Snack Today: Avocado and Chickpea Boats

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avocado 2This recipe makes a great appetizer or snack, but can easily double as a light lunch. Combining two super nutritious foods, chickpeas and avocados, makes for a protein and fiber packed recipe that is easy to make, vegan, gluten-free and delicious, too.

Chickpeas are legumes and research has shown that people who consume legumes regularly have a reduced risk of coronary heart disease. Chickpeas also offer calcium, folate, magnesium and potassium, all of which are cardio-protective nutrients. On top of all that, one cup of chickpeas provides 11 grams of fiber. Fiber helps eliminate toxins and slows the release of complex carbohydrates, resulting in balanced blood sugar over several hours.

Avocados are high in monounsaturated fatty acids, which is great for heart health. They also contain healthy fatty acids. Moreover, avocados deliver a healthy dose of fiber, antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, an array of B vitamins, and a range of minerals, including potassium and magnesium.

Many people have a hard time choosing a ripe avocado. To check for ripeness, all you have to do is gently press your thumb into the top of the avocado; it should give a little under the pressure. Unripe avocados are bright green, turning a deep purple-green when ripe.

To safely remove the pit, after slicing the avocado in half vertically, lay it skin-side down on a cutting board. Softly tap the heel of a knife blade into the pit, twist, and retract. To remove the pit from the knife, knock it out on the side of your sink.

Avocado and Chickpea Boats

• 2 avocados, chilled, halved and pits removed
• 1 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas (rinsed and drained if using canned)
• 1/4 cup finely chopped dill pickles
• 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
• 2 Tbsp vegan mayo
• 1 Tbsp lemon juice
• 1 Tbsp chopped dill
• 1/4 tsp pepper

In a large bowl, smash the chickpeas until they are slightly mushy and  stick together. Stir in remaining ingredients (except avocados!) and scoop the mixture into halved avocados.

Photo from here, with thanks.

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