Many people struggle to eat enough veggies every day. In fact, a new report shows that only 44% of British Columbians meet even the minimum requirement, and for some age groups, this number is declining, despite most of us knowing how essential they are!
One way to make veggies enticing and addictive is to pair them with a dip. But many dips can be unhealthy, filled with less healthy fats and other not-so-great ingredients like excess salt, sugar and preservatives.
Dips can add to the healthiness of the veggies if they are made with wholesome ingredients that your body needs (think legume-based like hummus and avocado-filled like guacamole). This one has a basis of pumpkin seeds, which are full of heart healthy unsaturated fats, protein, iron and even a special phytonutrient called lignans (especially great for prostates and preventing prostate cancer). It's also packed with fresh cilantro, lemon and lime juice--flavour boosters you can use every day that only add goodness to your foods.
Best of all, you can make it less than 5 minutes (including clean-up!).
PUMPKIN SEED, CITRUS & CILANTRO DIP
1 cup (250 mL) unsalted pumpkin seeds, preferably raw
1 bunch cilantro
Juice of 1 lemon and 1 lime
1/3-1/2 cup (125 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
1/2-1 tsp (3-5 mL) salt, to taste
1. Grind seeds in food processor until fine, then add remaining ingredients and purée for 3 or 4 minutes until well combined.
2. Allow flavours to develop by refrigerating for a minimum of 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
3. Serve with veggies like cucumber, carrot, jicama and pepper sticks, snap peas, blanched broccoli spears or green beans. A few organic corn chips might go nicely too!
Each serving contains: 408 calories; 13 g protein; 39 g total fat (6 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 8 g total carbohydrates (1 g sugars, 3 g fibre); 410 mg sodium
By Nicole Fetterly, RD