Yogurt Based Dips

It is a well known fact that Yogurt helps one to stay healthy and fit. Being one of the most popular healthy foods in the world, it has saved itself a permanent seat in every refrigerator. Due to its numerous health and nutritional benefits it is in great demand especially during summer.

Here are two yogurt dip recipes to try out this summer:

Thai Spinach Dip

Ingredients required:
1.    1 cup chopped fresh spinach
2.    1 8-ounce carton of light dairy sour cream
3.    1 8-ounce carton of plain low-fat yogurt
4.    ¼ cup finely chopped peanuts
5.    ¼ cup fresh mint
6.    ¼ cup peanut butter
7.    1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
8.     1 tablespoon honey
9.    1-2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
10.    Assorted vegetable dippers (zucchini slices, baby carrots, pea pods, yellow summer squash sticks, red sweet pepper strips)
11.    Peanuts thinly chopped
12.    Fresh mint leaves

•    Take a medium bowl, mix chopped spinach, sour cream and yogurt together.
•    In another bowl take ¼ cup of finely chopped peanuts, to this add honey, soy sauce, peanut butter, and crushed red peppers and stir this mixture with snipped mint.
•    Take both the mixtures and combine it into a large bowl, Cover and chill for atleast 2 hours.
•    This dip can be served with vegetable dippers and before serving garnish with additional peanuts and fresh mint leaves.

       Summer fruits with Ricotta Dip

Ingredients required:
1.    1/3 cup non-fat ricotta cheese
2.    2 tablespoons sugar
3.    1 tablespoon orange juice
4.    1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon or orange peel
5.    1/3 cup low fat vanilla flavoured yogurt
6.    2 cups sliced plums, cubed honeydew melon, cubed cantaloupe, dark sweet cherries, and strawberries

•    For the dip, in a blender or food processor blend together ricotta cheese, lemon or orange peel, sugar and orange juice. Mix them thoroughly until the texture becomes smooth. Now to this smooth paste mix yogurt. Cover and chill the dip for 24 hours
•    Before serving the dip garnish with finely shredded orange peel.  Enjoy the dip with fresh fruits.  
Akhila Kakarala with inputs from http://www.diabeticlivingonline.com, http://www.bhg.com