Summertime Nibbles: Coconut Oil Fried Dill Pickle Spears and Avocado Bites!

St. John's, Newfoundland, where we live, is reportedly the foggiest, windiest and cloudiest city of all Canadian cities. The statistics state that we have the mildest winter of all major cities east of British Columbia, but let me tell you....it was freaking COLD here this past winter. As such, you're not going to hear me complain about the record breaking July we've had, with 27 days of sunshine and temperatures exceeding 25 degrees Celsius, and a humidex that tip toes between the high 30's and low 40's. No sir...bring it on I say.

Our average temperature for July is 20.7 degrees Celsius, and once, it got to as low as MINUS 1.1 degrees Celsius, although I'm not sure what year that was. On average, we have 1,208 cm of rain and 335cm of snow each year. (That's approximately 474.96 inches of rain and 131.89 inches of snow for those not familiar with metric).

Yesterday, my parents and my oldest daughter and her boyfriend were coming to spend the afternoon and have supper with us. It was brutally warm inside which didn't make using the stove to prepare supper a very appealing option for me. Barbecue it was...and a few salads....and some nibbles!

There are some things that I willingly leave in my husband's capable hands. He makes THE best potato salad and pasta salad, and I see no need to compete with that - if it ain't broke, why try to fix it? I threw together, (and I don't really 'throw' our food around...it's more of a playful toss), hamburgers for the grill by combining extra lean ground beef with some dried oregano, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, minced dry onion, salt and pepper, egg and for my binder I used ground flax seed.

Flax seed is an ancient plant seed that has been cultivated for some 13 centuries...that's a long time! In the 8th century, King Charlemagne believed so strongly about the nutritional benefits of flax seed that he actually passed laws requiring his subjects to consume it! There are many, many studies indicating that flax seed can reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes and breast cancer. Dr. Mehmet Oz, widely known simply as Dr. Oz, states that to get the maximum benefit from flax seed it has to be ground because our bodies don't digest the whole seeds. With that in mind....I take every opportunity to sneak in a little ground flax seed into our food...a little Stealth Health thing I do.

I should point something out here: I'm not fantatical about eating healthy. I truly believe all things in moderation. Two of my guiltiest pleasures are bacon and Lay's Roast Chicken Chips....nothin' healthy about either of those things. I 'allow' myself 3 strips of bacon a week and the Roast Chicken chips, maybe once a month...and let me tell you...I savour them when I do have them! But when I was considering my options for nibbles, I wanted them to be healthy too...in a slightly covert kind of way.

Which is why I decided to make Fried Dill Pickle Spears and Avocado Bites. I dusted both with coconut flour, very lightly as coconut flour can taste a little 'starchy' in my opinion, then dipped them in egg, and rolled in panko (dry Japanese breadcrumbs), with a little dry oregano and parmesan cheese, and then I pan fried them in a little coconut oil. My choice of dipping sauces were my Eating Clean Honey Mustard Sauce and then I mixed a little no fat Caesar salad dressing with 2 Tbsp. plain organic Greek yogurt.

Chosing healthier options doesn't have to be labor intensive nor does it mean you have to sacrifice flavor and these Summertime Nibbles sure are proof of that! So for yesterday's sunny, hot Sunday evening dinner, we had healthied up bbq burgers, two beautiful salads made by my husband, (the recipes for which I'm hoping to charm out of him later this evening), and some Clean Eating Nibbles...all washed down with a jug of homemade organic iced green tea with lemon slices and honey. It really doesn't get much better than that!

#appetizers

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