Mediterranean dips: 6 healthy companions for your evening snack!

Dips are a beloved snack time choice that goes with all sorts of salads and chips. But let’s give them a healthy twist with the recipe of these Mediterranean dips!
Try these healthy mediterranean dips! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Manasvi Jain Published: 8 Jun 2023, 15:00 pm IST

Get ready to say “Opa!”, that is “Hooray!”, with every bite as you try these recipes of healthy Mediterranean dips. The Mediterranean diet is renowned for its vibrant flavors, fresh ingredients, and numerous health benefits. One of the hallmarks of this culinary tradition is the wide variety of delicious dips that grace Mediterranean tables. Let’s explore these healthy and mouth watering dips that will elevate your snacking experience to new heights. From the velvety richness of tahini to the zesty tang of tzatziki, these Mediterranean dips are like little pots of joy that transform any gathering into a fiesta of flavors.

Packed with nutrient-rich ingredients like tahini, chickpeas, yogurt, and olive oil, these dips provide a substantial dose of healthy fats, fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. The Mediterranean diet, of which these dips are a cornerstone, has been associated with numerous health benefits, including improved heart health, reduced risk of chronic diseases, enhanced brain function, and weight management. So, dip away guilt-free, knowing that each spoonful not only brings joy to your palate but also contributes to your overall well-being.

You can enjoy these Mediterranean dips guilt-free! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Here are 6 healthy Mediterranean dips for you to try:

1. Tahini

Ingredients:

*2 cups sesame seeds
*2-4 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil (e.g., grapeseed, sunflower, or vegetable oil)
*2 tablespoons lemon juice
*2 tablespoons water
*1 clove garlic, minced
*1/2 teaspoon cumin (optional)
*Salt to taste

Instructions:

1. Toast the sesame seeds. Then place the cooled sesame seeds in a food processor and blend the seeds for a few minutes until they start to break down and form a coarse paste.

2. With the food processor or blender still running, gradually add the oil, starting with 2 tablespoons.

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3. Keep blending the mixture until the tahini becomes smooth and creamy.

4. In a bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, water, minced garlic, cumin (if desired), and a pinch of salt.

Also read: Weight loss: Try these 6 food combinations and dips to curb cravings

2. Hummus

Ingredients:

*1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
*1/4 cup tahini
*2 tablespoons lemon juice
*2 cloves garlic, minced
*2 tablespoons olive oil
*1/4 teaspoon cumin (optional)
*Salt to taste
*Water (as needed for consistency)

Instructions:

1. In a food processor, blend the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, cumin (if using), and a pinch of salt.

2. Gradually add water, a tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.

3. Transfer the hummus to a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and garnish with a sprinkle of paprika or fresh herbs.

4. Serve with pita bread, vegetable sticks, or as a spread in sandwiches.

Hummus is a healthy dip made with chickpeas! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Tzatziki

Ingredients:

*1 cup Greek yogurt
*1 medium cucumber, grated and drained
*2 cloves garlic, minced
*1 tablespoon lemon juice
*1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
*1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or mint (optional)
*Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. In a bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, grated cucumber, minced garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and chopped herbs.

2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Mix well and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

4. Serve with grilled meats, pita bread, or as a refreshing dip for vegetables.

4. Labneh

Ingredients:

*2 cups Greek yogurt
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*Extra virgin olive oil (for serving)
*Fresh herbs and spices (optional, for garnish)

Instructions:

1. Place a cheesecloth or a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl.

2. In another bowl, mix the Greek yogurt and salt.

3. Transfer the yogurt mixture to the cheesecloth or sieve, and let it strain in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours to remove excess liquid and obtain a thicker consistency.

4. Once strained, transfer the labneh to a serving dish.

5. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with fresh herbs and spices if desired.

6. Serve with pita bread, crackers, or use it as a spread in sandwiches.

5. Baba Ganoush

Ingredients:

*2 medium eggplants
*1/4 cup tahini
*2 tablespoons lemon juice
*2 cloves garlic, minced
*2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
*Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

2. Prick the eggplants with a fork and place them on a baking sheet.

3. Roast the eggplants in the oven for about 40 minutes or until the skin is charred, and the flesh is soft.

4. Remove the eggplants from the oven and let them cool. Peel off the skin and discard.

5. In a food processor, blend the roasted eggplant flesh, tahini, lemon juice, minced garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper until smooth.

6. Transfer the baba ganoush to a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and serve with pita bread or vegetable sticks.

You won’t be able to get enough of this smokey dip! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

6. Skordalia

Ingredients:

*3 medium potatoes, boiled and peeled
*4 cloves garlic, minced
*2 tablespoons lemon juice
*1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
*Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. In a bowl, mash the boiled potatoes until smooth.

2. Add the minced garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

3. Mix well until all the ingredients are fully combined.

4. Taste and adjust the seasoning according to your preference.

5. Serve skordalia as a dip with pita bread or as a side dish alongside grilled vegetables or fish.

Also try: This low-calorie peas and mint dip is every weight watcher’s dream snack

Embrace the rich flavors of the Mediterranean with these healthy and delightful dips. Whether you’re entertaining guests or simply indulging in a snack, these recipes will add a burst of taste to your table. Explore the versatility of hummus, the freshness of tzatziki, the creaminess of tahini, the tanginess of labneh, the smokiness of baba ganoush, and the robustness of skordalia. Enjoy these Mediterranean dips as part of a balanced diet, and savor the goodness they bring to your culinary journey.

About the Author
Manasvi Jain

Manasvi Jain is a professional writer with a keen interest in spreading awareness about various health and wellness issues through her articles. She writes well researched articles by connecting with various doctors and health experts. ...Read More

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