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Gluten Free Party Recipes:
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Gluten Free Party Recipes: "Chips" and Guac

Living on a gluten-free diet can be tough, especially at first. (Believe me...I remember!) Because wheat is such a staple in the American diet, transitioning to gluten-free foods can be difficult, since that often means abandoning many of your favorite dishes and snacks.

But a gluten-free diet doesn't have to be boring. In fact, it can be absolutely delicious! There are dozens of absolutely fantastic gluten-free snack recipes that even gluten lovers will adore. Here are two of my favorite gluten-free party snacks.

Baked Beet Chips
2 medium beets
Extra virgin olive oil
Balsamic vinegar

First, preheat your oven to 350°F. While the oven is heating up, brush your baking pan with a light coat of extra virgin olive oil. Using a mandoline, cut the beets into thin slices and arrange them in a single layer in the pan. (Wear kitchen gloves while handling the beets, or else your fingers may end up stained red!)

Bake for approximately 20 minutes, flipping at midpoint. Check the chips periodically, as beets can burn easily. Remove from oven and sprinkle with balsamic vinegar for an extra kick. (You can do this step when you flip the chips mid-way through baking, if you prefer. Either way, just make sure to do it while they're still hot.)

These are a great gluten-free alternative to potato chips or pita chips. Keep in mind that the beets shrink while baking, so the large slices you cut won't be the actual size of the cooked chip. Store any chips you don't eat immediately in a paper bag, as the moisture that accumulates in a sealed plastic container will turn your beet chips into beet jerky.

Chunky Guacamole
1 or 2 ripe avocados
1 garlic clove, finely sliced/diced
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 lime
Chopped cilantro and chives, to taste
(*If you're crunched for time, you can substitute salsa for the tomatoes and garlic.)

Cut the avocados into cubes and put them in a bowl. Next, mix in the garlic, tomatoes, chives, and cilantro. Make sure you don't mash the avocados, as the chunky consistency is part of what makes this guacamole unique. Sprinkle with lime juice and serve with an assortment of veggies for dipping.

This is one of my favorite gluten-free, diet-friendly party recipes. It's so incredibly easy to make, and virtually everyone loves it. Another bonus: No preservatives! One minor potential drawback of that is that you'll have to make this guac no earlier than the day before you plan to serve it.

Here's a tip to keep guacamole fresh as long as possible: Rather than throwing the pit of the avocado away, place it in the container with the dip. The pit will help keep the avocado flesh greener longer...who knew?!