Imagine guacamole without the avocado. That may be a reality we face in the coming years, either because of scarcity or high costs. Some scientists are warning that climate change and Ambrosia beetles could cause a decline in avocado yields in the US.
There is no true substitute for avocado in my favorite dip, but I thought I’d at least prepare to use less of this tasty green fruit. I scoured the internet and found three recipes that seemed worth a taste test, so we sampled them. While there was no clear winner, there was a distinct loser.
Edamame base/ Edamole: This dip was a much brighter green than the real thing, with a "bean-y" flavor and "homemade peanut butter" consistency. Several tasters noted its “smokiness,” possibly imparted by the spices and soy. It would do well smeared—or, um, crumbled—on a veggie burger.
Asparagus base: This dip was "much less attractive" appearance, with a dark color and soupy texture akin to those of “real guacamole that’s been left out overnight." Still, it was the most "convincing" guacamole substitute.
Green pea base: Remember that distinct loser I mentioned? A few people liked this as a spread for baguettes, but it's certainly no guacamole substitute, and one taster said this "just horrible" dip brought forth childhood memories of being forced to eat peas. Most considered it “too sweet” to pass as a guac alternative, but the addition of more seasonings and sour cream could even it out.
Try the recipes yourself and see if they're tasty enough to replace this iconic dip.
2 cloves garlic
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce or to taste
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 cup frozen shelled edamame (green soybeans), thawed
1 tablespoon water, or as needed
salt and pepper to taste
Place the garlic cloves, chipotle pepper, olive oil, hot sauce and cumin into a blender. Puree until smooth, then add the edamame and continue to puree until smooth. Add water as needed to achieve your desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.
Recipe reprinted with permission from AllRecipes.com/HealthyFoodLover.
1 lb asparagus spears, cut into 1 inch lengths
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons plain yogurt (or low fat)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped (1 cup)
2 tablespoons sliced green onions
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 garlic clove, minced (add more if you so desire!)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Combine asparagus and water in a 2 quart saucepan. Bring to boil over medium high heat, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 8 to 10 minutes or until tender. Rinse with cold water; drain. Blot asaparagus with a power towel to remove excess moisture. Combine asparagus, yogurt and lemon juice in food processor or blender. Process until smooth. In a medium mixing bowl, combine asparagus mixture and remaining ingredients. Chill if desired.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Food.com/Sharon123
Green Pea "Guacamole"
1/3 medium red onion, finely chopped
4 tbs. olive oil
juice of 1 lime (about 4 tbs.)
1/2 bunch cilanto, stems removed
1/2-1 tsp. chipotle chilis in adobo sauce or 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded
10 oz frozen peas
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
Chop onion in food processor until finely chopped. Place onion in a medium bowl and set aside. Combine oil, lime juice and cilantro in a food processor until roughly pureed. Add chili, peas, cumin, salt and blend until almost smooth (should be some chunks left). Stir in red onion. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with a bit of chopped red onion. Serve with tortilla chips or toasted pita.
*You don't need to defrost or cook the frozen peas before pureeing them, but I do let the dip sit at room temperature for about a half hour before serving.
Recipe reprinted with permission from stylishspoon.com/Ilana
--top image by iStockphoto/billyfoto
Bianca Hernandez is an editorial intern at Sierra. She recently received her MA in Visual Anthropology from the University of Southern California and has written for various publications.