Darlene Zimmerman Henry Ford Health System
Published 6:03 PM EDT Jun 14, 2019
Summer celebrations call for classic appetizers, and there’s nothing more classic than spinach dip. The downside to this savory snack is it’s loaded with calories and usually a bit too high in sodium.
Traditionally made with lots of mayonnaise and sour cream, we cut calories by using reduced-fat sour cream, low-fat Greek yogurt, and drastically reduced the amount of mayonnaise. Those tweaks brought the calories from 175 to 64 per serving (3 tablespoons).
In an effort to lower the sodium, we targeted the biggest sodium offender, the dry vegetable seasoning mix. Using just half of the packet cut 1,200 milligrams of sodium from the recipe. A serving of the original recipe had 250 milligrams of sodium and our healthier has 146 milligrams. That’s a 42% reduction in the sodium content.
The great thing about this dip, beyond the taste, is it’s packed with spinach. While spinach supplies an extraordinary array of vitamins and minerals — including vitamin C, folate, magnesium and zinc — it’s typically praised for its carotenoid content. Spinach is exceptionally rich in three carotenoids: beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
Carotenoids from food, not supplements, are thought to help protect against heart disease and certain forms of cancer. To enhance the body’s absorption of fat-soluble carotenoids,
It’s best to eat spinach with a small amount of fat. The mayonnaise, reduced-fat sour cream and low-fat yogurt supply the fat.
Serving this dip with an assortment of fresh vegetables keeps it light and helps you boost your vegetable intake. Current Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourage adults to consume at least 2 ½ cups of vegetables every day. We opted for celery, carrots and grape tomatoes. Take advantage of your local farmer’s market and use any combination of vegetables you like.
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Classic Spinach Dip
Serves: 16 (3 tablespoons each) / Prep time: 15 minutes / Total time: 15 minutes plus chilling time
Created by Jane Hayes, Henry Ford Hospital Dietetic Intern, for Heart Smart.
64 calories (70% from fat), 5 grams fat (2 gram sat. fat, 0 grams trans fat), 3 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams protein, 146 mg sodium, 10 mg cholesterol, 46 mg calcium, 0 gram fiber. Food exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1 fat.
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