This post comes from our blog intern, Aubrie!
If I was asked what I would eat if I could only have a few foods for the rest of my life, guacamole would absolutely be at number one on that list. To me, there is nothing in the world like indulging in a fresh bowl of homemade guacamole. It’s packed with nutritious fats and extremely easy to make from scratch. After I’ve made a batch of fresh guac, you’ll most likely find me devouring the entire bowl by myself in just one sitting. Creamy, salty, and citrus-infused, it’s a staple recipe in my kitchen throughout the year.
Because of its Mexican origins, guacamole is usually reserved for those sun-soaked summer months. Paired with a margarita on the rocks, it traditionally makes appearances at Cinco de Mayo bashes and remains a popular appetizer throughout the season at barbecues and picnics. Because of my unarguable adoration, I find the summertime relegation of this fine food to be misleading.
Our bodies naturally want to consume produce that is in-season, not only is it healthier, providing essential vitamins and minerals tailored to each time of year, but eating locally and seasonally maintains a steady role in keeping the environment in good shape. As with most any food, I think there are always opportunities to revise recipes for a more seasonally appropriate approach. This time of year my favorite produce includes butternut squash and certain varieties of winter pears, so I thought why not update my favorite food of all time with these delicious wintertime crops?
If you’re also stuck in the dead of winter and dreaming of those warmer days spent picnicking in a backyard, try this delicious winter update to a summertime favorite:
4 ripe avocados
1 cup roasted butternut squash (see below)
1 cup poached winter pears (see below)
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
Handful of fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons goat chevre (optional)
Large handful chopped pistachios (optional)
To make the roasted butternut squash, peel and dice about 1/4 of a whole butternut squash into small cubes. Arrange the chunks of squash evenly on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive or coconut oil and sprinkle with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 20 minutes, flipping occasionally, until baked through.
Traditionally poached pears are cooked whole in a saucepan, but I decided to take a shortcut which still produces the same effect. To make the poached pears, peel, core, and slice about 3/4 of a large pear into cubes roughly the same size as the butternut squash. Heat 1/4 cup of water, agave nectar, and coconut oil in a saute pan. Add the chopped pears and sprinkle with a little cinnamon. Saute the pears until all the water is absorbed and they are very soft.
To make the guacamole, start but halving the avocados, removing the pit, and scooping them into a medium sized bowl. Squeeze the juice of 3-4 fresh limes into the bowl and mix with a fork until creamy. While mixing, begin to add in the salt, cumin, onions and chopped cilantro. Once the squash and pears have been cooked and cooled, add them into the guacamole while continuing to mix.
The goat cheese and pistachios are optional but I think when combined with the squash and pears add in more notes of savory flavor. Avoid the goat cheese if you want to keep the recipe vegan, and skip the pistachios if you want your dip to remain nut-free. If you do choose to add the extras, sprinkle them on top after everything else has been added and simply give it a quick mix.
Enjoy the dip with an assortment of crudités or your favorite kind of chips!
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