A traditional appetizer gets a creative and modern makeover with our Hempy Guacamole. This is perfect for almost any occasion you choose to enjoy it on, including (but not limited to) summer BBQs, weekend game nights, Taco Tuesdays, or easy weekday snacks. Filled with many of the key ingredients required for good guacamole (such as cilantro, onion, and lime juice), we decided to switch things up a bit and incorporate some hemp hearts. Rich in flavor, nutrition, and texture, hemp hearts are a great way to add 10 grams of protein and 10 grams of omegas to any recipe, including this guacamole. Plus, the nutty flavors and pleasant crunch from the hemp hearts juxtapose well with the avocado’s subtle flavor and creamy consistency.
While there are many things to love about this recipe, we are most excited about the use of avocados, as this is one of our favorite fruits to use in the kitchen. Not only is the rich, vibrant color a culinary favorite, but this fruit is naturally cholesterol and sodium-free, as well as a good source of vitamin E and healthy fats (such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids), which promote heart health. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, good fats are those that can lower bad cholesterol levels and are beneficial when consumed in moderation. The Dietary Guidelines also suggests that replacing some saturated fatty acids with unsaturated fatty acids within a diet may lower both total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) blood cholesterol levels. In fact, studies show that when saturated fat is replaced with unsaturated fat, as long as it remains within caloric needs, is more effective in reducing the risk of heart disease than when total fat intake was simply lowered (1). Research also supports the use of incorporating healthy fats (foods which contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats), as these are associated with improved blood lipid levels and increased heart health (2). You can also use avocado as a butter or fat substitute, as it may help reduce dietary intake of saturated fat, calories, sodium, and cholesterol. For more inspiration, check out some of our favorite recipes featuring avocado here, here, here, and here.
(1) Siri-Tarino PW, Sun Q, Hu FB, Krauss RM. Saturated fatty acids and risk of coronary heart disease: modulation by replacement nutrients. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2010;12(6):384-90. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20711693
(2) Vafeiadou K, Weech M, Altowaijri H, Todd, S, Yaqoob P, Jackso KG, Lovegrove JA. Replacement of saturated with unsaturated fats had no impact on vascular function but beneficial effects on lipid biomarkers, E-selectin, and blood pressure: results from the randomized, controlled Dietary Intervention and VAScular function (DIVAS) study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015;102(1):40-48. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/102/1/40.short