Are you looking for ways to ensure that you and your family consume the daily recommended amount of vegetables? We’ve created some unique and flavorful ways to make healthy dips and dressings that are high in vitamins and minerals by using whole, natural foods like vegetables as the base. Incorporating healthy, fresh vegetables into dressings and dips is a great way to increase the nutritional value of your meals and snacks, and help meet your health goals. Consuming more vegetables as part of your daily diet can result in numerous health benefits and will provide you with the energy you need to keep performing at your best.
As much as we like to encourage eating whole fruits and vegetables for meals, we are also very passionate about including them in snacks! We have seven varieties of snacking tomatoes, not to mention four varieties of cucumbers, three pepper varieties, and our new mini melon. We encourage people to #snackhealthy with fresh greenhouse produce. Why? It’s an easy and convenient way to fuel a healthy lifestyle! However, sometimes getting everyone in the family to eat the recommended amount of veggies is a challenge and so we wanted to share some of our favorite tips to mix vegetables into dressings and dips. We think veggies are great on their own but by mixing whole vegetables into dressings and dips you can easily increase the intake of the good vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function well.
COOL AS A CUCUMBER FOR A REFRESHING TASTE –
Did you know that the phrase “as cool as a cucumber” has some truth to it? Even in extremely hot weather, the inside temperature of a cucumber always remains cooler than the outside air! Cucumbers are great for keeping you hydrated because they are 95% water. This also makes them perfect for dressing and dip bases. They are high in antioxidants and help to flush toxins, boost immunity, and increase energy. The anti-inflammatory properties of cucumbers benefit the body both internally and externally.
Cucumbers are an excellent base for a light dip or dressing as they pair well with citrus fruits and fresh herbs. Try blending cucumber, lime, and cilantro for an exciting, zesty dressing that can be used on any type of salad. Pour it over a pasta salad that is full of a variety of diced vegetables such as peppers, onions, and snacking tomatoes. Better yet, toss your favorite vegetables in the cucumber lime dressing to marinate overnight and you’ll have a tasty salad that you can enjoy for the week. The low-acidic lime in the dressing can actually help to keep the other vegetables crisp!
CUKES FOR A CREAMY TEXTURE –
Cucumbers can also be blended with dairy products to make creamy dips, or with chickpeas or cashews for a dairy-free alternative. The high water content of the cucumbers contributes to the creamy texture of the dip. Luckily, we have many different varieties that all work great! When it comes to creamy dips, make your own Tzatziki Sauce with fresh Mini Cucumbers. Try out this recipe Roast Beef Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce – it’s not your traditional gyro as it uses lean roast beef instead!
PEPPERS FOR A SAVORY ELEMENT –
There’s something comforting about eating savory foods. Even more so when it’s time for a snack! It’s like getting a pat on the back for giving yourself a break. Sweet Bell Peppers or Aurora Bites Mini Sweet Peppers are an excellent complement to both dressings and dips. This Roasted Red Pepper Dip contains a lot of fiber and protein. Baking the Sweet Bell Peppers enhances their sweet sweetness, and cannellini beans are used to thicken the dip. Add in Parmesan cheese, basil, garlic, olive oil, and lemon and this dip is both nutritional and flavor-rich! Serve it with additional cut veggies or enjoy dipping tortilla chips in it! You can also try roasting the peppers and combining them with apple cider vinegar and olive oil for a vinaigrette. This can then be served over a hearty salad filled with good proteins like chicken or nuts.
TOMATOES FOR ADDED SWEETNESS –
Tomatoes are an excellent addition to any cheese-based dip because their sweet flavors, combined with the healthy fats in the cheese, provide richness for your taste buds. The bonus is that you get all of the wonderful nutritional benefits of various food groups while enjoying something delicious! Healthy dip ideas for the win! You will want to try this cheesy dip recipe, a delicious blend of Azuca® Red Cherry Tomatoes, Sweet Bell Peppers, , and cream cheese. The dip is loaded with vegetables, doubling your veggie intake, and is a simple, quick appetizer to have in your back pocket when you need something in a jiffy! If you want a plant-based alternative, blend the peppers and tomatoes with chickpeas or soaked cashews for a smooth, creamy texture. These veggies also add important nutrients to the mix, such as Vitamins A and C which are antioxidants that help to prevent diseases, maintain healthy skin, slow aging, and boost immune function.
GET CREATIVE WITH VEGGIES –
Overall, incorporating vegetables into your dips and dressings can boost the nutritional value of your meals and snacks, while also ensuring that you are meeting your daily vitamin and mineral requirements. Although we have provided a few examples, the possibilities are limitless and we encourage you to get creative. You may already have a favourite dip that you enjoy making – why not add some cucumber to it to change things up? Cucumbers have a mild flavor, so you might not even notice, and you’ll be getting those natural electrolytes and vitamins. Adding a few raw or roasted peppers may improve an already tasty recipe while providing those extra health benefits. Including more vegetables in your diet is a simple way to help your family Live Deliciously® and since greenhouse grown products are consistently available all year round, you can enjoy the fresh flavors any season!
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