A dinner fest or a cocktail party is a delicious way to bring people together. An assortment of finger foods and dazzlingly flavored dips will get the party started and keep your guests happily and healthfully well-fed.
Dynamite Dip Recipes
Though store-bought spreads are an easy grab, whipping up the following dips is fast and easy with a blender or food processor, and you can brag that they were made fresh in your own kitchen.
For your convenience, dips can be made two to three days ahead of your event and stored covered in the refrigerator until you are ready to plate your appetizers. Dips will taste better at room temperature so set them out 30 to 45 minutes before your first guests are expected to arrive.
This array of dips is simply a starting point for your kitchen creativity! Try different spices, fresh herbs, flavored soft cheeses, citrus, and other favorite ingredients to blend dips that truly suit your tastes. Dips are handy to have in the refrigerator for snack attacks or to use in place of mayonnaise on sandwiches or wraps.
Baba Ganoush is a Middle Eastern spread and dip that is similar to hummus, but is made with eggplant instead of chickpeas (garbanzo beans). Eggplant is much lower in carbohydrates than chickpeas, which makes it an appealing choice when blending dips for a party. Eggplant has six grams of carbohydrates per cup, while chickpeas have 44 grams carbohydrates per cup.
2. Meanwhile, place tahini or peanut butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, garlic, salt and black pepper in a blender. Blend for 10 to 20 seconds.
3. Half eggplants lengthwise and use a spoon to scrape eggplant flesh into blender. Discard the skin. Puree eggplant and tahini mixture until smooth. Transfer to a shallow serving dish and sprinkle with parsley and paprika. Serve warm or at room temperature with baked whole wheat pita wedges, crudités, or eat lavishly with a spoon.
Apricot Goat Cheese Dip
Creamy, tangy, slightly sweet, and healthy, this lush dip is deluxe enough to eat with a spoon. Fresh apricots, warm Serrano, and uplifting mint become a dreamy blend with the earthy-flavored goat cheese. Cream cheese can be substituted if goat cheese is not available.
2 fresh ripe apricots, halved, pitted, minced
Pistachio Orange Dip
This is a versatile dip that can be served savory with vegetables and crackers or served sweet with cut fresh fruit or skewers of low-carb dessert cake. If serving sweet, omit the chives and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of Splenda or other sugar substitute.
Combine cream cheese with the orange zest, juice, oil, mint and coriander; process until all ingredients are well-blended. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with chives. Add finely-ground pistachios (pulse in a food processor or blender).
Spinach Artichoke Dip
A delectable blend of spinach, artichoke, and cheese -- the quintessential dip for a dinner gathering or finger food fest. Serve in a hollowed bowl of whole wheat sourdough for a showy presentation. Serve warm for the best flavor.
2. Add slightly damp spinach leaves to skillet and cook, stirring frequently, to combine garlic oil and spinach leaves, until spinach wilts, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in artichoke hearts. Let mixture cool slightly.
3. Place cream cheese, parmesan, and red pepper flakes in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Add spinach artichoke mixture and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy with crudités, baked crackers, or low-carb toasts.