Healthier Homemade Versions of Your Favorite Chips and Dip

There's nothing like a good dip to round out your appetizer table at your party. However, store-bought dips are often loaded with fat and calories, having mayonnaise and/or sour cream as the base. And the potato chips used to serve the dip are full of sodium and preservatives, leaving you with a calorie-laden appetizer that is just plain run-of-the-mill. Making your own homemade dip is an impressive crowd-pleaser that will make you feel good about what you are eating as well as serving to your guests. So leave the store-bought stuff behind and try these healthy, homemade dips. Serve them with toasted pita bread, vegetable sticks, or whole wheat crackers, and you are set to go. Dips (Pictured from left to right):

Warm Black-Eyed Pea and Za'atar Dip: Traditional Bean Dip is made with refried beans, cheese, and topped with sour cream, making it an unhealthy snack to say the least. This warm black eyed pea dip is made using a combination of plain yogurt and goat cheese to add creaminess, and spiced with Za'atar - an herb blend commonly used in the Middle East.

Cilantro, Basil, and Mint Yogurt Dip: This dip is so easy to make as your food processor does all the work to make everything come together. Serve this with fresh carrots, cucumber rounds, and red pepper sticks, as this will make a wonderful crudites plate that blows traditional ranch dip out of the water.

Chickpea and Eggplant Dip: This easy dip from Marcus’ book Soul of a New Cuisine is packed with nutrients: potassium and folic acid from the eggplant, and zinc and protein in the chickpeas. It gets tremendous flavor from roasted garlic and spice from the chilies.

Brown Sugar and Greek Yogurt Dip: For dessert, this dip is impressive and tasty, and all you have to do is put out some sliced strawberries. Pass on the whipped cream and you will save yourself a ton of calories. Greek yogurt is thick and is delicious sweetened with vanilla and brown sugar.