Dips that heal

5 delicious dips that heal

There are many healthy, nourishing foods that make great and simple dips. Homemade dips are a fabulous way to boost your nutrient intake and are better snacks to reach for than a sweet treat. Enjoy with an assortment of vegetable crudites and your daily vegetable intake will be easily boosted.

Dips also freeze well, so they are great to make in bulk and freeze in small batches to enjoy at your convenience. To freeze, portion and place them into an airtight container or jar, drizzle over a little olive oil to seal the top and freeze for up to three months.

Here are five top ingredients to make quick and healthy dips.

Avocado

Creamy avocado is a delicious and nourishing base for a dip. Avocado has a unique nutrient profile containing a range of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, vitamin E, B-vitamins and potassium, as well as being a rich source of monounsaturated fats.

Simply mash or blend ripe avocado with lime or lemon juice, both rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, which keeps it from browning. Then season with sea salt and black pepper to make the simplest of dips. To make it extra creamy, you could add in a few tablespoons of natural yoghurt and boost it further by mixing through finely chopped leafy herbs such as mint, coriander or chives.

Avocado dip can be used as a spread on toast, with vegetable crudites, or as the perfect accompaniment to a Mexican meal. Guacamole anyone?

Simple Guacamole

  • 2 medium avocados
  • 2 tbsp full-fat natural yoghurt (optional)
  • Juice ½ lime
  • Good pinch sea salt & black pepper, to taste
  • Blend in a high-speed blender until smooth and creamy.

Leafy greens

Soft leafy herbs like basil and coriander, and greens like baby spinach, rocket and baby kale make fabulous dips. Leafy greens have more nutrients per calorie than any other food. Their high level of nutrients coupled with many potent, immune-enhancing phyto (plant) chemicals results in them being a super choice for your dip.

Pesto is a wonderful “leafy green” dip and it’s also extremely versatile, so can be made from a range of leafy greens. I usually choose either basil, coriander or rocket and combine it with milder-flavoured greens like spinach or kale for a bit more nutritional diversity. Process with garlic, nuts or seeds of your choice, parmesan (or nutritional yeast if dairy-free or vegan), olive oil and lemon or lime juice and you have a delicious, super-nourishing dip.

Pesto is great as a dip, but also mixed through pasta, rice or quinoa for a fast, easy dinner. Alternatively, spread on flatbreads to make pizza or smear on toast to pimp up your breakfast game.

Power Pesto

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 50g finely grated parmesan
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, leaves picked
  • 1 handful baby spinach or kale
  • 60g nuts or seeds of choice, toasted (pine nuts, almonds, macadamia, cashews or sunflower seeds are all delicious)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice ½ lemon or lime

Place the garlic, parmesan, leafy greens and nuts or seeds into a food processor and pulse to chop.

Add the olive oil and lemon or lime juice and mix to combine.

Cashews

The soft, slightly sweet and creamy flavours of cashew nuts make them the perfect candidate for dips, especially if you are dairy-free or vegan. Cashew nuts are rich in fibre, healthy fats, plant-based protein and many essential minerals.

To make a basic cashew dip, blend one cup of cashew nuts with ¾ cup boiling water until smooth and creamy. This makes a great neutral base for adding additional flavours like garlic, nutritional yeast for a cheesy edge, leafy herbs, roasted peppers or chipotle chilli to make a queso.

Cashew dip is really versatile and can be used to replace any regular dip recipes that call for sour cream or cream cheese. Cashew queso has a beautiful smoky, cheesy flavour that takes any Mexican meal to the next level!

Cashew Queso

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • ¾ cup boiling water
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 chipotle chilli in adobo sauce
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground cumin

Blend in a high-speed blender until smooth and creamy.

 

Legumes

Legumes including chickpeas, cannellini beans and broad beans all make fabulous dips. Legumes are rich in fibre, healthy fats, plant-based protein and many essential vitamins and minerals. They purée well to make creamy, smooth dips, the most famous being hummus, of course.

Legumes make great standalone dips (hummus, white-bean dip and broad-bean dip) but, like cashew nuts, they also lend themselves to adding in different vegetables, further extending the nutritional value of the dip. For example, I love to blend roasted beetroot or carrot with my hummus. Roasted cauliflower works beautifully with white beans and fresh mint makes your average broad-bean dip extra delicious.

Creamy Lemon Thyme Dip

  • 250g cauliflower (approx. 2 cups), broken into florets
  • 425g tin cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ tsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  • Zest 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 180ºC fan-forced.

Bake the cauliflower for 15 mins until just tender and allow to cool. You can also steam it if you prefer (I think baking gives it a better flavour though).

Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend until creamy.

 

Yoghurt

Yoghurt is another fabulous base ingredient or addition to many dips. It is a great source of protein, many minerals and, being probiotic, it supports a healthy digestive system.

One of the simplest dips kids love to dunk raw veggies into is a basic blend of yoghurt with tahini, salt and pepper. This calcium-rich dip can be made in just minutes and is surprisingly delicious and nutritious.

I also often strain yoghurt overnight by placing it in a sieve lined with a muslin cloth and leaving it to separate the curd from the whey to make labneh (a probiotic cream cheese). This strained yoghurt (labneh) can be used in any dip recipe that calls for sour cream or cream cheese.

Vegetable Labne Dip

  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Handful leafy herbs (basil, coriander, parsley, dill, chives)
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 small red capsicum
  • 250g labne
  • Sea salt & black pepper, to taste

Combine all the vegetables in a food processor until they are finely chopped.

Mix through the labne, season well and enjoy.

 

Hopefully this has inspired you to whip up a few dips to enjoy as healthy snacks or nourishing additions to your meals.

Georgia Harding is a naturopath of 20 years’ experience, a mother, foodie and passionate health educator. She has a lifelong love of creating meals from delicious, whole foods. Her website is wellnourished.com.au

5 delicious dips that heal

By: Georgia Harding

There are tasty, nutritious pre-made dips out there, but if you have the inclination, making some health-promoting dips at home is easy if you choose the right ingredients.


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Tried this recipe? Mention @wellbeing_magazine or tag #wbrecipe!

Georgia Harding

Georgia Harding

Georgia Harding is a naturopath with almost 20 years experience, a mother and a passionate health educator. After many years consulting in a busy practice, lecturing in natural medicine and sharing her knowledge on talkback radio, Georgia decided to reach out and share her passion for holistic health by developing her blog, Well Nourished.
On her website, she shares fad-free health advice and intolerance/allergy-friendly recipes to inspire people to live happy, healthy lives and create delicious food memories.

Georgia’s ebook Rise and Shine: A Well Nourished Breakfast will inspire and guide you to prepare the most important meal of the day in just minutes. Her latest ebook The Well Nourished Lunch Box contains over 50 nut-free, allergy-friendly wholefood sweet and savoury snacks, lunches and meals to inspire you to pack a nourishing lunch box that your kids will love to eat and you will love to make.

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