10 Tips to Make Your Favorite Dips Healthier

You know that pesky Near Year’s resolution that you made? You promised you’d eat healthy, but you love a good game day party dip. Here are 10 painless ways to be healthy and eat all that dip.

Tips for making healthier dips

So many healthy recipes promise delicious results. Unfortunately, my experiences are different. I’ve tried so many recipes that are supposed to be better for me and still taste great. But sadly, they don’t. Instead of trying someone else’s supposedly tasty healthy recipe, why not go to your own old standby recipe that you know is delicious and apply some of these healthy makeover tips. That way you get your classic dip without compromising on flavor or creaminess, and you’ll add a few nutrients along the way as well!

Tips for Making Healthier Dips

1. Use Neufchatel cream cheese

Way back in the day, an American dairyman added cream to Neufchatel cheese to make cream cheese. Or at least, that’s what the legend says.  So literally the only difference between cream cheese and Neufchatel cream cheese is the fat content. It still looks, smells, and tastes very similar. I’ve never noticed the difference, and if you’re using it in a dip, the likelihood of anyone noticing this slight difference is well, slight. Look for Neufchatel or 1/3 less fat cream cheese in your dairy section, they’re the same and in the same box or tub as your favorite cream cheese.

2. Sub part of the meat with vegetables to your dip

Does your recipe call for 1 cup of steak or other meat? Replace part of that meat with meaty veggies like zucchini, eggplant or mushrooms.

3. Sub mayo or sour cream with low-fat plain Greek yogurt

It’s creamy, tangy, and packed with satisfying protein. The cheese has enough fat, you don’t need to add more if you don’t have to!

4. Use veggies as dippers

Skip the crackers and slices of baguette. Instead try sliced bell peppers, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, slices of zucchini, raw cauliflower and broccoli, celery sticks. The choices are endless!

5. Choose whole grain breads and crackers to dip.

If you can’t resist a bit of carb, go with whole grain so that you get fiber and vitamins with your appetizer.

6. Use low fat or skim milk

Any cream cheese (or Neufchatel cheese!) or other kind of cheese you’ll be using has enough fat to keep your dip creamy and ooey-gooey. So go ahead and use fat-free milk in the dip.

7. Add extra veggies

Make your dip a spinach dip by adding frozen spinach (that’s been patted dry) or add any other veggies. Note: I wouldn’t double the veggies if you want your dip to still be ooey-gooey, but if you don’t care about the gooey factor, add as many as you can fit in your serving dish!

8. Don’t load on that dip

Do you usually get enough dip to completely cover your cracker? Chances are that you’re going to want to continue dipping and eating past fullness. If you’re watching a game or something, trick your mind into thinking you’re still eating a lot, but don’t spoon as much dip onto your dipper. just try it, you might not notice!

9. Cut back on the cheese topping by 1/2 or 1/3

If your dip usually has a covering of shredded cheese on top, omit it or cut it down by half. This will give you enough cheese to still cover your dip, but not as much.

10. Replace 1/3 to 1/2 of the cream cheese with riced cauliflower.

Riced cauliflower is creamy when blended and adds a nutrient punch to your go to-dip.

 

Rebecca Clyde

Rebecca is the registered dietitian and food blogger behind the scenes at Nourish Nutrition Blog (www.nourishnutritionblog.com) She loves to eat the rainbow and help others learn to enjoy a wider variety of foods. Although she loves so many different foods, one of her favorites is the good old-fashioned s’more, made with dark chocolate. And when a campfire is just out of reach, she’ll use nearly anything to get that roasty goodness, except a scented candle which she learned the gross way.