Spring Pea Guacamole – Recipe for light and healthy guacamole-style dip. Lower fat alternative to avocado guacamole. Made with spring peas, jalapeño, lemon, herbs and spices.
Spring Pea Guacamole? Some of you might be shaking your head right now. Trust me, it’s not as weird as you might think. I’ll explain… but first, a little history!
Peas are a harbinger of spring. They first arrived in America by way of England during the early 1600s. Peas are early bloomers, they are one of the first crops to be harvested from the garden each spring. Thomas Jefferson was a fan of peas and grew around 30 varieties in his garden at Monticello. According to his family history, Jefferson was the originator of the Charlottesville neighborhood pea contest. Whoever produced the first peas of the season would host a community dinner with at least one dish containing the newly harvested peas. I love this idea!
My assistant Ashley and her boyfriend Gary, a culinary school grad, shared this Spring Pea Guacamole recipe with me. While peas and guacamole might seem like an odd combination, this whole concept works surprisingly well. The inspiration came from a restaurant where they used to work, which served a similar dip. When I first heard the idea of substituting green peas for avocado, I cringed a little. Why mess with something classic? Then I tasted it, and I got it. It’s really very tasty– not like avocado guac, exactly, but pretty darned close. The pea version is a bit sweeter than regular guacamole, which I actually liked. This version is lighter and much lower in fat than traditional guacamole. It will stay a bright green color, unlike the avocado version which tends to brown, so it’s perfect for serving at parties and buffets. Green peas are high in vitamin K, they’re loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits, and they also support blood sugar regulation. In addition to all of this, they taste like spring!
I wonder what Thomas Jefferson would have thought about this sweet and spicy spring dip?
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Spring Pea Guacamole
- 1 lb frozen green peas, thawed or fresh shelled young peas (small), lightly steamed and cooled
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, cleaned, seeded and diced
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 1/2 tbsp lime or lemon juice
- 1 tbsp fresh mint
- 1 tsp lime or lemon zest
- 3/4 tsp salt, or more to taste (I usually add closer to 1 tsp)
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper, or more to taste
In a food processor, combine all ingredients and pulse until you reach a guacamole-like consistency (pureed but with texture).
Scrape down the sides with a spatula as necessary. Adjust salt and red pepper to taste, if needed. Sprinkle the top with some red pepper flakes before serving (adds spice).
This dip can be served chilled or at room temperature depending on preference. Try it with tortilla chips, pita chips, crudités, or anything you like to dip in traditional guacamole. Use gluten free dippers if you're keeping this recipe GF.