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Scoop Up Healthier Dip Options

There are endless dip-worthy occasions. Hungry for a snack? Enjoy some dip with raw veggies. Looking to make a sandwich or wrap more exciting? Spread with a flavorful dip. Invited to a party and need something easy to prepare and bring? Make a tasty dip. 

Yet dips can be tricky territory as far as calories and fat are concerned, especially when you get into creamy dips, and many can fall on the indulgent end of the spectrum rather than everyday fare. We have tips for making delicious dips while keeping an eye on health:

1) Add beans. When blended, beans have a creamy consistency. Everyone loves hummus, and it’s easy to make. Here’s a simple recipe for Homemade Hummus. You can use black beans to make hummus, too. In Celery Bites with Roasted Red Pepper Cream, white beans add body and help provide a smooth, creamy consistency. 

2) Use nuts. Nuts are a healthy fat, from whole plant sources, and they add rich flavor. “Creamy” Cucumber Dip is both rich and fresh, thanks to fresh herbs and cucumber. The cashews are soaked ahead of time so they blend more easily. Romesco Sauce, thick enough to use as a spread, is made from toasted almonds, roasted red peppers, sherry vinegar and smoked paprika.

3) Add a splash of liquid (something other than oil). Liquid will help blend the ingredients to a creamy, smooth consistency. Fruit juices, vinegars, and even water are fine options, depending on the other flavors in your dip. In Carrot Cashew Spread, water from cooking the carrots is reserved and used to blend a mixture of carrots, cashews and dried apricots. What are your favorite dips, and how do you put a healthy spin on them?