6 Healthy Appetizer Dips

By Nicole German (RD, LD)

2799-805748_salsa.jpgIt’s the beginning of football season here in the USA and we really like our chips and salsa as well as other dips while watching football.

What are we to do when most of these appetizers are loaded with calories? Even if you’re not a football fan, or a chips and dip eating person, I am sure you can benefit from having more healthy snack options.

So, I have compiled a list of my top healthy dips and a few appetizer recipe ideas.

Top Healthy Dips

  • Spinach Artichoke Dip: This is a classic that we all love. Your average spinach artichoke dip is about 150 calories for 2 tablespoons. This can make the calories add up quickly because a typical serving is multiple tablespoons! Try this instead: Make your own with fat free yogurt, fat free sour cream, reduced fat cream cheese, and reduced fat cheeses instead of the full fat ingredients and mayonnaise.
  • Salsa: This is your best choice in the dips category since it is all vegetables and seasonings. Even though salsa is your lowest calorie choice, go easy on the chips and try to bring some baked chips to your next gathering.

    Another variation on traditional salsa is a chunky salsa with corn, peppers, black beans, cilantro, and lime juice.

  • Bean Dips: You can get really creative with bean dips because each variety of beans has a different flavor. One of my favorites is a white bean dip with basil, pine nuts, white beans, garlic, and a touch of olive oil. Or, pick up a hummus at your local grocery store (or try making your own).

    Sliced vegetables go well with bean dips, and this makes bean dips one of the healthiest and most nutritious options.

  • Guacamole: Think of all the healthy monounsaturated fats you are consuming when you eat guacamole. However, it is still important to portion control this heart healthy dip as it can quickly become high calorie.
  • Salmon Dip: With any seafood dip it would be best to make your own so you can use lighter ingredients like reduced fat cream cheese. Try adding extra celery and green onions for flavor and use less of the cream-based ingredients.
  • Ranch Dip: This is another great vegetable dip. But, try making your own with a fat free Greek yogurt and plenty of herbs and spices. This will save you at least 100 calories, and 5 grams of fat per serving!

I hope this has given you some ideas for your next football game or get-together. What are some of your favorite healthy dips or appetizers?

3 Comments

  1. Spectra

    Hummus!! You can make it with all sorts of things-I puree chickpeas, garlic, a little lemon juice, roasted red peppers, and a little tahini and I eat it with cut up veggies. I’m also a huge fan of salsa. I use it on everything-eggs, to dip veggies in, topping for tacos/fish/etc. It’s fantastic!

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  2. ArrowSmith

    I def go for the baked tortilla chips with salsa!

    Reply
  3. Lana

    You can get high fiber baked chips that are much lower fat (Garden of Eatin’ makes some good ones). Ever try using plain greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise or cheeses? Still gives that creaminess with a kick of protein and like no fat. Also ever try mixing Dry Curd Cottage Cheese into your salsa? Super high protein, like no fat and tastes awesome (I think) in salsa.

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