It's tough to throw a party without a dip or three on the table. The carrots might not satisfy on their own. Dips don't have to be loaded with saturated fats, a week's worth of calories and nothing in the way of an actual nutrient, though.
Hummus, for one -- a mixture of chickpeas, sesame tahini, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and seasonings -- is high on flavor and relatively low in fat (none of it saturated). It's also low in calories and sodium and relatively high in protein, iron and fiber [source: Self]. This traditional Middle Eastern dip can be spiced up with additions like roasted peppers, eggplant or lots of extra garlic.
Some other healthy dips include:
- Light ranch salad dressing
- Mango and bell-pepper salsa
- Pico de gallo (salsa fresca)
- Pureed cannellini beans with lemon juice, olive oil and garlic
- Refried beans with fresh tomatoes and cilantro (topped with some reduced-fat cheddar)
- Mashed eggplant baked with lemon juice, olive oil and feta
Serve with toasted whole-wheat pita, reduced-fat whole-grain crackers or veggies instead of chips.
Next, why even make them dip?