Traditional guacamole uses avocado as everyone knows but this is a twist on the classic recipe using asparagus!
Asparagus is a spring vegetable and is a member of the lily family – who knew?! Waiting for them to come into season is hugely anticipated here in Southern Ontario for asparagus lovers. It comes in a variety of colours including white, green, and purple.
Gout sufferers should probably forgo asparagus because it contains purines, substances that can precipitate a painful attack of the disease. An estimated 40% of people notice that asparagus gives their urine a pungent odor, which is a harmless reaction through the body’s metabolism of the sulfur compound found in asparagus.
Asparagus has much fewer calories than avocado because asparagus is fat-free but this isn’t to imply that avocados are unhealthy because of their fat content; just more by the way of information. A lower calorie option can fit into any healthy eating plan.
One-half cup (90 g) of cooked asparagus has:
- 20 calories
- 2.2 g protein
- 2 g fiber
- 45 mcg vitamin K1
- 134 mcg folate (a well-known source)
- 21 mg calcium
- 48 mg phosphorus
- 202 mg potassium
Asparagus also possesses small amounts of other micronutrients, including iron, zinc, and riboflavin. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin K1 (phylloquinone), an essential nutrient involved in blood clotting and bone health.
Buying and storing asparagus
Look for straight, crisp spears with green or purple tips with tight heads. It’s freshness, not size, that’s important. Although best eaten fresh, asparagus can be refrigerated for two or three days. Wrap stem ends in damp paper towels, then cover entire bunch with plastic wrap, or stand straight up in a jug of water.
The cannellini beans help to give the guacamole some ‘body’; helping to make it thicker and less watery. Because it doesn’t use avocados, a substitute is needed to make up for the asparagus that lacks the thicker texture.
Cannellini bean nutrition
These traditional white beans have decent amounts of vegetable-based protein, antioxidants, fiber, magnesium and B vitamins. One cup of cooked or canned, drained beans have
- 249 calories
- 45 g carbohydrate
- 11 g fiber
- 17 g protein
- 145 mcg folate
- 63 g choline
- 161 mg calcium
- 6.6 mg iron
- 113 mg magnesium
- 202 mg phosphorus
- 1004 mg potassium
- 2.5 mg zinc
Together, the asparagus and the cannellini beans make for a unique alternative to classic guacamole made with avocados. It makes for a great dip for chips, vegetable sticks or as a sandwich spread.
- 1 pound 2 cups asparagus spears, cut into 1 Inch lengths
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 Tbsp plain nonfat yogurt
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup white cannellini beans
- 2 Tbsp green onion Sliced
- 1 tsp cumin ground
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Combine asparagus and water in a 2 quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat to medium-low. Simmer 8-10 minutes, or until asparagus is tender. Rinse with cold water; drain. Dry with paper towel.
Combine asparagus, yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil and beans in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine asparagus mixture and remaining ingredients.
Doug Cook RDN is a Toronto based integrative and functional nutritionist and dietitian with a focus on digestive, gut, mental health. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.