Householders who think about it will admit there is something irresistible about the kitchen, no matter its size or shape. Almost without fail, folks walking into one will want something, might even open the fridge to find out what it is they want.
This is especially true about kids. No matter the age, if they can walk into the kitchen it will occur to them that they want something to eat or drink.
Don’t fight it and don’t let them raid the cabinets for cookies, crackers, chips or candy. Here are three healthy dips to serve with fruit or vegetables or even some meats.
Suitable for a party or appetizer, the real value in these recipes is how quick and easy they are to whip up. In 10 minutes or less you can please the tikes just home from kindergarten or satisfy the teens with growling stomachs who can’t wait for supper.
CREAMY CINNAMON FRUIT DIP/DESSERT
Spicy, fruity and sweet, this dip is also a dessert topping
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp orange extract
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 pkg (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
2 Tbls brown sugar
2 Tbls milk
1 tsp ground cinnamon
4 C fresh fruit slices to serve
Add all ingredients in a medium bowl, except fruit, and beat until smooth. Spoon into serving dish, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve. For a dip, arrange fresh fruit chunks or slices on plate.
For a dessert, put a teaspoon-plus dollop on warm, toasted pound cake slices or fruit tarts, or atop pudding or Jello. Makes 8 (2 Tbls) servings.
Tip: If making ahead, toss fruit slices with fresh lemon juice, or 1/2 teaspoon bottled juice plus 3 tablespoons water, to keep them from turning brown.
Note: This dip also goes well with biscotti, mini-pretzels or bagel bits.
BASIC HOMEMADE HUMMUS DIP
Hunger-satisfying snack paired with pita wedges, toast points, fresh vegetables
2 C chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1/4 C tahini (sesame paste)
1/4 C water
3 Tbls olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 2-3 lemons (about 3 Tbls) OR 11/2 Tbls bottled juice
3/4 tsp salt
1 Tbls ground cumin
Place all ingredients into a food processor (or blender) and process until very smooth. Can be kept in refrigerator in an air-tight container for 7-10 days. Makes about 6 servings.
Tip: This basic hummus mix can be enhanced in a number of ways. Try any or all: minced onion, red and green diced peppers, shredded carrot (adds sweetness), hot pepper flakes, diced olives and/or pimento, etc. It’s a fun way to involve young children. Let them add “tastes” to a portion of the basic hummus and try each others’ creations.
SUPER SIMPLE VEGGIE DIP
3 ingredients and 3 minutes to a savory meat and vegetable dip
1/2 C mayonnaise
Place mayonnaise in a small bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon of each sauce and stir into mayonnaise. Taste. Adjust amount of sauces to your liking. Add more mayonnaise if you put in too much sauce.
Serve with cold or warm meats such as chicken tenders, rolled portions of sliced roast beef, vienna sausage; and with crudites of your choice. Also good with rolled slices of cheese. Makes a half cup. Dip will be soft rather than firm.