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Quick, easy, healthy dips for summer

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Dipping and dunking, everybody loves it. All that extra goo adds calories to your diet. Not all dips are good for you. If at all possible stick to low cal dips. If that's not possible, at least stick to dips that are made from close to nature ingredients. Use fresh fruits and veggies instead of chips for dipping.Here's some of my original recipes for healthy dips you may enjoy. Go vegan by using whipped tofu in place of the sour cream or cottage cheese in these recipes.

There's nothing like fresh healthy homemade salsa.

Here's a recipe for pico salsa dip with lots of tomato, onion, garlic and just enough jalapeno to taste the flavor but not scald your mouth for life. This recipe can be altered by adding more peppers to turn up the heat.

Salsa Dip

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh ripe chopped tomatoes
  • 1 chopped medium onion
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh garlic
  • 1 roasted jalepeno pepper
  • 2 tsp. Cilantro
  • 1 tsp. Salt

Combine all ingredients. Chill one hour.

Everyone loves guacamole. It's all healthy vegetables. What could be better?

Guacamole Dip

Ingredients:

  • 4 ripe mashed avocados
  • 4 chopped green onions (include the green part)
  • 1 cup of your favorite salsa
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper.

Combine all ingredients.

Keeping with the Mexican theme, how about some healthy black bean dip ?

Black Bean Dip

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups mashed cooked black beans
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 small can chopped green chilis
  • 1 pkg. chili seasoning mix.

Mix all together. Enjoy.

This is an easy ranch dip made from a pre-mixed seasoning pack. While it's not exactly healthy, it is homemade at least. It's definitely an improvement over store bought.

Easy Ranch Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sour cream or fat free Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup cream cheese
  • 1 pkg. ranch dressing mix.

Combine all. Garnish with a parsley swig.

Not a fan of premixed spices? Try this homemade herb dressing.

Easy Herb Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup cream cheese
  • 2 tsp. dill
  • 1 tsp. lemon thyme
  • 1 tsp. onion powder

Cream all together. Add a touch of salt if you like. Chill one hour. Serve.

Hint: You can make your sour cream, cream cheese or mayonnaise based dips healthier by using blended low fat cottage cheese, plain yogurt or whipped tofu in place of the high calorie stuff.

Here's a healthy variation on a delicious dip normally used as salad dressing.

Thousand Islands Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 cup chopped dill pickles
  • ½ cup ketchup.
  • 1 tsp. crushed garlic

Whip or blend all ingredients together. Great with veggies.

Dips aren't just for veggies and chips. You can dip fruit too.

Fruity Yogurt Dip

Ingredients:

  • 2 containers plain yogurt
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 2 tsp. honey or vegan sweetener

Mix all together and serve.

This article was previously published on Yahoo! Voices

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