You are hosting a party this weekend and are trying to put together a list of snacks, appetizers and finger foods that are healthy and summer appropriate. Look no further than this refreshing and healthy protein packed spinach dip recipe with Greek yogurt.
Anyone who knows me knows that I like incorporating Greek yogurt in many of my recipes and this is no exception. In fact, I think I may have used this line in a previous blog! With 7 simple ingredients that require very little prep and one magic kitchen appliance, a.k.a. the food processor, this dip will be ready in no time.
I often hear from my clients that finding healthy dip alternatives is difficult. My usual suggestions are using hummus, avocado/guacamole and Greek yogurt. I personally love experimenting in the kitchen, as do many dietitians, and for me sauces and dips are almost always homemade. I realize that this is not the case for everyone. Whether you are the chef in your household, or not, this spinach dip recipe with Greek yogurt is simple to make and will definitely be a crowd-pleaser at your next gathering.
Now, before we get any further let me break down the main ingredients for you. Spinach, avocado, cilantro, and Greek yogurt are the 4 main ingredients. You then add in some olive oil and garlic for flavour and you’re done. Notice that the nice creamy texture is coming from healthy sources of fat and protein, the Greek yogurt and olive oil!
Focus on Spinach
Spinach, the original super leafy green vegetable that Popeye approved of! Today, we don’t give much credit to spinach, it is often forgotten by most. Clients often mention that other than in salads or a quiche, they aren’t sure what to do with spinach. This recipe definitely solves that problem.
Spinach is filled with important nutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin K, folate, iron, fiber, magnesium, calcium and Vitamin C. In Ontario, spinach is in season during the months of May through October. You can learn more about seasonal fruit and veggies by visiting the Foodland Ontario website.
Food prep technique
Before I share this recipe with you, there is one quick food prep technique that I want to explain. The spinach in this recipe has to be slightly cooked, blanching is the technique that is going to do just that. Blanching is often used in certain recipes and before freezing vegetables. Blanching is just the process of briefly cooking a vegetable in boiling water and then stopping the cooking process by adding the vegetable to a bowl of iced water. When using this technique in this recipe, it allows the colour and flavour of the spinach to intensify. Adding heat also helps enhance the antioxidant content of the spinach.
This is how I blanched my spinach:
Step 1: Bring a small pot of water to a boil.
Step 2: Once boiling, you may remove the pot from the heat and add the spinach leaves to the pot OR you may pour the boiling water in a mixing bowl and add the spinach to the bowl. I used a separate bowl and covered the top. I left the spinach in for about 3 minutes.
Step 3: Remove the spinach from the hot water and place in another bowl of ice water. This will help stop the cooking process that took place in the boiling water.
Step 4: You can squeeze the excess moisture/water from the spinach before adding it to the food processor.
- 1 cup raw spinach
- 1 avocado
- ¾ cup Greek yogurt, plain
- ¼ cup cilantro (you may substitute with parsley)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons of lime juice
- ¼ tsp garlic powder OR 1 fresh garlic clove
- Salt and pepper to taste, optional
- Blanche the spinach using the technique mentioned above.
- Add all of the above ingredients to the food processor. Mix for approximately 2-3 minutes or until smooth.
- Add the mixture to a container and refrigerate for approximately an hour before serving.
- Serve as a dip for vegetables, pita chips or even your own homemade potato chips (recipe coming soon).
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