Thursday, July 17, 2008

Summer Veg Out Part V: GO FOR A DIP

So, how's your Summer Veg Out going? Now that the veggies are easy-access and the fruit smoothies are flowing, I bet your kids are chowing down like never before!

No? If the kids still aren't biting (or even if they are), how about taking their fruits and vegetables for a dip? Kids love dipping their food into other food (just consider that popular little vehicle for ketchup, the french fry).

Little cups of dip liven things up and can even be a great way to add protein and healthy fat to a child's diet. Here are just a few of our favorites...

1. First off, it's hard to go wrong with good ol' hummus (pictured here with a zucchini chip). Hummus is a classic, but you can also branch out and make bean dip out of any beans or legumes you like. We especially love the "cheesy" bean dips in Ultimate Uncheese,the ranch-flavored bean dip in Vegan Lunch Box, and spicy canned refried beans.

2. The crazy-looking carrot dip pictured here is one of my very favorite things EVER. I put it on green salads, beans and rice, steamed vegetables, raw tomatoes...pretty much everything except my morning oatmeal. It's a spoonful of Yumm! Sauce mixed with picante salsa. We're talking eyes-rolling-back-in-the-head good. Yumm! on its own is to-die-for, of course, but I totally love the extra bite of spicy picante mixed in, and the fact that mixing it like this cuts the fat down quite a bit. If you don't have any Yumm!, picante salsa mixed with mashed avocado would also be excellent.

3. Another high-protein dip that I particularly like on celery is Toby's Classic Lemon Dill Tofu Paté. It tastes a lot like egg salad! Be careful when shopping for Toby's, though, as only the Lemon Dill -- aka Lite Eggless -- paté is vegan.

4. Nut butters like this almond butter make a great dip for apple slices, bananas, and baby carrots (and -- let's be honest -- your finger, a spoon...). Nut and seed butters are high in protein and the healthy fats that are so crucial for growing bodies.

5. This summer my four-year-old niece taught me that even applesauce can be a fun dip! She dipped sugar snap peas, apple slices, and baby carrots into applesauce the last time she was here and crunched away. Such a simple way to make veggies a little more interesting and fun!

How about it: what are your favorite dips?

25 comments:

Nikki Douglas said...

I am a dipping veggie fool! I make lovely ranch dip, vegetarian French onion dip (really good), green goddess herb dip and this insane curry yogurt dip ( which you can veganize and use soy yogurt with). All so delicious. Since I am watching fat I often use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream or veganaise instead of mayo.

Christen said...

You've got apples in your basket today. How do you get them to stay colorful and not turn to brown? I've always used lemon juice, but that might mess with the flavors of your delicious looking dips!

Rachael said...

My favorite dip is tahini mixed with balsamic vinegar, black pepper and garlic powder or minced garlic. its awesome as a dip or salad dressing or even pasta sauce (I've been eating it over zucchini "pasta" a lot this summer since I'm staying 75% raw). You can also mix in some salsa or pureed soaked sundried tomatoes, or fresh basil.

Jennifershmoo said...

There are a lot of ways to keep apples from browning. You can toss them with lemon juice, of course, but also orange, lime, or any other citrus juice, soda pop (lemon-lime or mandarin are nice), or pineapple juice. I've also noticed some varieties of apple hold their color longer than others.

Melissa said...

I love Asian-style peanut sauce/dip made with natural peanut butter mixed with a little cider vinegar, honey, and tamari. It's fantastic with broccoli, cucumber, & carrots or over cold noodles. The basic recipe is very kid-friendly, but for a more adult taste, add minced garlic and/or hot chile paste. Yum!

Maenad said...

I've been making awesome roasted carrot and cumin dip which is a hit with everyone who's tried it. Roast a kilo of carrots sprinkled with cumin, till soft, blitz, add 4 tblsp lemon juice and 4 tblsp tahini and dip away for days. Keeps really well in the fridge and transports well too.

lisbet said...

What is this Yumm sauce? :) I clicked through to the website but I'm thinking there's no way for me to get any of it from here in Chicago.


Now I'm craving hummus.

Jennifershmoo said...

