You don’t have to shovel olive oil down or force yourself to eat a plain avo – unless you want to! – there are a number of delicious dips that incorporate a good dose of healthy fats into them, you won’t even realise the good you’re doing for your gut. Let’s dive in.
In the realm of nutrition, the term "fat" has often been met with scepticism and caution – you may have noticed all the low-fat, no-fat varieties of foods. Yet, in recent years, a revolution has taken place, shedding light on the significance of healthy fats and their pivotal role in our wellbeing, from boosting our digestion to helping us absorb nutrients. Gone are the days when fats were considered the enemy; it’s time to embrace the notion that not all fats are created equal – some, like trans fats, are indeed a problem for our gut. But there are healthy fats that are not only good for us, they’re vital. Those nourishing, essential components of our diet not only up our cooking game, but also contribute to our overall health. The aroma of a coconut curry, the rich creaminess of a dip, the velvety texture of a yoghurt parfait – these are the hallmarks of culinary delights that often owe their allure to the presence of healthy fats. We are diving into a realm where avocados, nuts, olive oil, and other wholesome sources of fat reign supreme. It's time to demystify the myths, embrace the science, and unlock the treasure trove of benefits that healthy fats bring to our plates. Let’s take a look at 3 delicious dips you can incorporate into your diet to not only boost your culinary experience, but your health too.
This classic avo-based dip isn't just a delight for your taste buds; it's also a fantastic source of healthy fats. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats, which are heart-healthy fats that can help lower bad cholesterol levels while increasing good cholesterol. These fats provide a steady source of energy and aid in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K. Avocados are also packed with dietary fibre, contributing to digestive health and helping you feel fuller for longer. Additionally, they are loaded with essential nutrients like potassium, which supports heart health and helps regulate blood pressure. With your tomatoes, lime and coriander, you’ve also got a hefty dose of vitamins C and K, along with antioxidants to jumpstart your immunity. The combination of healthy fats and nutrients in guacamole makes it a scrumptious addition to your diet that can contribute to overall wellbeing.
Hummus, a classic Middle Eastern dip made from chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and olive oil, is a nutritional powerhouse rich in healthy fats. Olive oil and tahini provide monounsaturated fats that are known for their heart-protective properties. These fats can help reduce the risk of heart disease and inflammation. Chickpeas, the primary ingredient in hummus, are an excellent source of protein and dietary fibre. Protein supports muscle health and overall bodily functions, while fibre aids digestion and promotes a feeling of fullness. Chickpeas are also loaded with essential minerals like iron and magnesium, contributing to energy production and bone health. With a medley of nutrients and healthy fats, hummus is a delectable way to boost your nutrient intake.
Tzatziki, a refreshing Greek dip made from yogurt, cucumber, garlic, and olive oil, is not only a tantalising accompaniment to meals but also a source of healthy fats. Yogurt, the base of tzatziki, contains probiotics that support gut health and aid in digestion. The olive oil in tzatziki contributes monounsaturated fats that promote heart health and provide lasting energy. Cucumber, a key ingredient, is hydrating and rich in vitamins and minerals like vitamin K and potassium. Garlic adds flavour and brings potential immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory benefits to the table. The combination of yogurt, olive oil, and fresh ingredients in tzatziki creates a delightful dip that combines flavour, texture and health benefits in one spoonful.
- 3 ripe avocados
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- 1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely minced (adjust to your preferred spice level)
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- Juice of 1-2 limes
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Optional: diced tomatoes, for extra texture and flavour
- Optional: a pinch of red pepper flakes, for an extra kick
- Prep the Avocados: Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, and scoop the flesh into a bowl.
- Using a fork, mash the avocado to your desired level of smoothness. Some chunks are great for texture.
- Squeeze the juice of 1-2 limes over the mashed avocado. Lime not only adds tanginess but also prevents the avocado from browning.
- Incorporate the minced garlic, finely diced red onion, chopped cilantro, ground cumin, and a pinch of red pepper flakes if you're looking for an extra kick.
- Add the finely minced jalapeño peppers to the mixture. Remember, the seeds and membranes are where most of the heat resides, so adjust the amount according to your desired spiciness.
- Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Give the mixture a good stir to ensure all the flavours are well combined.
- For extra texture and flavour, you can fold in diced tomatoes. They bring a burst of freshness to the guacamole.
- Taste the guacamole and adjust the seasoning, lime juice, or spiciness as needed.
- Cover the guacamole with plastic wrap, ensuring it touches the surface to prevent browning. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavours to meld together.
- Serve your spicy guacamole with tortilla chips, as a topping for tacos, or as a flavourful accompaniment to your favourite dishes.
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