In this ravingly busy life, one of the best ways to improve your health is to consume lots of fresh vegetables. Abel & Cole and Riverford Organics are my lifeline because twice weekly they bring a wide variety of organic, fresh produce direct to my door. I always buy half a dozen or so avocados every week because they happen to be one of the healthiest things you can eat. They’re rich in monounsaturated fat that your body can easily burn for energy and moreover the fat they contain helps your body absorb fat-soluble nutrients from other foods you eat with them.
Actually, avocados are not a vegetable, they’re a very-low-in-fructose fruit with a buttery texture and delicious flavour that means they’re my number one go-to favourite snack when I want something quick and savoury to eat. For simplicity and satiety, I like to halve and stone them before stuffing the cavities beyond reason with prawns or tuna mayo. Prawns bound together with a spicy, tomatoey mayonnaise atop a halved avocado was the first food I ever prepared for my husband John. It was love at first sight - he’d always thought such food, simple as it is, only came out of restaurant kitchens! On a more fruity note, avocados can be transformed into a silky, delectable dark chocolate or avocado and lime mousse or used as a base for ice cream. Yum! Full of essential vitamins and minerals, including fibre, vitamins K, B5, B6 and C, folate and more than twice the potassium of a banana, you can see where I’m going with this.
Today my fancy is for avocado hummus. I love traditional chickpea hummus but can see no reason to take the anti-nutrient, high carbohydrate hit from legumes when this creamy avocado dip is a far healthier, yet comparative alternative. I first eyeballed Paleo Hacks version of Bean-Free Creamy Avocado ‘Hummus on their blog but glancing down the list of ingredients quickly assessed they were too out of whack for my taste (what’s with a teaspoon of lemon juice?). I’ve re-written the recipe to balance out the flavours and it works. Beautiful to look at and delicious to eat, it’s a really fresh, clean ‘take’ on hummus. Apologies to garlic lovers, there is none in my version of Creamy Avocado ‘Hummus’ because its whiffiness on post-consumption breath always offends me!
A quick and easy keto way to get your five a day.
Creamy Avocado ‘Hummus’ (serves 6 as a dip, serves 4 for a light lunch)
2 large organic courgettes, peeled and deseeded
2 large organic ripe avocados (use 3 medium if large not available)
3 tbsp organic lemon juice, freshly squeezed
100g organic light tahini
½ tsp ground organic cumin
½ tsp Himalayan Pink salt, or to taste
¼ tsp organic cayenne pepper
a good grinding of organic black pepper
15g fresh organic coriander leaves, roughly chopped
Organic paprika and extra sprigs of fresh coriander - optional
A selection of freshly cut crudités - to serve
Slice off the ends of both courgettes, peel, then lay them on a cutting board and slice them in half lengthwise.
Using the pointy end of a teaspoon run it down the middle of the courgettes, gently scooping out the seeds. Chop the courgette into rough pieces. Discard the seeds.
Peel and de-stone the avocados, roughly chop into pieces.
Place the avocado, courgette, olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, cumin, cayenne pepper, most of the coriander leaves and salt in a food processor.
Process on high until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.
Transfer to a bowl, sprinkle with paprika and the remaining coriander leaves before serving with a selection of freshly cut crudités for dipping.
Fat 32g Protein 6g Carbohydrate 4g - per serving of ‘hummus’ only.
If you’re counting macronutrients, please add on extra grams of carbs for the crudités. N.B. Vegetables grown above ground are less carb heavy than veggies grown below ground