Healthy Chef Skinny Dips
It’s time for a little skinny dipping over the holidays so I’ve given you my favorite healthy dip recipes. There are 4 purely delicious dips to choose from and what I love about them is that they are easy to make and much healthier then store bought versions. They all keep for about 4 – 5 days in the fridge, any leftovers are perfect to serve along side summer salads, dollop over steamed vegetables or pan roasted salmon or use as a sandwich spread in place of butter.
The secret to a good baba ghanoush is firstly to choose a great eggplant. The seedless variety are available at the moment and what’s great about them is that the taste is sweet and velvety which makes for a delicious baba ghanoush. It’s the seeds you see that can sometimes make your eggplant taste slightly bitter. I aways roast my eggplant in a hot oven in preference to charing on top of a stove. Mainly because I’m always doing other things in the process and like to be able to set and forget as opposed to standing over a stove. What I love to do is serve this dip topped with delicate jewels of pomegranate then drizzle over a little cold pressed olive oil just before you serve it.
What’s good about them:
Eggplants are low in fat, carbs and calories and are a good source of fibre that fills you up. They are also high in the mineral magnesium that helps with nerve and muscle contraction in the body. Avocados are nutrient dense, low in carbs, high in fibre, antioxidants and healthy mono-unsaturated fats that are anti-inflammatory to the body. A number of age-related diseases have been linked to inflammation, including obesity, cancer, type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, arthritis, osteoporosis, depression and dementia. Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, reducing saturated fats from animal sources, and choosing good oils coming from omega-3 and oleic sources — such as fish, linseeds, avocado, olives and almonds — are steps in the right direction. Red capsicum (bell peppers) are low in fat, carbs and calories and high in antioxidants such as beta-carotene a precursor to vitamin A, helping to promote vision and support a healthy immune system. Beetroots are packed with phytonutrients called betalains that provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support to the body. They are also high in minerals such as calcium and magnesium that help with bone mineralization and muscle contraction.
Recipes for Skinny Dips
- 3 large red capsicums (bell peppers)
- 80 g (2 oz / 1/4 cup) walnuts
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses or aged balsamic
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 200 C/ 400F.
- Place capsicum onto a baking tray.
- Roast for 30 – 40 minutes or until the skin blackens and capsicum is soft.
- Remove from the oven and cover with cling film or plastic wrap (the steam helps your remove the skins easier).
- When easily removed, take off the skins. A few black bits are okay. You should have 500 g / 17 1/2 oz cooked weight.
- Combine the capsicum, walnuts, olive oil, pomegranate molasses, salt and pepper into a high speed blender or food processor.
- Blend until smooth and creamy.
- 600 g beetroot, washed, trimmed, skin left on.
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses or aged balsamic
- 2 tablespoons cold pressed olive oil (walnut, flaxseed oils)
- Pinch sea salt and black pepper
- Preheat oven to 200 C.
- Wrap each piece of beetroot in foil and place onto a baking tray.
- Roast for 40 minutes or until the beetroot is soft.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 1 hour in the foil.
- Wash the beetroot under a cold tap removing the outer skin. You should have about 500 g roasted beetroot.
- Combine the beetroot into a high speed blender along with pomegranate molasses or alternative, 2 tablespoons olive oil and a little sea salt and pepper.
- 3 avocados peeled and seeded
- juice from 1 – 2 lemons, depending on your taste
- 1 cup parsley leaves
- 1 cup mint leaves
- 2 handfuls (cups) baby spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- good grind of black pepper
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
- Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender like a Vitamix until smooth and creamy.
- Serve with fresh vegetables.
Total fat: 3.7 g, Saturated: 0.7 g, Carbs: 0.1 g, Sugars: 0.1 g, Fibre: 0.5 g, kilojoules: 152, Calories: 36.
- 2 large seedless eggplant / aubergines
- 2 tablespoons tahini paste
- 1/2 – 1 lemon
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and pepper
- Pierce the skins of your eggplant with a fork then place onto a lined baking tray.
- Roast in a hot 200 C oven until the skin blackens, eggplant has collapsed slightly and the flesh is lovely and soft.
- Remove from the oven and place the eggplant into a colander to allow excess juices from the eggplant to run out and cool.
- Remove the inside flesh from the eggplant – you should have about 500 g of soft creamy flesh.
- Combine into a high speed blender along with tahini, juice and zest from ½ lemon, 1 clove garlic, salt and pepper.
- until smooth and creamy.
- Taste and adjust to your liking, adding more lemon or tahini if needed.
- Spoon into a serving bowl along side vegetable crudities.
About the Chef
Teresa Cutter is one of Australia’s leading authorities on healthy cooking and the founder of The Healthy Chef. Healthy Chef is a company that creates purely delicious functional foods for optimum health + wellbeing. We use organic and natural wholefoods and pride ourselves on developing quality that will inspire a deeper commitment to healthy living. A change in diet can bring about a change in health. Teresa is the author of five healthy cookbooks – Bite Me, The Anti-Aging Cookbook, Fit Food, The 80/20 Diet, and 101 Ways to Lose Weight.