I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that a a lot of kids out there like avocados. They are a healthy, nutrient rich fruit (yes they are a fruit) that are often passed off as a vegetable in sandwiches, salads, and of course, guacamole. Seeing as Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner, I realized those easy prepackaged containers of guacamole would soon be flying off the supermarket shelf. So why not make it fresh? Fresh Guacamole is easy! In fact, the guacamole chef at our house is my seven year old son, and he’s been in charge of guacamole on taco nights since he was four. On the few occasions that I take over as guacamole chef, I will unquestionably be told that it needs more salt, a little more lime juice, or “it’s just not as good as mine, mom.” I’m okay with that. However, once he has made the perfect guacamole, I do sneak in a secret ingredient which prior to my revealing, was never detected by the experts. My secret ingredient adds big vegetable power and increases the nutritional value of that deliciously creamy condiment. You getting curious?
When I investigated the prepackaged guacamole at the supermarket, I realized how easy it would be to pick up a chemical laden product if I didn’t read the label. Sure, the product is green, it says “guacamole” on the package, but is it avocados, lime and salt? Not necessarily. Believe it or not, I actually picked up a container that contained less than 2% of avocado. Seriously. Here’s where packaging comes in. The product was green, the picture on the package was of avocados and tomatoes, and short of the brand name, the word “guacamole” was the largest word on the package. Yet with a closer look, I realized it was actually, “guacamole flavored dip” and not simply guacamole. Wait until you see the ingredient list. Be sure to follow the link for sodium caseinate. It offers some thought provoking information. You can read further about the Casein controversy at NourishedKitchen.com and LiveStrong.com. Both are interesting reads and offer food for thought. A few other “must follow” links are sodium benzoate, blue 1, red 40, yellow 5, and yellow 6.
THE COMPARISON: Dean’s Guacamole Flavored Dip vs. Out of the Box Food “Zuc”acamoleSM
(All ingredients followed by an * can be referenced at www.wikipedia.org by clicking on the ingredient)
Dean’s Guacamole Flavored Dip
- skim milk
- soybean oil
- coconut oil
Contains less than 2 % of:
- whole egg
- distilled vinegar
- egg yolks
- nonfat dry milk
- whey (milk)
- lactic acid*
- sodium caseinate* (milk)
- isolated soy protein*
- tomato juice
- vegetable mono & diglycerides*
- sodium benzoate* and potassium sorbate* (to preserve freshness)
- corn starch
- guar gum*
- cellulose gel & cellulose gum*
- citric acid*
- ascorbic acid*
- blue 1*
- red 40*
- yellow 5*
- yellow 6*
**All listed product ingredients are taken from product’s package label. Though Out of the Box Food makes every effort to provide complete ingredient information, please check the package for the most current information.
Out of the Box Food “Zuc”amole GuacamoleSM
The secret ingredient in our guacamole is zucchini! When finely grated, it gives an undetectable boost of nutrition to guacamole.
I highly recommend letting your child be the chef with this recipe. Depending on the age of your child, you can have all the ingredients chopped and ready (except for the jalapeno – handling the jalapeno should be reserved for parents only), then your child can do the assembly – and tasting.
Special Equipment: Mixing bowl, fork
Time: 5 minutes
- 4 small avocados
- 1/4 C finely chopped red onion (brown or white onions work too)
- 1 medium clove garlic, minced
- 1 small zucchini, finely grated (I use a microplane zester for the finest grate)
- 1 small tomato, finely chopped
- 1-2 tbsp chopped cilantro (optional)
- 1/2 small jalapeno, finely chopped (optional)
- 1/2 – 1 whole lime, juiced
- salt to taste
- Cut the avocados in half, tap sharp knife into pit, and turn to remove. Scoop avocado into mixing bowl. Gently mash avocado with tongs of a fork.
- Add onion, tomato, grated zucchini, garlic, cilantro and jalapeno (if using). Mix gently with fork.
- Add lime juice and salt to taste. Mix to desired consistency.
It really does make such a difference to include kids in the cooking process. By mixing up the guacamole themselves, my boys ended up eating something they otherwise might not have tried, simply because they made it. Adding the zucchini is just an added bonus! Until next week…
© 2011, kimgerber. All rights reserved.