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Skinny Dipping: 4 Healthy Chips + Dips

The Perfect Couples

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With summer in full swing, our social schedules start to fill up with outdoor get-togethers, backyard BBQs, and picnics in the park—and what more perfect party pair can you contribute than chips and dips?

Skip the calorie-filled store-bought stuff and make these healthy, slimmed-down dips instead. You and your fellow partygoers can dig into these creamy, rich, yet guilt-free summer appetizers with abandon. Now that’s a recipe for a good time.

RELATED: 10 Party Food Ideas Under $10

Smoky Roasted Red Pepper Cannelini Dip + Pita Chips or Crudités

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This smoky bright orange dip, served with healthy baked pita chips, is guaranteed to be a hit at any summer party. If you want to pump up the nutrition, pair it with sturdy veggies such as jicama sticks, sliced red peppers, celery, or grape tomatoes.

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

For pita chips:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1/2 tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

6 whole-wheat pitas

Paprika (optional)

For dip:

1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

2 roasted red bell peppers

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small mixing bowl, whisk olive oil, oregano, garlic powder, and sea salt to combine.

2. Cut pitas into small 2- to 3-inch triangles. Place on a cooking sheet, brush with herbed olive oil, and bake for 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and bake another 3 to 4 minutes. (Watch chips closely, as they bake quickly.) Remove from oven, cool slightly, and sprinkle with paprika or additional sea salt, if desired.

3. Combine all dip ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth.

Creamy Edamame Hummus + Pita Chips or Crudités

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This creamy green dip always has me going back for seconds—and thirds and fourths! The thick texture from the edamame and the spiciness from Sriracha make it a perfect match for baked pita chips or crudités like jicama, cucumber slices, baby carrots, and endive leaves.

Serves: 6 to 8

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups frozen shelled edamame, thawed

2 cups garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

2 roasted garlic cloves

2 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoontamari soy sauce

2 to 3 tablespoons Sriracha sauce

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth.

Spicy Miso Dip + Spicy TamariKale Chips

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Miso paste is a super versatile ingredient. It can be used in dips, dressings, marinades, glazes, and more—it’s definitely not just for miso soup anymore! Try this spicy miso dip with my kale chips, and you will be in skinny-dipping heaven.

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

For kale chips:

8 packed cups kale, stems removed, torn into chip-size pieces

2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce

2 tablespoons roasted sesame oil

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon chili powder or cayenne pepper

For dip:

1/2 cup olive oil mayonnaise

1 tablespoon red or white miso paste

2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion, cut on the bias

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place kale on two cooking sheets lined with aluminum foil. Drizzle with tamari and sesame oil, and sprinkle with garlic powder and chili powder or cayenne pepper, adding more if you prefer more spice. Bake for 20 minutes or until crisp, rotating pans halfway through. Remove from oven and cool to allow chips to crisp up.

2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk mayonnaise and miso paste to incorporate. Stir in green onion. (Dip can be kept refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.)

Skinny Guacamole + Homemade Tortilla Chips

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While pulling together some appetizers for a few girlfriends who were on their way over, I discovered that I was short on avocados. Since the amount I had couldn’t possibly feed the number of hungry gals coming, I reached for the nonfat Greek yogurt. It bulked up the guac without added fat and gave the dip a nice tang to boot—a winning combo, especially when paired with my healthy homemade tortilla chips.

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

For tortilla chips:

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

8 10-inch whole-wheat tortillas

4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

For guacamole:

3 avocados, halved and pitted

1/2 small yellow onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 lime

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix oregano, cayenne, and salt together in a small bowl or ramekin and set aside. Place a tortilla on a cutting board and brush with a little olive oil. Sprinkle with spice mixture, then slice in half. Divide each half into quarters so you end up with 8 triangles from each tortilla. Repeat with remaining tortillas and place on two rimmed baking sheets so chips just barely touch one another. (Toast in 2 batches if necessary). Bake until browned and crisp, 12 to 14 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through cooking. Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely.

2. Meanwhile, scoop avocado flesh into a medium bowl. Gently smash and stir with a fork, breaking it up into a chunky mass. Add onions and yogurt, and stir to combine. Add soy sauce, cayenne, 1 squeeze lime juice, and salt. Stir to combine and taste, adding more salt if needed. Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours, tops.

Recipe adapted from Candice Kumai’s Pretty Delicious. Rodale Books, 2011

Photo credit: Quentin Bacon