One of the things I keep hearing, on social media and among friends, is that people are craving freshness in food. I think most of us have relied a little more heavily than usual on pantry staples, which is important for safety and staying put. But, with fewer trips to the store and more concern about food waste and spoilage, it’s also natural for us to want to see more color on our plates again.
Today’s sunny recipe is full of both freshness and color, and it brightened my last week considerably. In addition to its wonderful creaminess and pleasantly sweet/salty overtones, it’s packed with good nutrition, which is peace of mind in these difficult times, too.
Nutrition in this recipe is delivered by 100% Florida Orange Juice, which gives the dip its citrus flavor and joins with avocado in creating a velvety texture (perfect for corn chips or pita chips, as you like). The vitamin C in 100% orange juice supports the immune system, while electrolytes, including potassium, help to maintain hydration. Vitamin C also supports absorption of iron from plant-based foods, which is helpful to remember for meal planning. You can learn more of the health benefits of 100% orange juice here.
There are other nutrients to speak of in the dip: monounsaturated fatty acid from avocados, as well as vitamin E and additional vitamin C. Plenty of fiber. Disease fighting phytonutrients from the red onion. This is a crowd pleasing, Cinco de Mayo friendly dip that’s worth more than the sum of its parts when it comes to nutrition. If you’re curious you can read up a little more about the nutritional benefits and highlights of 100% orange juice!
This is dip, not guacamole, so be prepared for a looser texture as you’re preparing it. I recommend mashing your avocados most of the way with salt and vinegar first, then adding the orange juice slowly, mashing with a big fork or a potato masher as you go. There might be a moment when it looks liquidy, but don’t worry: as you continue mixing, it’ll turn into a lovely dip in your bowl, and there’s no need for blending or processing to speed it along if you’re willing to use some elbow grease in your mashing. The recipe is generous, but can be halved if needed.
Orange Juice Avocado Dip
- 1 cup 100% orange juice
- 4 large, Hass avocados
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or coarse salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar (substitute apple cider vinegar)
- 3/4 cup finely packed red onion
- 1 cup loosely packed, chopped cilantro (leaves and stems)
- Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
Remove the pits from your avocados and scoop their flesh into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt and vinegar. Use a large fork or a potato masher to mash them considerably, until there are still some chunks visible but a lot of the avocado flesh is mashed up.
Slowly pour in your orange juice, mixing and mashing as you go. Keep mixing and stirring and mashing with your fork or masher until the dip is velvety and easy to scoop with chips (there will still be some lumps of avocado). Fold in the red onion, cilantro, and crushed red pepper. Adjust salt and vinegar to taste. Serve.
Yes, the dip is perfect with chips, but there’s so much more that you can do with it. It’s a nice spread in sandwiches (I made one with grilled tofu and veggies and used the dip where I’d usually use mayo or hummus). You can put it into burritos or slather it on top of burrito bowls. And its loose enough that you can even try using it as a dressing for salads and grain bowls.
So nice to have fresh flavor and health supporting nutrients in one very snackable place. And I’ve also learned that Florida Department of Citrus is dedicating today—National OJ Day!—to those on the front lines in this crisis, including first responders, health care workers, and essential workers. The organization is raising a virtual glass of OJ to those heroes, and I’m doing the same.
I’m thinking especially, and with deep gratitude, of health care workers in the trenches. And I’m sending special love to dietitians who’ve continued to work in clinical settings through the crisis, caring for patients who need nutrition support and offering enteral nutrition to those who are intubated. I’m inspired by, and grateful for, their work.
This post is inspired by the Florida Department of Citrus. All opinions are my own. Thanks for your support!