Oh wow, that roasted carrot dip sounds soooo good! :-)

Yumm! sauce is hard to describe ... let's see, it's made with garbanzo beans, almonds, and canola oil ... and it's a bit "cheesy" with nutritional yeast, and I think there's a bit of curry powder in it ... and some kind of green herb that I can't identify ... Anyway, it's seven shades of awesome!!

Jennifershmoo said...

Oh, and there's also the tang of lemon to it. Dang, I'm going to go eat some! :-9

Bean Bell said...

I mixed peanut butter and no sugar added apple sauce together last week to dip pretzels in. It didn't look pretty but tasted REALLY good.

North of 17 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
North of 17 said...

What do you use to slice your zuc's? Your presentation makes them tempting.
Allison

Bianca said...

These are good tips for grown-ups too! I love raw veggies, but I'm way more likely to eat them with a dipping sauce! I hate when I go to a social function and the only vegan food is crudite with ranch dip. That means I get to eat plain, raw veggies/ no dip. And that's boring. I love dips!

tinkonthebrink said...

Nayonnaise, tamari, pinch of cayenne, nutritional yeast - I will eat cardboard dipped in this.
Can be punched up with ginger, lemon juice, tahini, curry depending on your purposes.
It's my gold standard dipping thang.

Jennifershmoo said...

>>What do you use to slice your zuc's? Your presentation makes them tempting.

It's called a "crinkle cutter". You can find them at cooking gadget stores, or here's one online:

http://www.pamperedchef.com/our_products/catalog/product.jsp?productId=31&categoryCode=CE

Kelly McDonald said...

French onion dip. You can make it with soy sour cream and a packet of french onion soup mix. So good!

jen said...

great ideas! my favorite thing to dip is cucumbers dipped into nasoya thousand island dressing.

Meghan said...

I tried some sort of sauce at a farmer's market this weekend that was great. The main ingredients were tahini, soy sauce, garlic, and cayenne pepper. I'm probably going to try and reproduce it, cause it was super good on brown rice.

Cyndi said...

Looks very yummy. I'm a big fan of hummus and vegan pesto too. Been eating the latter today with some firm sauteed tofu (cold from the fridge) dipped into it.

I tried the Toby's tofu pate and decided that I could duplicate it. So I did. It's cheaper and organic and pretty easy. http://norwitz.net/blog/2007/12/16/tofu-pate/

Faith said...

My kids all time favorite dip is what we call "yogurt dip". We use dairy yogurt but I'm sure a vegan substitute would be delicious too. We simply mix in (roughly) equal parts of vanilla (or plain - your call) yogurt with almond butter. Yummm! Goes great with fruit - I serve it either alongside fruit salad or simply dish some into my bowl first and top with the fruit.

Cordelia said...

I have a roasted carrot and cumin spread that I love too. The recipe is from Crescent Dragonwagon's book Passionate Vegetarian, and I found a copy on the internet here. It's heavenly.

Sometimes as a treat I give my son a little antipasto plate with a very small container of honey for dipping things into. He thinks it's the most perfect, amazing dipping sauce ever, and has enjoyed dipping carrots, sugar snap peas and focaccia in it, among other things.

I also really like this vegan nacho cheese dip served on the side when we have mexican food. It's also tasty with veggies dipped in it.

Laurel said...

I remember as a kid I would often have tofurkey or a soy burger (sometimes chicken, even though my mom was a vegetarian she still cooked us meat) dipped in apple sauce. It's quite delicious.
Also I've found baba ganouj is very tasty. I tried this with kids at my church and they liked it better than hummus (and they like carrots and hummus a lot!).

~JohNnyIchi~ said...

look delicious!
cheers!
magnetic rings

Go Natural Baby said...

Your collection of yummy dips look fantastic and any kid would think "feast".
Just bought your book Vegan Lunch Box and LOVE it.
We will be mentioning it on our blog soon! http://www.gonaturalbaby.com/blog
peace.

Jamie Wilcox said...

Another thing you can do to get small kids to eat their veggies (I did this with my young cousins, and it worked) is just eat some veggies.
My aunt told my cousins that they had enough sweets and snacks for the day, and my cousins were grumpy about this. So I just went inside, grabbed a veggie (I think it was a carrot, might have been something else though) and just sat next to them eating my carrot, and then along came peer pressure! Then they both went into the kitchen and starting snacking on veggies. Worked like a charm.