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Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey

Take a Dip

Dips can be a convenient and delicious way to consume a wide variety of anti-inflammatory vegetables, spices, and healthy fats. While we love the convenience of purchased dips like packaged hummus, many brands contain unnecessary levels of fat and preservatives. Making dips yourself allows you to control the flavor and quality – and it’s easy!
Recipes courtesy of Living Plate Nutrition Education and Counseling Center.
The best dips begin with a creamy base made from foods such as beans, lentils, avocadoes, A bowl of garlic an red bell pepper hummusedamame, and roasted vegetables [eggplant, carrots, squash, zucchini, peppers, cauliflower] that are blended with oil or another liquid. Add flavor boosters such as tahini, garlic, hot sauce, nut butters, nuts and seeds, lemon or lime juice and zest to add dimension. Finish by seasoning with fresh and dried herbs, spices, salt and pepper and your dip is complete.

Here are some of our favorite combinations with healthy vehicles [skip the chips] to shovel them in:


Hummus and other beans - The classic chickpea base is very versatile and can be made with any bean. Add tahini, garlic, lemon, and cumin to chickpeas for a traditional version. Variations included [but are not limited to!] roasted red pepper, lemon kale, Moroccan carrot, zucchini almond, kalamata olive, spicy sriracha, and creamy pesto.

Avocado – Guacamole! We love the healthy fats in avocado, but the calories can be intimidating. Cut the amount of avocado in half and add defrosted edamame beans – you will decrease the calories and increase the protein. Win, win. Add some greens to keep your dip bright and fresh. Our Kale and Avocado Guacamole is a team favorite.

Roasted vegetables – Baba ganoush is the ultimate example here – a combination of roasted eggplant, tahini, lemon, and garlic. Other roasted vegetables that work well in dips are butternut squash, cauliflower, zucchini and carrots. Roasting them allows you to process vegetables until creamy.


Carrot chips or sticks – You can purchase prepared crinkle cut carrot chips or slice carrots on angle. Baby carrots work too.

Cucumber chips – Slice cucumbers on an angle to maximize surface area for scooping.

Broccoli or cauliflower – Lightly steam these vegetables so they still have the firmness necessary to dip.

Green beans – Remove stems, rinse, and dip. If you prefer, you can lightly steam these as well.

Endive – This nutrient dense vegetable is the ultimate chip – perfect shape, size, and sturdiness.

Peppers – Red, yellow, and orange peppers provide a variety of phytonutrients and are milder than green peppers.

Celery sticks – Firm and crisp, celery is a go to vehicle.

Snap peas – These can be consumed raw or lightly steamed.

Cherry tomatoes – We love using grape tomatoes on our crudités platters, but dipping them can be tricky. Using toothpicks can help keep your fingers free of dip.

Green Goddess Bowl with Hummus Dressing


½ cup hummusweb_RECIPES_Green Goddess Bowl with Dill HUmmus Dressing ½ lemon, juiced 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/8 cup fresh dill, chopped Salt and black pepper, to taste 1 tablespoon coconut oil 8 cups kale leaves 1 zucchini, diced 2 cups frozen edamame, thawed [or other bean] 4 green onions, chopped 1 avocado, diced


Prep: 1. Thaw edamame. 2. Chop dill and green onions. 3. Dice zucchini and avocado.


In a jar, combine hummus, lemon juice, olive oil, dill and season with salt and black pepper. Shake well and set aside. (Note: depending on the original consistency of your hummus, you may need to add a tablespoon or two of warm water to thin.

Heat coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add kale and zucchini.

Sauté just until the kale is wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.

Divide sautéed kale and zucchini between bowls. Top each bowl with edamame, green onions, and avocado. Drizzle with dill hummus dressing.

Want access to over 300 easy, healthy, family-friendly recipes?  Try Living Plate meal plans!  Anti-inflammatory, Vegan, and Low-FODMAP plans available.  Sign up for a no-obligation FREE trial at

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