By: Leah Tully
As the weather heats up in New Hampshire, students begin their quest to shed their oversized clothing, and also some pounds. This leaves us with only one option: to skinny dip.
Nothing leaves you feeling more refreshed than a quick dip into a giant pool of…guacamole! As a self-proclaimed foodie and total health nut, I have spent my summers experimenting with quick ways to turn some of my backyard barbeque favorites into healthy treats that even my bikini-clad friends will be willing to eat! Great for those scorching summer days when there’s not a body of water in sight!
Spice up your guac with fresh tomato salsa for a lighter version that’s just as tasty! Mash in some avocados, squeeze a little lime and enjoy! You can also try experimenting with non-conventional ingredients like mangoes or strawberries! Try this super easy, super tasty recipe that I recently came up with on a whim after I was eyeing the avocados in the grocery store!
- A large bowl
- A sharp knife
- A fork or whisk
- A cutting board
- 2 avocadoes (Pick avocadoes that are soft, the softer the better, provided its not rotten or moldy)
- 1 jar of your favorite salsa
- 1 lime
- 1 bag of guacamole or taco seasoning
*This recipe yields enough guacamole for about five people.
- Slice each avocado using a sharp knife. There is a pit in the middle so slice around the pit being careful not to cut yourself.
- Remove the pit and toss.
- Grab a spoon and scoop out your avocado into a bowl.
- Next you want to mash up the avocado like you would a potato.
- Once you’ve mashed your avocado, gently fold in your other items (salsa, seasoning, etc.)
- Refrigerate for 2 hours then enjoy!
You’ll never go back to store bought hummus once you grind up your own chickpeas and toss in a food processor with tahini, lemon and whatever other ingredients suit your fancy. Try garlic, tomato, basil and any other veggies or herbs you think might be good on a cracker. Use less oil by adding water to reach a desired consistency and skip the salt altogether.
- A strainer
- A food processor
- A large container
- 2, 19 oz cans of chickpeas
- 1/4th cup of tahini (sesame paste)
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 can of sun-dried tomato paste or 1 bag of sundried tomatoes
- 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- Water (as needed)
*please note that this makes a huge batch. If you’re making this just for yourself I would cut the recipe in half, but if you’re making it to share with your friends at a backyard barbeque, it’s perfect!
- Start by putting your sun-dried tomatoes or sun-dried tomato paste into a food processor. If you are not using the paste you’ll want to add a splash of olive oil or water to the tomatoes to help the food processor chop them up
- Add the garlic clove and about a fourth cup of tahini to your sun-dried tomatoes (feel free to add it whole! The food processor will tear it up for you and your hands won’t stink!). Pulse the food processor a few times until the ingredients are finely chopped.
- Open your can(s) of chickpeas and place in a strainer in the sink. Rinsing the chickpeas to remove some of the sodium that they add for preservation.
- Slowly add the chickpeas (about 1 cup at a time) and turn your food processor on high until you are left with a smooth, uniform texture.
- Add in 1 tbsp of olive oil and the juice of 1 lemon as the mixture becomes thicker. You may also add water to reach the consistency you like your hummus.
- Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.
Creamy Spinach Dip
Make your creamy spinach dip with reduced fat cream cheese, nonfat yogurt and low-fat cottage cheese instead of full-fat cheese, mayo, and sour cream for a tasty treat that won’t weigh you down on a summer day.
Blue Cheese Dip
Pair your buffalo wings with a mixture of reduced fat sour cream, blue cheese crumbles, distilled white vinegar and a little bit of cayenne pepper instead of a store bought dressing. Make it hot or keep it cool by adjusting the amount of pepper you put in!
Layered Bean Dip
Skip the canned refried beans and try layering with black beans, salsa, reduced fat sour cream and fresh veggies like avocado, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and olives. Sprinkle with your favorite low-fat cheese and dive right in! This one is sure to be a party pleaser and goes great with a game of two-hand touch!
French Onion Dip
Forget the canned Lay’s version and create a healthier version by follow the steps of almost any online recipe, but substituting their ingredients for fresh chopped onions simmered in vegetable broth, reduced fat sour cream and plain yogurt. You’ll get the same creamy texture of your store bought favorite for half the calories!
Read more from Leah at her blog, Edgy Veggie.