When you find yourself with less produce on your menu, cut up veggies as a snack or part of your main meal are a great way to get your recommended intake of produce! Nothing goes quite as well with raw veggies as a great dip! Dips add flavor and variety – and sometimes they’re even healthy! All it takes is a few minutes and a couple ingredients to make a delicious dip at home. Here are 4 great dips that pair perfectly with veggies.
Avocado Feta Dip
In a blender, puree 2 avocados, 2 garlic cloves, 1 green onion, 100grams of feta cheese and juice from one lemon. Makes 4 servings.
- Avocados have several health benefits and good fats which are great for your heart. They also have a rich and creamy texture that is perfect for dips.
Kale and Artichoke Dip
Chop up some kale and sauté in a little bit of olive oil just until tender. In the meantime, puree 1 avocado, the juice of half a lemon and 1 garlic clove (minced). Add salt and pepper. Finely chop some artichokes (canned) and add to the puree. Blend well. Finally add your sautéed kale.
- At times I like to include veggies in dips to add colour and taste, like adding the kale and artichoke above.
Grate half an English cucumber with the skin on. Add a pinch of salt to the cucumbers in a bowl and let it rest. In another bowl, mix one cup of plain Greek yogurt, 1 clove of minced garlic, one tablespoon chopped fresh dill and one tablespoon of chopped fresh mint. Add the cucumbers to the yogurt mix. Season to taste.
- Greek yogurt has a creamier texture than regular yogurt since it is strained. This makes it a great ingredient for dips, smooth and low in fat. It also has double the protein of regular yogurt, which makes for a filling snack.
Place 2 cups of edamame beans in a bowl and add a bit of water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 3 minutes. Puree your edamame along with ¼ cup of tahini sauce, ¼ cup water, juice from 1 lime, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 teaspoons of dark sesame oil and ¼ cup flat parsley. Season as needed.
- Edamame are legumes that have a great amount of protein, fiber and a source of good fats and iron. You can eat them several ways: boiled with a bit of salt, in soup, in salad, in stir fry or in your hummus!
- In this recipe we used parsley but you can also replace with cilantro or your choice of herbs. That’s one of the great advantages of making dips at home!
For weeks that are really busy, it’s still possible to make healthy choices at the grocery store. You have to be diligent since some store bought dips are often high in fat and salt. For a great and healthy dip try to look for the following:
- A short list of ingredients
- Less than 2g of saturated fat per 30mL
- Less than 140mg of sodium per 30mL
- Look for dips with base made of lentils, chick peas, yogurt or pureed veggies instead of ones with base made of mayo, cream or cream cheese, since they will be lower in fat and higher in protein.
What are your favourite dips?
Written by Marie-Ève Caplette, Registered Dietitian and Half Your Plate ambassador