“What's in the dip?” Thanks to your way with spices, that’s what guests will be asking as they wonder why your dips are so delicious and distinctive. Here are some tips to help you whip up your very own version of the ultimate party food.
- Homemade dips can be a lot healthier than store-bought dips, which are often high in fat, sodium and calories. • Make skinny dips by simply using non-fat or low-fat versions of cheese or mayonnaise. • Use high-nutrition bases for your dips--like beans (chickpeas, kidney, pinto, black or white beans all work well), spinach, avocado, tomato or soft tofu. • To enhance flavors, add a dash of lemon or lime instead of salt. • Try using yogurt instead of sour cream in your recipes. • Fill up on fiber. Use wholegrain breads and crackers, and avoid high-fat chips and snacks made with refined flours. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Serve chilled. Makes about 1 1/2 cup. • Add finely chopped vegetables to your dips — like carrots, red, green and yellow peppers, celery, broccoli and whole peas. They add nutrition, color and flavor. • Instead of salt, season your dips with natural and organic spices and herbs from The Spice Shack, such as curry powder, garlic, thyme and oregano. For sweet dips, try cloves and cinnamon. • For party pizzazz, think of alternative bowls for your dip, like kale or cabbage leaves; a scooped-out sourdough; or hollowed bell peppers. • For quick results, keep a good supply of spice blends handy, such as Curry, Garam Masala, Italian Seasoning, Taco Seasoning, and Pumpkin Pie Spice. • Enliven classic fondue with a generous helping of spices--nutmeg and allspice with Gruyere, garlic and tarragon with Swiss. What to Dip With? An assortment of veggies is always fun, but be sure to vary the color. Why not offer kohlrabi or artichoke hearts alongside the classic carrots and cauliflower or papaya and kiwi with those apples? Vary your chip assortment, too. Offer something your guests may not have tried lately, like sweet potato, blue corn, or hot sesame chips. A variety of breads (including breadsticks, crackers and pretzels) and cheese cubes make for substantial dipping.