Healthy Party Dips

Summer is officially here. School is out. It's 100 degrees outside. Let the BBQs begin! Nothing says summer like getting together with friends to grill, eat good food, have a few cold ones and relax. So now the question... what are you bringing? Maybe an appetizer? A dip? Before you reach for the cream cheese, hold that thought. I love those kinds of dips as much as the next girl, and I'll eat my fair share if it's in front of me. But then I'll feel all 'bleh' the next day because I ate a block of cream cheese. If you're looking for a healthier alternative to the standard party apps, try one of these for your next get together...


The main ingredient - chickpeas - are a healthy, low-fat source of protein. Making it is as easy as whipping together most dips. Sure, you can always buy it at the store in a pinch, but most of those packaged tubs have high fructose corn syrup and other additives you don't want. So if you do, read the labels. But I suggest giving it a try at home. Just stuff a few ingredients in a blender and you've got something far better than the store variety - because YOU made it!

What you need:

2 cups cooked chickpeas
5 tbsp tahini
1 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup lemon juice (1 1/2 - 2 lemons)
2-3 cloves garlic
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup water or cooking liquid
chopped parsley and paprika for garnish

What you do:

Combine chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, sea salt and olive oil in a blender or food processor. Add water or cooking liquid as needed to facilitate blending. When the mixture is smooth, pour (more like scoop) into a bowl. Top with chopped parsley and paprika. Serve with carrots, celery and/or pita chips.

Change up the flavor by adding in one of these:
kalamata olives
roasted red pepper
roasted eggplant
spinach and artichoke
sundried tomatos and basil

Black Bean Dip

What you need:

1 1/2 cups black beans
2-3 tbsp salsa
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp lime juice
red pepper flakes (or Tabasco) to taste
1/4-1/2 tsp cumin
sea salt to taste
whole kernel corn
1 tbsp basil, chopped

What you do:

Combine first seven ingredients in a blender or food processor. Add water as needed to facilitate blending. Transfer to serving bowl. Mix in corn and chopped basil, then garnish with a little red pepper.

Mexican Explosion Dip

What you need:

1-2 avocados, chopped
2 tomatoes, diced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup whole kernel corn
1/2 red onion, chopped
1-2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lime

What you do:

Mix the avocado, tomatoes, black beans, corn and onion in a bowl. Stir in olive oil. Add cilantro. Squeeze lime juice over the mix. Refrigerate before serving.

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