Healthy Plate: Lighten up classic guacamole with spring peas
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The flesh of a ripe Hass avocado is so luxuriously buttery and creamy you know from the first bite that it's loaded with fat.

The great news is that it is good for you. The fat that's in an avocado is mostly the healthier monounsaturated kind, similar to olive and nut oils. Avocados also contain loads of healthful nutrients and antioxidants. And if all these nutritional bonuses weren't enough, research has shown that adding avocado to a plain green salad helps your body absorb more of the nutrients from the other ingredients.

Still, even good fats are high in calories. So for this recipe we figured out a way to get all the benefits of avocado while cutting a bit of the fat.

This bright green sweet pea and avocado guacamole is a spring-inspired version of the classic dip, and has a fresh, crisp flavor that is brightened by plenty of fire-roasted chiles, lime juice and chopped fresh cilantro.

The sweet baby peas lighten the guacamole while adding impressive amounts of vitamins. Use this dip as you would a traditional guacamole. —

Sweet pea and avocado guacamole

2 cups frozen baby peas, thawed

1 medium Hass avocado

1 small red onion, finely chopped

1 (4-ounce) can fire-roasted green chiles, drained

1/4 cup lime juice

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

In a food processor, combine peas, avocado, onion, chiles, lime juice, garlic, cumin and salt. Process until smooth, scraping down sides of the processor bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add cilantro and pulse until just blended.

Nutrition information per serving • (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 51 calories; 22 calories from fat (43 percent of total calories); 2 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats);0 mg cholesterol; 6 g carbohydrate; 2 g protein; 3 g fiber; 78 mg sodium.

Servings • 12 servings or about 2 1/2 cups

Source: The Associated Press