Hearty Hummus and Guiltless Guacamole

Last week I brought a new gas barbeque. It took 3 hours to build (grrr) but it will be worth it as Barbecue season finally dawns upon the UK!

As I turn into a Grill King this summer, I hope to share many healthy dishes with you. First though, I want to look at BBQ dips. I so often see people pick up dips from the supermarket when it is cheaper, easier, healthier and tastier to make your own. Hummus and Guacamole are two of my all-time favourite side dips because they are so versatile, tasty and healthy. So without further ado, here is how I go about healthily whipping them up:

Note: If possible try to use organic ingredients. Feel free to make your own substitutions but be aware of the changes in nutritional health that any additions or switches may cause.

Hearty Hummus

Chickpeas make up the bulk of this dish and are a great way to add protein to your diet. Beans are not always the easiest to digest but their high fibre content can help pull that cholesterol out of your body and prevent insulin spikes! This well loved dip can form part of a great post work-out recovery meal and just makes great party food full stop!

Ingredients: 500g Chickpeas, the juice of 1/2 Fresh Lemon, 2 tablespoons Tahini (sesame paste), 2-3 Garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons of oil( extra virgin olive/coconut/avocado oil), ¼ cup of full fat, natural Greek yoghurt, pinch of sea salt, pinch of black pepper.

To make: Blend the chick peas (or mash into a pulp manually) then add the other ingredients into the chickpea mix and blend together to taste. Chill the mixture for 30 minutes and enjoy…

It really is that simple! The main variable is the texture. You can add extra yoghurt, oil or even some water if your mix is too thick, or more chick peas if it is too thin. Optionally – sprinkle in some finely chopped black olives, parsley, fresh chilli orcayenne pepper for an added zing!

Serving Suggestion: Any chopped raw vegetables for dipping makes the perfect spoon to bring the bursting flavours to your mouth – carrots, broccoli, celery, cucumber…

Guiltless Guacamole

Avocado is at the heart of this dip and is arguably the most nutritious fruit in the world. Packed with monounsaturated fat, folic acid, iron, potassium, vitamin E, heart-friendly monounsaturated fat, and an abundance of the lutein anti-oxidant, it is hard to deny the avocado from claiming this crown. Avocados are such a versatile ingredient, and one of my favourite uses is in home-made guacamole.

Ingredients: 2-3 ripe avocados peeled and pitted (depending on their size), the juice of 1/2 Fresh Lime, 2-3 Garlic cloves, 1deseeded and diced tomato , 1 finely chopped bell/jalapeno pepper, pinch of sea salt, pinch of black pepper.

To make: Mash the avocado meat into a pulp manually (I use a pestle and mortar) and then add the other ingredients into the mixture to taste. Chill the mixture for 30 minutes and enjoy…

Like hummus, guacamole is super simple to make and the main variable is the texture. You can try adding coconut oil if your mix is too thick, or ground almonds if it is too thin.

Serving Suggestion: Again, any chopped raw vegetables for dipping – carrots, broccoli, celery, cucumber, or, if you need that crunch, try oven baking thin slices of sweet potato or beetroot for Mother Nature’s perfect crisp!

These dips are healthy, delicious and can be personalised to a great extent. I would love to hear what you own favourite variations on Hummus and Guacamole are, and if you have created any of your own nutritious dips. Bring on the BBQ and get dipping!

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