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At our house we have been in the middle of an 8-week challenge to clean up our diets and eat a bit lighter and we only have two weeks left to go! The changes we have made have been small and simple ones each day, but I'm so happy with how much better I feel as a result. Plus, it has made me really consider all of the ingredients I use in my favorite recipes and determine if I am really using the lightest foods I can. For instance, I learned that a recent study has found that adding Mazola® Corn Oil to one’s diet resulted in lower cholesterol levels than Coconut Oil. A previous study found that corn oil can also help lower cholesterol more than extra virgin olive oil. To learn more about the study, see Mazola.com.
Swapping better-for-you foods into my recipes has saved me during this challenge so that I can still eat my favorite recipes and feel good about it, and today I'm going to share a favorite recipe that does just that. This recipe for Strawberry Avocado Salsa with Homemade Cinnamon Chips is so delicious, and is relatively lighter on it's own, but after giving the ingredients a second look I knew it could be even lighter. First, there is a lot of added sugar in the original recipe that didn't need to be there so I removed any kind of sweetener completely from the salsa, and swapped the cane sugar in the chips for organic coconut sugar (you could also use any sugar alternative you prefer.) Next, I swapped the usual flour tortillas I use to make the chips with corn tortillas, making the recipe gluten free, higher in fiber, and free from the refined white flour of typical flour tortillas. Lastly, I swapped my typical oil for Mazola® Corn Oil after learning that it is made with 100% pure oil with no additives, so the great flavor of your food comes through perfectly. So, let's get eating!
Strawberry Avocado Salsa with Homemade Cinnamon Chips
1 c. Mazola® Corn Oil
12 corn tortillas
1 lb. strawberries, hulled and chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 small jalapeno, with seed removed and chopped
1 large avocado, chopped
1 large lime
Salt + Pepper
1/2 c. organic coconut sugar (or preferred sugar alternative)
1 tbsp. cinnamon
- In a medium bowl combine strawberries, cilantro, onion, jalapeno, and avocado.
- Roll lime to release juices, then cut and squeeze juice over salsa. Toss gently and add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate.
- Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
- Slice tortillas into strips or triangles.
- In a large pan, heat Mazola® Corn Oil on medium heat. Once the corn oil is hot, add tortillas and cook on each side until browned.
- Remove chips from oil and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture immediately.
Is your mouth watering yet? I love the combination of these flavors, the colors and textures — it's beyond delicious! I love the feeling of eating something so flavorful with so little guilt, especially when it comes to the cooking oil I used. Swapping Mazola® Corn Oil is so easy since it has a neutral taste that won’t negatively impact the taste of ingredients, and lets the natural flavor of your food stand out. And since Mazola® Corn Oil is an all-purpose cooking oil that is a smart heart-healthy choice for your family, it's perfect for using in a variety of ways including baking, grilling, sautéing, stir frying, or mixing up a marinade or dressing. I have also found that Mazola® Corn Oil has a smoke point higher than most cooking oils at 450°F and performs well in a variety of cooking applications, including stir-frying, sautéing, grilling and even baking. Many home cooks may not realize that all cooking oils have a smoke point that, once exceeded, not only negatively affect the food’s flavor but also its nutritional value.
Those colors! I'm so excited about the upcoming warmer months so I can add even more fresh flavors into my cooking. And the crunch of those chips! It's all so delicious.