Low Carb Kitchen
Carb Solutions: EDAMOLE DIP & CHIPS!
By Dennis Linden
Over half of the U.S. adult population, some 154 million, qualify as being overweight or obese. Another 29 million of us have Diabetes, many as a direct result of being overweight. Then there are the 23.9 million overweight children who are dutifully following the example of their XXL adult role models. Diabetes and these extra pounds cost this country billions annually in both medical and economic resources; not to mention the affect these weight-related maladies have on a person’s overall mental well-being and happiness. However, both diabetes and being overweight are very manageable, even preventable, with a few lifestyle tweaks. By maintaining a sensible diet in conjunction with some consistent exercise, no matter how minimal, we can all be in total control of our own weight. One easy way to start taking that control is to make decisions about the foods we eat based on the glycemic index [GI] and glycemic load [GL].
Simply put, our bodies convert all foods into sugar calories that provide energy to the body via the blood stream. The Glycemic Index assigns a score of 1 to 100 to all foods based how speedy the body converts that food into sugar. Foods that break down slowly enable the body to assimilate theses calories of energy more efficiently without overwhelming the body with more sugar than it can process. While this is especially important for diabetics who process sugars much slower than others, everyone can benefit from eating foods that have low glycemic scores since they also reduce appetite and encourage the metabolism to burn body fat. Conversely, a diet of foods high on the glycemic charts have been proven to actually increase appetite and impede effective fat oxidation.
A Quickie Glycemic Primer:
Who can resist a bowl of guacamole dip? Actually, since having to count carbs, my “guac” consumption has been limited to using this tasty mixture as a sandwich spread condiment rather than a true dip as there are very few low-carb crackers or chips that can be used as a delivery vehicle. However, with some trial and error kitchen time, I have recently managed to come up with a reasonable facsimile to the tortilla chip. Admittedly, this chip came about during a failed attempt at creating a flourless tortilla. I had made a taco-sized round from the almond meal dough referred to in the recipe below, but it seemed to hold shape better when cut into pieces, like a pie, rather than as a whole tortilla. Nevertheless, a suitable dip chip with virtually zero carbs was born out of the experiment, so I will claim the inadvertent success!
- The glycemic index of a food compares its effect on blood sugar level to that of pure glucose, which has a score of 100. White breads, which are made of processed white flour, are at the top of this scale, scoring a “perfect” 100 on the glycemic index. For perspective, a score of 55 or below denotes a low-glycemic-index food; 70 or above is considered very high. Serving size is not a consideration in arriving at a food’s Glycemic Index number.
- The glycemic load, on the other hand, focuses on how much digestible carbohydrates (sugars) a food contains in a typical single serving, which is defined as approximately 3.5 ounces. For glycemic load, a score of 20 or more is high, while 10 or less is low.
The dough is very easy to make, though the secret to the chip is just the right thickness. To get that thickness took a little practice with a rolling pin and stovetop that cannot be reproduced by directions in a recipe. Thin but not too thin, which means nothing until you try it once – practice, practice – it won’t take long to get a rigid consistency without burning the round. The result will be a rustic (I prefer the word artisan) chip, with a neutral flavor -- unless one seasons the dough -- that remains intact during the retrieval and delivery process i.e. dipping and eating!
Meanwhile, back at the retail avocado display, a recent weather-related crop failure combined with a tariff dispute with Mexico, has sent the price of avocadoes to appetite-killing heights. Dipping anything, low carb or otherwise, into a bowl of this iconic mashed favorite has soared economically out of reach for all but the very affluent for the past several months. It figures, just as I find a glycemic-friendly dipping implement that I can eat, consumption of the naturally no carb avocado becomes hazardous to the health of my budget! That is, unless there would be a way to get more guac for the buck…and there is -- EDAMOLE!
By using a food processor to combine one package of Melissa’s pre-cooked Shelled Edamame with one ripe medium-sized avocado, it is possible to double the volume of the mixture while retaining that creamy avocado texture and flavor! The 1:1 ratio is the perfect balance; edamame has a mild flavor that is certainly no match for the distinctive taste of the avocado in that proportion. Add to this blend other traditional fresh ingredients, like the ones suggested below or your own seasoning preferences, to make a tasty guacamole with half the amount of costly avocado! Plus the mixture is packed with the beneficial oil, vitamins and nutrients from both the bean and the fruit in one bite!
BTW, just to be sure that my palate was not suffering from culinary wishful thinking, I served this Edamole to an unsuspecting friend who had come over to watch a ballgame but said nothing about the ingredients until the bowl was almost empty. While his eyes went wide with disbelief, it was difficult to understand his verbal reaction since he never stopped dipping chips!
1 pkg Melissa’s Shelled Edamame
1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
½ cup cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ White onion, chopped
1 Melissa’s Roasted Jalapeño, fine diced
3 TBS lime juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 TBS Melissa’s ground Green or Red Hatch Chile Powder
2 or 3 TBS water (as needed to combine in food processor)
1 Roma tomato, diced medium
Place all the ingredients, except the water and tomato, in a food processor, then pulse until combined. Add in just enough water to make a creamy consistency, continuing to pulse until smooth.
Transfer this mixture to a large bowl, stir in the tomato and seasoning of choice.
& Zero Carb Chips
Makes 6 tortilla-like discs
1½ cup almond flour
3 TBS coconut flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 TBS canola oil, divided
¼ cup hot water (more as needed)
Mix together all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Then add 1 TBS of oil, ¼ cup of water and knead into a dough. Add in more hot water as needed to form dough. Divide dough into 6 balls. Then place each ball between sheets of wax paper and roll into medium-thin tortillas. Heat oil on a griddle or large non-stick sauté pan and grill until lightly brown on both sides. Cool on rack and then cut each tortilla in bite-sized chips using a very sharp knife.