Healthy Dip Recipes
4 Hearty and Healthy Dips
By Joe Wilkes
When aren't we going
on and on about how you need to eat more vegetables? They're full of fiber,
vitamins, antioxidants, and low in calories and fat. And one of the best ways
to eat them? Raw. So you're trying to be a good camper, with your bowl of
broccoli and cauliflower florets, baby carrots, and celery sticks, crunching
your way to a leaner (and probably gassier) you. You know what would really
make these veggies sing? Some dip! French onion dip
. . . or guacamole . .
. or hummus . . . or nacho cheese. Ha! Guess again! Nothing can make your
healthy vegetable snack descend the rungs of
Michi's Ladder faster than a few dunks in a bowl of fatty,
salty, delicious dip. But we're not completely heartless. Here are some
variations on some old favorites that are actually pretty good for you!
It's a perfect dip. Made primarily of creamed chickpeas,
it's like dipping your vegetable in another vegetable! But not all hummuses (or
is it hummi?) are created equal. Many are loaded up with tahini (the
sesame paste that gives hummus it's nutty flavor) and olive oil, which are
almost pure fat. Granted, they're both healthy fats, so a little is OK, but too
much will pack on the pounds. Try making your own from scratch. Just puree a
can of chickpeas in a food processor or blender with lemon juice, garlic, and
cayenne pepper to taste. You can add as much tahini or olive oil as you think
your diet can handle, or none at all. If the hummus is too thick, you could
thin it with a little vegetable broth or water instead of oil.
Avocados? They're in the Pious Tier of Michi's Ladder. And
guacamole is just mashed avocados, right? Right, but as with olive oil and
tahini, avocados are full of calories. One avocado has 227 calories, and 21
grams of fat. Instead, how about an easy-to-make avocado dip? In a food
processor, combine one avocado, one cup of nonfat yogurt, and one cup of nonfat
cottage cheese (all top-tier ingredients from Michi's Ladder). Blend until
creamy and no lumps from the cottage cheese remain. Add cayenne pepper and
ground cumin to taste. For extra flavor and texture, mix in some chopped fresh
cilantro and onion before serving.
- French onion dip.
OK, nothing made of instant soup (essentially flavored
salt) and full-fat sour cream is going to pass Michi muster. But onions are in
the top tier, so that's a start. Instead of sour cream, how about tofu? It's
not just that white brick that sits in the back of your fridge after a
well-intentioned impulse buy. Puree 2 cups of extra-soft tofu in a food
processor with a couple of tablespoons of white wine vinegar and Worcestershire
sauce, and garlic cloves to taste. Meanwhile sauté some chopped onions
in a little bit of olive oil until caramelized. Mix the onions into the tofu
mixture and deglaze the pan with a little white wine and add that to the dip as
- Spinach dip.
Nothing's a bigger hit at a party than that hollowed-out
sourdough boule full of mayonnaise-y goodness. Instead of mayo though, try
pureeing some nonfat yogurt and cottage cheese. Thaw out some frozen chopped
spinach and mix that in and add some chopped water chestnuts and scallions for
crunch and flavor. For extra zip and color, try mixing in some curry powder.
With all that going on, you'll forget the mayo's gone! And don't forget to use
whole grain bread.