Haute guac: Try these easy recipes for slimmer versions of the traditional

Mar 11 2013 - 11:21pm

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St. Patrick's Day is time for All Things Green. So how about some guacamole to honor the emerald event? True, it's not a traditional Irish dish, but you can eat only so much corned beef and cabbage. And it beats green beer or hot dogs dyed with green food color.

Guacamole's main ingredient -- avocados -- contain potassium, fiber, B vitamins and vitamins E and K. They are also high in fat and calories. A medium-size avocado is about 322 calories, about 70 percent of those calories in fat, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database.

Most of it is monounsaturated fat, the "good" kind that studies have linked to improved blood cholesterol levels and insulin levels. Even so, the calories can add up quickly.

Depending on how it's made, a 1/4-cup scoop of guacamole can cost you 75 to 100 calories. That's not good news if you tend to be a super scooper instead of a dainty dunker.

One solution is to dilute the fat and calories with other good-for-you ingredients. You still get some of the heart-healthy benefits of avocados but without as many calories, and you're rounding out the dip's nutrition profile.

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