By Viridiana Marin Marin
Mexico is the top producer of avocados worldwide, this fruit is one of the principal ingredients of Mexican cuisine, and also the principal ingredient of one of the most popular dips around the world ‘guacamole’ which has carried an enormous environmental cost that you are probably not aware of.
The popularity of avocado besides its flavor is because of its health benefits, this fruit is a high-fat food that contains 20 vitamins, minerals, and fiber, making it one of the most nutrient-dense among today’s superfoods.
The high consumption of avocado around the world has had environmental consequences that could be disastrous, one of the biggest problems is the amount of water it consumes. The World Economic Forum reports that around 9.5 billion liters of water are used every day in order to grow avocados. For scale, that’s about 3,800 Olympic pools-worth of water.
However, exporting avocados has not brought stability and prosperity to Mexico. Given the rise in the price of avocados in the global market, the ‘Mexican green gold’ has been a rise in illegal deforestation, and also because of its value as a business, it has been reported that crime cartels have become involved in the industry which has led to an increase of violence.
If you enjoy starting your day having avocado toast for breakfast, then eating a salad avocado for lunch, and finishing your day having guacamole for dinner, I’m sorry but you are contributing to the huge and disproportionate demand for this fruit that is bringing serious effects. As consumers, we need to understand the impact that our choices have. It is important to understand how our food system works and decide what is better for us and for others.
Even the traditional guacamole recipe can be modified a little bit to benefit earth. Here you have five healthy alternatives to substitute avocado in your guacamole:
Guacamole with broccoli, or ‘brocomole’, is an ideal substitute for the traditional guacamole. It is an alternative for those looking to taste a low-calorie sauce, or for those who want to try a new recipe.
Tip: If you add some soft cheese you can have a better consistency of guacamole.
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Green peas are not vegetables; they are part of the legume family, and contain a decent amount of heart-healthy minerals, such as magnesium, potassium and calcium. The good thing about this ingredient is that it is found throughout the world.
Tip: Be sure to mash them up, not purée them so they still have some texture.
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The guacamole with courgette is another alternative to replace avocado in guacamole. It is a healthy option for those interested in trying healthy alternatives because it contains vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, fiber and iron.
Tip: If you add some green tomatoes you have an amazing “salsa” for your tacos.
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Broad beans belong to the group of legumes. They mainly contribute carbohydrates, protein and fiber. They are an excellent source of B complex vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6 and B9), as well as minerals such as iron, calcium, phosphorus and potassium. Broad beans could be a singular way to replace avocado in your guacamole.
Tip: Broad beans can be fresh or frozen.
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Edamame is a good source of plant protein, potassium, magnesium and fiber. It’s often served in the pod in Japanese restaurants as an appetizer, but you can also find them shelled and frozen like we’ll use today.
Tip: To get a creamy texture, cook the edamame for about twelve minutes.
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Don’t be afraid to transform your traditional recipe of guacamole into a sustainable dip!
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