When the day's long,
When my tummy’s hungry,
When I'm feeling sad.
I simply remember my favourite dips
And then I don't feeeeeeeeel... so bad!
For the past few years I have been trying my best to live a healthier lifestlye; plenty of exercise (especially outdoors), fueling my body with natural ingredients and nutrients, and keeping a calm mind! This may seem like a silly mission but to me it has made all of the difference; I am very happy and more energetic than I used to be. It was all about a lifestyle change. I tried to do achieve this many times but was only actually successful when I decided to create smaller and gradual changes.
When it came to eating healthier, I really struggled with staying away from processd and store-bought dips... pesto, guacamole, tartar sauce. It all seemed pretty impossible until I discovered healthier ways to make the same dips from scratch! So I have compiled some of my favourite dip recipes and below I have included some tips and what special nutrients you can find in each one!
I love pesto; it is great on toast, in sandwiches, as pasta sauce, and mixed with Greek yoghurt as a dip for potato wedges. I used to use store-bought pesto until I had a meal at a restaurant with sundried tomato pesto. Needless to say it was a revoluntionary exerpeince and I went home to begin experimenting with making my own pesto from scratch!
The finished product is delicious and has many different ingredients. The oil and pine nuts in the pesto provide a great base for healthy fats. Although many people have warned against eating fat in the past, it has become more apparent in the nutrition world that healthy fats are essential for brain function and long-lasting energy. I also included some spinach, which is rich in the iron, and the lemon juice in the pesto will help retain the great qualities of spinach even if the sauce is cooked in something like pasta.
My favourite part of this pesto is that you can make a big batch and then freeze the leftovers in an ice cube tray—simply take the pesto cubes out of the freezer as you need them. I love using this Perfect Pesto as a simple dip for celery or spread on toast.
Simple Smashed Avocado (AKA Guacamole)!
If you get nervous at the thought of having to buy fresh avocados, don't feel embarassed. Avocados tend to be a difficult fruit to test for quality in store. The general rule of thumb is to make sure that they have a little bit of give when you squeeze them. Make sure not to squeeze them too hard as they do bruise quite easily. (You can see where the difficulties come from *sigh*) A tip I have learned when buying avocados is to have them as a treat, and I usually only buy two at a time so that they do not go bad on my counter. Don't be discouraged if you have a bad avocado purchasing experience, once you have bought a few you will get used to what to look for. Avocados are delicious, so it is worth it!
There isn't much required to this guacamole... In fact, it is basically just smashed avocado and all you need is a bowl and a fork. Nonetheless, it is super duper tasty and full of the benefits of avocado. They are full of healthy fats that help decrease inflammation, satiate hunger, and increase the body's ability to absorb nutrients. Fibre is a word that I see all of the time but I rarely know how much I am eating or what foods contain enough fibre. However, I have learned that fruits and vegetables are chalk full of fibre and avocados are no exception, actually they are one of the best!
My favourite use for this simple guacamole is spread on toast with a couple of eggs or as a spread in a sandwich. I have also become quite fond of dipping Cajun Sweet Potato Wedges in the guacamole as a tasty snack in the afternoon.
The Ultimate Greek Yoghurt Dip!
I had tried Greek yoghurt dips in the past which were okay but tasted a bit too "healthy" for my liking. When I discovered this recipe, I realized the secret... capers! Who knew?
This dip was the turning point in my healthy eating journey! I lead a vegetarian lifestyle and it can be difficult to fill my body with the right protiens... Luckily I found this delicious dip made with Greek yoghurt—a good (and somewhat surprising) source of protien. If you are cautious with your calorie intake you can use non-fat Greek Yoghurt, but it is important to remember that healthy fats are essential for a happy body so don't shy away from the full-fat option.
The original dip makes a great tartar sauce to be eaten with fish and chips or baked potatoes. However, I have also found a few ways to change up this delicious sauce to mimic other tasty dips. For example, take away the capers, add a dill pickle and some cucumber, throw in a bit of fresh dill and BAM! you've got a delicious tzatziki dip. The Ultimate Greek Yoghurt Dip is a great dip to experiment with so try out some new things and I promise you will be feeling like a Master Chef in no time!
To sum up my thoughts on dips... they are delicious, they can be healthy if you make them from scratch, and they are DELICIOUS!
Heitz, David. “8 Ways Greek Yogurt Benefits Your Health.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 17 Aug. 2016, www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/greek-yogurt-benefits.
Gunnars, Kris. “12 Proven Health Benefits of Avocado.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 29 June 2018, www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-proven-benefits-of-avocado#section13.
Visit our Sneaky–Nutrient Recipes section to find the full recipes for my favourite dips.
I am Kaitlyn, the K in DLTK and I've been working for the family website since I could hold a crayon. Now I am all grown up and I live with my partner, Callum, and our adorable cat, Juicebox! When I'm not helping my parents on the site, I am studying psychology at the University of Calgary. I love my work and my studies, but when I can I love to head out to the mountains and enjoy the outdoors! You can connect with me on Facebook or Instagram.