Monday, February 2, 2009


Anyone care for a good dip? No, not the pool, it is February. I'm talking hearty creamy dips. But, if we are not careful, dips can be unforgiving when they are made with mayo, sour cream or cream cheese and accompanied by chips. There are scores of dips that are full of flavor and healthy too. I like to call them skinny dips.

Hummus, for example, is a super dip. It is an excellent source of protein, low in fat, high in fiber and an excellent source of folic acid. This popular food can trace its roots to the Middle East. It is made with chickpeas, tahini (sesame paste), oil, garlic and lemon juice. Others ingredients can be added to this classic recipe to enhance its flavor dimension.

Another great base for healthy dips are black beans. They too are high in fiber, low in fat and an excellent source of protein. Of course, these dips are only as healthy as their dippers. So, choose veggies to complete your skinny-dipping pleasure.

Classic Hummus
Smooth taste with just the right amount of lemon

1 15.5 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt

Place chickpeas in a food processor and process until smooth. Slowly and remaining ingredients and process until smooth.

Yield: 1 cup
tahini can be found in the International section in most supermarkets. It can be omitted if you cannot find it.

Black Bean Dip
Bold flavor combination

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 cup plain no-fat yogurt
2 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon salt

Place beans in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth.

Yield: 2 cups

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