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February 24, 2012 at 8:00 AMComments: 3 Faves: 0

Heart Healthy Hummus and Spinach-Avocado Dip

By Jessica Corwin MPH RDN More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Dietitian's Dish Blog Series

With all of this talk about heart-healthy eating lately, I couldn't resist sharing a couple of deliciously nutritious dips that are rich in good-for-you unsaturated fats! The first one is a family recipe my cousin was kind enough to share with me and the other is one I adapted from a delicious recipe found in Martha Stewart Living magazine.

Both of these dips pair nicely with fresh jicama slices, cucumber, sugar snap peas, whole grain crackers, fresh pita bread, or even as a spread on your sandwich! Either way, this makes for a quick and easy lunch to bring to work or a healthy snack to bring to your Daytona 500 party this weekend.

Heart Healthy Hummus

This basic hummus recipe is great source of protein and the garlic inside it is WONDERFUL for your heart! Not a fan of garlic? Sub in 1/3 of a cup antioxidant-rich roasted red peppers! Like it spicy? Try adding a little curry powder, jalapenos, or sriracha sauce for heart-healthy capsaicin. The sky's the limit with this recipe!


2-(15 ounce) cans Garbanzo Beans or Chickpeas, 1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon), 1-1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 of a full head of roasted garlic (about 7-10 cloves), Olive oil, to taste


Roast the garlic.Drain and rinse the beans. Place beans into a food processor or a large bowl if you have an immersion blender. Add lemon juice, salt, and garlic. Turn on processor (or insert immersion blender) as you slowly drizzle in the olive oil until your hummus reaches your desired consistency. 


Spinach Avocado Dip

Even if you're not a huge fan of spinach, just about everybody loves spinach dip! Unfortunately, spinach dip is often so loaded with fat and salt, any benefit of veggies is negated. Here's the compromise.This heart-healthy version maintains the savory richness of the dip without the typical mayonnaise or cream, by using avocado (Check out my previous blog for more avocado ideas)!


1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/3 cup red onion, chopped, 1-2 cloves garlic, minced, 1-(10 ounce) package spinach (fresh or frozen), Coarse salt and ground pepper, 2 avocados, 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons lime juice, Hot sauce (optional)


If using frozen spinach (opt for chopped), thaw it in the microwave and squeeze dry.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once warm, add the oil, onion, and garlic. Stir continuously until garlic is tender. Add spinach to the skillet along with 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste). If using fresh spinach, simply heat while covered until spinach has wilted. Once spinach is cooked, remove the lid and continue cooking over medium low heat for another 5-10 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated. Move to the refrigerator for 30 minutes.In a food processor (or using an immersion blender), puree the avocado, yogurt, and lemon juice until smooth.
Remove the spinach mixture from the refrigerator (if you used fresh spinach, chop into bite size pieces) and add it to the avocado puree. Mix well. Season with fresh ground pepper and hot sauce to taste. 

Which nutrient-rich dips do you make and serve at home?

Photo Credit:

Albertas Agejevas


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  • These look great Jessica. I love spreading hummus on my sandwiches. It takes the place of other fattening spreads and adds delicious flavor.

  • I'm around Middle Eastern and Greek people all the time...and yet for some reason, I still have never made my own hummus! I'll have to fix that. Great recipes as usual, Jessica :)

  • Coming from you two, I certainly appreciate the 'thumbs up'! Good luck with your first hummus, Laura. I'm experimenting with a black eyed pea hummus myself for an African American Potluck that I am going to on Monday. Hummus can be made in a variety of delicious (and nutritious) ways :)

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