A foodie's quest to turn up the heat through strength and conditioning with whole food and a hungry mind.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Top Five Healthy and Tasty Dip Substitutions

Do you think the Frito-lay Bean Dip is the best bean dip ever and nothing can replace it?  Or, do you savour Tzatziki sauce with all of it's garlicky, dill flavored goodness?  Well, try these variations for a guilt-free substitue to some classic favorites.

  • Canned Fat-free Refried Beans:  Most stores sell fat free refried black or pinto beans in a can. Check the ingredients to ensure only cooked beans, water, salt, and a few spices are listed. They are high in sodium, so try to rinse them with water over a strainer if you are concerned.  You can just mash them up as is and use immediately as a dip, or add some extra flavor by thoroughly mixing garlic and onion powder, cumin, cilantro, and salsa.  Don't be scared to try other variations incorporating mustard, yogurt, other herbs (basil, oregano, dill, etc), and spices (cayenne, turmeric, wasabi powder, etc.).
  • One of my favorite stores with one of my favorite products.
  • Low-fat Cottage Cheese Garlic Dip:  Cottage cheese tastes great on its own, but mix in some garlic powder, onion powder, dill, pinch of cayenne, and a touch of lemon juice.  Let the dip sit in the fridge for at least an hour for the flavors to marry together.  If you don't like the lumps in cottage cheese, you can puree everything together or use Greek yogurt.  Either way, you'll have a protein packed dip ready for whole grain chips, crackers, or crudites.
  • Low-cal Guacamole:  Take prepared guac, or prepare it yourself, then add a small jar of salsa and mix thoroughly.  The salsa will add to the amount of dip you have and spread the calories across the board.  This way you can serve more if you have company, and feel great while doing it.
  • Healthy Hummus:  You will need a food processor for this one.  Take a can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed in a strainer.  Add to food processor with cumin, paprika, parsley, basil, 3 garlic cloves, pepper, and any favorite veggie you like such as red pepper, jalapenos, eggplant, or spinach.  Traditional hummus calls for olive oil and tahini (sesame seed butter), but I use just a touch of high quality olive oil and chicken broth to blend everthing together.  Just add the broth a tablespoon at a time until you get the consistency you want.  Allow to chill and let the flavors blend, then enjoy with raw veggies, as a sandwich spread, or whole grain crackers.
  • Sweet Heat Chip Dip:  I won a contest at Food Should Taste Good with this recipe. Take 6 oz fat-free cream cheese (softened), ¼ cup plain non-fat yogurt, ¼ cup salsa, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon horseradish (optional), 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, Salt and pepper to taste. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Let chill for 1-2 hours to let flavors meld. Sprinkle chopped parsley on top and serve with your favorite Food ShouldTaste Good® chips, sliced apples, or as a tasty spread on toast.  If you don't have cream cheese, low-fat cottage cheese or fat free greek yogurt would work well too.

I hope you can use one of these to replace a higher calorie snack without sacrificing flavor.  There are many substitutions for some of our favorite things, stay tuned to see more in a future post.

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