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Take A Dip

Looking for a healthy dish to bring to a summer BBQ? Dips are a win, win. Not only are they a crowed pleaser, but a dip bowl nestled in a platter of colorful anti-inflammatory veggies is the perfect way to guarantee there will be a healthy option to build your plate with, no matter where you are going.

Dips may seem intimidating but there is a simple formula:

  • Begin with creamy base made from foods such as beans, lentils, avocados, edamame, and roasted vegetables (eggplant, carrots, squash, zucchini, peppers, cauliflower).

  • Puree with with olive or avocado oil and flavor boosters such as tahini paste, a clove of fresh garlic, fresh herbs, and a squeeze of lemon or lime juice for brightness.

  • Finish by seasoning with chopped herbs, dried spices, salt and pepper.

Here are some of my favorite combinations.

  • Hummus - The classic version of hummus is made with a can of chickpeas but you can swap in any bean. For a traditional version add tahini, garlic, lemon, and cumin. Variations include kalamata olive, spicy sriracha, or try this recipe for roasted red pepper hummus.

  • Guacamole – Traditional guacamole made with avocado is always a winner, but I have a new favorite - Kale and Avocado Guacamole. This recipe swaps 1/2 of the avocado with defrosted edamame beans to decrease the calories and increase the protein.

  • Roasted vegetablesBaba Ganoush, a combination of roasted eggplant, tahini, lemon, and garlic, is the ultimate example of a roasted veggie dip. But why stop with eggplant? Other roasted vegetables that work well in dips are butternut squash, cauliflower, zucchini and carrots. Roasting brings out a sweetness and creaminess that makes these veggies the perfect dip base.

What to serve with your dips

  • Carrot chips or sticks – Purchase prepared crinkle cut carrot chips or slice carrots on angle. Baby carrots work too.

  • Cucumber slices – Slice cucumbers on an angle to maximize surface area for scooping.

  • Broccoli or cauliflower florets – Lightly steam these vegetables.

  • Green beans – Remove stems, rinse, and dip. If you prefer, you can lightly steam these as well.

  • Endive – The leaves of this nutrient powerhouse also makes a perfect dip scoop.

  • Peppers – Red, yellow, and orange peppers provide a variety of phytonutrients and a delicious crunch.

  • Celery sticks – Firm and crisp, celery is a go-to vehicle.

  • Snap peas – Raw or lightly steamed.


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