Have you ever gotten a last-minute party invitation and had to throw something together on the fly, using only the ingredients you had on hand? If you haven’t, it’s bound to happen soon! It’s prime Christmas party season! And for anyone with a food allergy or special diet, buying a pre-made dish isn’t always a great option, since most other party food will be off limits. For me, personally, I always try to bring something that I can eat on my autoimmune protocol (AIP) diet. And that means something homemade!
My mind almost always goes to guacamole when I think about appetizers. I would have totally made my Easy Mango Guacamole and left out the nightshades (tomatoes and green chilies). But, I don’t buy mangoes often in winter. I also was completely out of lime juice. 🙁
Just when I thought guacamole was off the table, I spotted a pomegranate and an orange on my kitchen counter. Hmm…pomegranate seeds in place of mango? Orange juice instead of lime juice? Not only did this work, but my throw-together, last-minute AIP Pomegranate Guacamole was a huge hit! The tart, crunchy pomegranate seeds mixed with sweet orange juice, fresh cilantro, and ripe avocados was an absolutely delicious combination! And the colors are just perfect for Christmas! 🙂
To be honest, I never thought I’d be posting a “Christmas guacamole” recipe, yet here it is! But, let’s get real- most of us could eat guacamole all day, every day. Especially when it’s loaded with juicy pomegranate seeds! I’ll be eating this AIP Pomegranate Guacamole every chance I get this holiday season!
So, I wasn’t always a pomegranate fan, but over the past couple years, they have really grown on me. And I absolutely LOVE them on salad. (Try out my Mango Pomegranate Salad with Creamy Curry Dressing, if you haven’t yet!) This month, I’ve been stocking up on pomegranates, courtesy of Aldi sales, and have been trying to incorporate them in a variety of dishes. In fact, I have a Christmas main dish that uses pomegranates coming to the blog soon!
Now, if the thought of de-seeding a pomegranate frightens you, take heart! It really isn’t that difficult. And it can actually be pretty mess-free, too. I usually just cut mine in half, then in quarters. I put a small bowl in the sink and just open up the quarters, since the seeds are in clusters. Doing it in the sink prevents you from getting splattered with pomegranate juice and catches any rogue seeds that don’t go into your bowl. You’ll need 1/2 cup for this recipe, which is about half a pomegranate. Save the other half for snacking, salads, or as a smoothie bowl topping!
I also just saw an awesome pomegranate de-seeding tutorial this week by Empowered Sustenance. Her technique has you removing the seeds in a bowl of water. Pretty genius! I’ve shared her video on my Facebook page, so check it out! I’ll be trying this method out next time for sure!
After you have your pomegranate seeds ready to go, the rest of this recipe is a breeze! Simply slice and chop up some ripe avocados and mash the green goodness in a small bowl. I used 2 large avocados and it gave me enough guac for 4 people to eat large servings. Feel free to double or triple the recipe for a big crowd!
Then, add the rest of the ingredients. If you prefer a more traditional guacamole, you can always use lime juice instead of the orange juice. I made it both ways, and both are delicious. I just prefer the orange juice in this recipe, since oranges are very seasonal in winter!
And, we’re done. So easy! Literally, you can throw this AIP Pomegranate Guacamole together in minutes. (Especially if you de-seed your pomegranates ahead of time!) All you need now are your favorite chips and some friends to eat with!
For the party I attended, I just brought a few bags of my favorite plantain chips. The Inka Chips brand are AIP-friendly, or use Trader Joe’s brand if you’re not on a special diet. When I made this recipe a second time for my photo shoot, I got a bit creative and made my own veggie chips, as shown below!
For any other adventurous cooks out there who want to make your own chips, I’ve included my veggie chip recipe here, in case you’d like to try them. My results were mixed, so you might have to adjust the baking time depending on what veggies you use.
I had extra beets and parsnips leftover from Thanksgiving, so I peeled and sliced them thinly with a mandolin. I let the slices “sweat” on a paper towel before tossing the slices in 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Then, they baked in a 375 degree oven on parchment-lined baking sheets. It took about 30 minutes total, and I rotated the chips halfway through. The chips can burn really easily, so I kept an eye on them during the last 5 minutes and removed any that were getting too brown. Once the chips were baked through, I let them sit on the parchment for a few more minutes to crisp up.
Overall, I liked the chips, but I don’t know that I’d go to great lengths to make them again. The pros of my homemade chips were that they tasted AMAZING, I could use AIP seasonings and oils, and it was a nice way to use up extra veggies. The cons were the time it took to slice everything, that they baked unevenly, and they didn’t keep well overnight. While my homemade chips weren’t perfect, they looked beautiful for my photo shoot! (And we still managed to eat all of them because they tasted wonderful with my AIP Pomegranate Guacamole!)
For the same effect without the extra work, you could easily just buy Terra Chips. They’re a great price through Thrive Market! They make all sorts of veggie chip varieties, including beets, parsnips, taro root, sweet potatoes, and more. (They aren’t AIP-friendly, though, so keep that in mind.)
No matter what chips you choose to serve with this AIP Pomegranate Guacamole, you really can’t go wrong! This colorful, festive appetizer will be a refreshing and welcome addition to any holiday gathering. Keep some pomegranates and avocados on hand this month so that you know exactly what to make and take with you to your next Christmas or New Year’s party!
- 2 large or 3 small avocados
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- ⅛ cup onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon orange juice (or lime juice)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Mash avocado with a fork in a small bowl.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
- Serve with your favorite chips!
Slice peeled veggies thinly with a mandolin. Pat dry with paper towels, then toss in 2 T coconut oil, 1 tsp sea salt, and 1 tsp garlic powder. Bake on parchment-lined baking sheets in a thin layer at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes, flipping once. Allow to crisp on baking sheets for an extra 5 minutes before removing.
~If you want to serve your guacamole with the veggie chips I made, do not make the chips in advance! They do not store well, so bake and serve these fresh! If you plan to take this dish to a party, I recommend using store-bought plantain, tortilla, or veggie chips.
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