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Folks on low-carb diets no longer need to lie around moaning about how much they miss those creamy, cheesy, and nutty dips. Sure, those days are over as dairy and nuts are stuffed to the gills with carbs, but there are plenty of other low-carb dips that are just as amazing. Dips made from guacamole, salsa, silken tofu, and other things such as pesto and roasted red peppers can be just as satisfying and delicious with an added nutritional bonus.
Guacamole has been a favorite dip for generations. It can be as simple as mashing an avocado with a fork and adding a little minced garlic, but a squeeze of lemon or lime brightens the flavors up a notch. Many fans of the green stuff insist it’s just not right if it doesn’t sing with a little hot zing. Those folks are free to add a drop or four of any kind of hot sauce and go for the burn.
Guacamole’s good friends, the salsas, make great low-carb dips on their own. It’s true that there are plenty of jarred salsas that taste terrific, but many cooks prefer the pleasure of mixing up their own with chopped, fresh tomatoes and garlic, cilantro, and other touches such as diced onion and green peppers. Most cooks add heat in the form of hot peppers to these low-carb dips, although some cheat just a bit with hot sauce. Inspired cooks might add corn kernels, black beans, or a few golden raisins for variety.
Adding a dollop or two of mayonnaise gives salsa a creamier personality and better cling for whatever types of dippers the cook serves. Celery and carrot sticks, cucumber wedges, or what have you taste even better wrapped in one of these pretty, low-carb dips. This one is nice, too, with little meatballs, chicken strips, or grilled shrimp.
The mere mention of pesto is enough to make anyone who has ever tasted it break into applause. As long as the pine nuts or walnuts are left out, it can be used as the base for great low-carb dips. Mixing in a little mayo or some silken tofu to this one changes up the mouth feel, turning it into a lovely, green, velvet blanket perfect for veggies or seafood such as scallops or shrimp.
Nonvegetarians might turn up their noses at the mention of tofu, but many a sneaky cook has found that the silken variety, whipped into a cream in the blender and flavored with various herbs and spices, goes down easy as, well, dip. Blended silken tofu has a body that approximates mayo without all the fat and calories, and it takes on other flavors with friendliness. Adding pureed, roasted red peppers, a little garlic, and some thyme, for example, makes a great dip for veggies, meats, or tempeh.