By Michelle Nowicki, Nutritionist
This easy dip packs a lot of vegetables as well as flavor. I’ve noticed that some folks who are not fond of nutrient dense greens like spinach and kale will eat this dip with gusto. It is a great dip to prepare in advance of a party because the flavors blend nicely while it chills. I also like to keep some in my refrigerator to eat on crackers as a healthy snack alternative. Enjoy!
- 2 cups Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 cup finely chopped kale
- 1 cup finely chopped spinach
- 4 thin green onions, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red pepper
- 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine. The dip can be eaten right away but is best chilled for a couple of hours. Serve with crackers, bread and/or vegetables.
Yield: serves 4-6 as an appetizer
Total Time: 20 minutes
Key Ingredient Benefits
Carrots: This mighty root veggie has few rivals when it comes to beta-carotene. A mere half-cup serving offers four times the Recommended Daily Allowance for vitamin A in the form of protective beta-carotene. Beta-carotene may ward off certain cancers, and it helps prevent heart disease due to its antioxidant abilities. The retina of the eye needs vitamin A to function; a deficiency of vitamin A causes night blindness. Though extra vitamin A won’t help you see better, its antioxidant properties may help prevent cataracts and keep your eyes healthy.
Dill: Dill is scientifically known as Anethum graveolens and is part of the Umbelliferae family, whose other members include parsley, cumin and bay leaf. Dill’s unique health benefits – protection again free radicals and carcinogens – come from two types of healing components: monoterpenes, and flavonoids.
Garlic: Vampire jokes aside, garlic can protect us in many ways. It contains sulfur compounds that may protect cells from cancer, relax blood vessels and improve cardiovascular health. Research suggests garlic may help boost our cellular antioxidant production. There is some evidence supporting numerous health benefits from a diet rich in garlic.
Greek Yogurt: This type of yogurt is a thicker and creamier alternative to typical American-style yogurts. The rich taste and texture of this yogurt can substitute for higher-fat dairy products and help maintain balance in your digestive tract and provide essential protein. Compared to its unsweetened American-style counterpart, unsweetened Greek yogurt offers more protein and half the amount of natural sugar.
Honey: Despite its high sugar content, honey has many age-old health applications including boosting the immune system, soothing skin, aiding with digestion and as a cough and cold remedy.
Kale: Also known as borecole, kale is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. This queen of the greens is high in lutein and zeaxanthin, phytochemicals found in the retina, which could help reduce the risk of macular degeneration. Kale is also rich in beta-carotene (vitamin A), a powerful antioxidant that may help boost the immune system and possibly protect against some chronic diseases and cancer. Kale is especially high in magnesium, which is very important for bone health. Plus, kale’s magnesium and potassium help lower blood pressure, and its high fiber content can help lower cholesterol – all beneficial factors in lowering your risk of cardiovascular illness.
Mayonnaise: Although mayonnaise enhances the flavor and creaminess of many foods, many of the store bought brands are high in saturated fats and additives and should be used sparingly. Better choices are mayonnaise made from olive oil or even better, a homemade version made simply with olive oil, egg yolk, lemon juice, and mustard.
Onion: This root vegetable contains a number of flavonoids, one being quercetin (found in Juvenon’s Youthful Energy). This nutrient has been demonstrated in studies to protect the liver, cool the fire of inflammation and has anti-cancer properties. Quercetin may help in weight control by reducing fat synthesis and increasing fat burning.
Paprika: Paprika’s top benefit is that it is extremely high in vitamin C. A whole paprika pepper is known to have six to nine times the amount of vitamin C as a tomato. Because of its high C content, paprika can also help you absorb iron-rich foods and may help your body fight common infections. Paprika is also loaded with capsaicin, the phytochemical that is a powerful anti-inflammatory.
Red Bell Peppers: Bell peppers are an excellent source of carotenoids and vitamin C and are members of the nightshade family. They also provide plenty of fiber, water and Vitamin A.
Spinach: A super leafy green, spinach is among the world’s healthiest vegetables. Rich in vitamins (good source of vitamin K), and minerals, it is also concentrated in health-promoting phytonutrients such as carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin) and flavonoids to provide you with powerful antioxidant protection.
Michelle Nowicki has a Bachelor of Science in Food and Nutrition, completed a dietetic internship at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and has a graduate degree from Yale University.