Supercharge your guacamole and eat like a Mesoamerican with this plant-based Mexican cookbook.

Chilled ceviche, cool guacamole, refreshing agua fresco—in this summer heat, doesn’t some light, fresh Mexican food sound like nectar of the gods?

As it turns out, these plant-based treats will not only cool you down—they may also help heal you up. The recipes come from Luz Calvo and Catriona Rueda Esquibel’s recently released cookbook, Decolonize Your Diet: Plant-Based Mexican-American Recipes for Health and Healing, which emphasizes the health-promoting merits of foods common among indigenous Mesoamerican people in the centuries before European colonizers arrived.

Forget quesadillas, gorditas and other meat- and cheese-laden dishes—the native food of the region we now call Mexico was almost exclusively plant-based: Multicolored heirloom corn, beans, whole grains like amaranth and quinoa, chia seeds, wild greens, fresh fruits, herbs and spices formed the basis of the indigenous diet, much of which is still eaten in parts of rural Mexico, until colonizers brought beef, wheat, cheese and sugar.

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