Everybody digs delicious dip — it can turn a so-so party into one that’s unforgettable! (Okay, maybe not everyone will go home talking about the dip, but someone’s bound to ask for your recipe!) If you’re about to dole out some dip and you want to healthify your offerings, here are some ideas to keep in mind.
Lighten those dips
- Go easy on the fat and sugar. Replace high fat dairy with low fat versions of cream cheese, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, Greek yogurt and sour cream.
- Any favorite fruit or veggie salsa makes a great, healthier dip.
- Add plenty of fresh herbs and seasonings to veggie, bean, and dairy dips:
- Add chives, basil and dill to dairy and non-dairy-alternative dips
- Add fresh cilantro, parsley and sage, or a pinch of red pepper, cumin and coriander to bean dips
- Try rosemary, thyme and oregano with veggie dips
- Use mint, lemon and lime with sweetened dairy dips – great for fruit dippers
Special diet dips can be super tasty
Add ingredient labels to your dips so your guests can pick the ones that fit their needs.
- Gluten-free dips made from beans, veggies and dairy are simple with ingredients such as gluten-free tamari and Worcestershire sauce, gluten-free herb and spice mixes, and gluten-free mayonnaise.
- Wonderful vegan dips can be made using non-dairy alternatives to cream cheese, yogurt and grated cheese, as well as a variety of veggies and beans.
- Fruit or veggie salsas can be perfect for guest with special dietary needs.
Dippers define, dazzle and decorate a dip.
Go beyond the standard, greasy chip! Check out these dipper ideas for good nutrition, great taste and plenty of flair:
- Slice raw carrots, green onions, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and peppers of all colors — green, red, yellow and orange — plus raw or steamed-but-still-crunchy broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini and yellow squash, asparagus and green beans. For variety, throw in some endive boats — they hold plenty of dip.
- Fruits including berries (toothpicks come in handy here!), apples, pears and bananas, sliced stone fruits (peaches, plums and nectarines), melon slices, and kiwi, oranges, tangerines, pineapple and grapefruit make perfect dippers for dairy and nut butter dips. Dried fruits are equally delicious! Quick tip: Toss fresh-cut fruit in a little lemon or lime juice to prevent browning.
- Crackers, toast, pretzels, graham crackers, Crostini and chips of all sorts complement bean, dairy and veggie dips. Opt for baked corn or potato chips to keep the calories and fat count down.
- Gluten-free crackers, toast points and pretzels are readily available and they’re delicious with just about any gluten-free dip or salsa.
Ready to whip up something worth munching on? Give some of these recipes a try:
- Eggplant Garbanzo Bean Dip and Simple White Bean Spread
- Lemon Ricotta Kale Dip
- Creamy Spinach Dip
- Nutty Red Pepper and Basil Dip
- Party Time Pimento Cheese (this recipe can be made vegan with non-dairy “cheese” and no-egg vegan mayonnaise)
- Grilled Salmon Spread with Fennel and Chives and Lemon Tarragon Smoked Salmon Spread
- Vegan Pesto makes an awesome dip!
- Steamed Green Beans with Carrot Dill Dip
- Green Pea Guacamole (I love this dip)!
Got your own favorite dip and dippers? I’d love to know.