly from boredom, and I usually could do so many things to get rid of the boredom, but right now, there are not a lot of options.

So I have switched gears. Rather than fighting my urge to snack, I am trying to snack healthier. Avoiding chips, candy, and processed crap has been saving my mental health and keeping the scale from climbing. During these times, we have to shift and adapt as best we can, and I know that avoiding snacking is not a thing that is going to happen right now. So this recipe will be a series of many that encourage you to #snacksmarter, because the best defence against any sickness is your health, and what you eat controls that almost entirely.

One of my snacking go-tos is crackers, and they are one of the most terrible food options when you buy store-bought. Manufactured versions include inflammatory seed oils, crappy substitutes for real food ingredients, and refined sugar, which not only makes no sense at all but also makes them very addictive. Enter the easiest, healthiest, and most delicious cracker recipe, Almond Flour Crackers. The best part about these bad boys is the options for flavouring…it’s kind of a choose your own adventure cracker. Add whatever you like. Your favourite fresh herbs, dried spices, cheese, make them vegan, whatever you want. For this batch, I used 1tbsp of chopped fresh rosemary, and some black garlic salt I got when I was in Oregon, and they were insane.

Snack.AlmondFlourCrackersBroken

Almond Flour Crackers

2 cups of almond flour

1 egg, beaten or 1 flax egg

2 tsp salt

1-2 tbsp of fresh herbs, dried spices, or cheese

Preheat oven to 375F. In a medium-sized bowl, combine almond flour, egg and salt. Mix with a fork and then your hands until mixture forms a ball. Place the ball in the centre of a large piece of parchment, and then cover with another piece. Press the dough down as much as you can with your hands, and then roll until thin and even, spreading it out to the corners and edges of the parchment. You should have a flat sheet now; the thinner you go, the crispier your crackers will be, but don’t go so thin that they just crumble.

Place on a cookie sheet and remove the top layer of parchment. If you want uniform-shaped crackers, score a grid the size of the cracker you want into the dough. For a more artisanal look, you can just break into random pieces after baking. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the top starts to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking. These will keep for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container, or you can freeze for 6 months.

These crackers are great with sesame seeds in them, everything bagel seasoning pressed into the top, parmesan cheese stirred in + granulated onion…whatever flavours you love, these crackers are an excellent vehicle for them. I use these crackers on my low carb cheese boards, and clients and students love them! Confession: my boyfriend and I ate the entire batch in one go because they were so good…the next batch I need to practise some restraint.

Snack.AlmondFlourCrackersCrumbs