"The wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings. Let food be your medicine."
- Hippocrates

January 14, 2010


Dips are great for all occasions... They are great as appetizers for a nice dinner party, as snacks to accompany your favourite TV shows (ahem, LOST anyone?), or as a healthy alternative to your everyday brown bag lunch. They are great dipped with crackers, potato chips, tortilla chips, pita bread or chopped veggies! You can even smear them on a tortilla, throw in some veggies and call it a wrap!

These are your standard "go-to" dips that are a hit with pretty much anyone - Hummus, Guacamole, and Black Bean Dip - all are super easy, cheap and packed with healthy snacking nutrients!! Because everyone likes their dips a certain way (e.g., lemony hummus, garlicky guac, or chunky black bean dip), you should consider these recipes a guide...play with them, add more or less ingredients and find what makes you happy!


1 can chickpeas, drained (Optional - reserve liquid for later)
2 cloves fresh garlic, roughly chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)
4-5 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 tbsp ground cumin 1/2 tsp salt

Add all ingredients in the food processor and blend. Keep checking and scraping the bowl with a spatula to make sure everything gets blended. If it seems dry, add - by the tablespoon - either the reserved chickpea liquid or water to thin it out (the chickpea liquid makes it a bit smoother, but it has more sodium, so if you're trying to avoid that just use water).

Serve sprinkled with extra cumin or paprika and drizzled with olive oil. Variation There are a million variations on hummus, for example, try adding chopped fresh basil, roasted red pepper, or sundried tomatoes!

Health Benefits
Tahini is made of sesame seeds which are a very good source of manganese and copper, and a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc and dietary fibre. Infact, just a quarter-cup of sesame seeds supplies 35.1% of the daily recommendation for calcium!!


4 ripe avocados, peeled and seeded (Tip: to ripen avocados faster, put them in a paper bag with a banana, apple or tomato!)
1-2 tsp ground cumin
1 tomato, seeded and diced
1/4 - 1/2 cup finely diced onion (red, white, or green - or a mix)
2 serrano or jalapeno chilies, seeded and minced (optional)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
4 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped salt and pepper to taste

- Cut avocado into large chunks and mash coarsely in a bowl with a fork.
- Add remaining ingredients and mix gently. The guacamole does not have to be absolutely smooth - leaving some small avocado chunks is fine – more than fine actually!

Health Benefits
Avocados are a good source of vitamin K, fibre, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate and copper. Avocados are also a good source of potassium - they are actually higher in potassium than a medium banana!

Black Bean Dip

1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 tsp coriander, ground cumin, and chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes
1 can (19oz) black beans, drained
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
3 tbsp fresh cilantro
1 small tomato, chopped

- Cook onion, garlic, and half the green pepper until tender (about 7 min). Stir in ground spices then remove from heat.
- Briefly process beans and juice, add onion mixture, tomato and half the fresh cilantro - process until smooth. If it's too thick, add up to 1/4 cup water.
- Serve topped with remaining cilantro and green pepper.

Health Benefits
Black beans are a very good source of dietary fibre, folate (one cup provides about 2/3 of the daily recommendation for folate), a good source of manganese, protein, magnesium, thiamin (vitamin B1), phosphorus and iron. In the case of protein, a one cup serving of cooked black beans provides about one third of a day's protein requirement.