Healthy Cheesy Spinach Dip

healthy20cheesy20spinach20dip.jpgGood ‘ole spinach dip isn’t just for Super Bowl parties! You can make it for holiday parties too! Christmas doesn’t have to be a time when you throw your health out the window, and you don’t have to wait until the New Year to make a resolution. Start with small steps now, and opt for healthier appetizers and snacks for party guests– like this Healthy Cheesy Spinach Dip.

This low-fat dip has many benefits for your eyesight. Let’s start with the spinach, providing an amazing amount of various antioxidants that you need. One cup of spinach contains 50 percent of your daily vitamin A, as well as a good amount of Vitamin C & E and lutein and zeaxanthin. All of those are antioxidants that protect your vision. Those vitamins and minerals, plus the 200mg of omega 3s found in the spinach, help to prevent dry eye syndrome, macular degeneration and cataracts.

The red pepper compliments the spinach in color and in nutrition. Along with a touch of Christmas red, you get a lot more vitamin C and some vitamin A too.

Now, how about some white stuff? (No, not snow). An 8-ounce container of plain Greek yogurt contains 15 grams of protein, calcium, potassium and a little vitamin C and probiotics. The cream cheese and shredded cheeses give you even more calcium and vitamin A.

Give this low-fat Christmas-colored chip dip a try at your next party. Remember, it tastes best when eaten warm!

 

Ingredients (serves about 4-6):

  • 1 cup frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1 ½ cup shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 8 oz container nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 8 oz pkg fat-free cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp red bell pepper, minced
  • 2 tbsp white onion, minced
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced (divided)
  • 3 tsp lemon juice (divided)
  • onion salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper

Directions:

  1. Place minced pepper and onions, along with 2 tsp lemon juice and ½ tsp garlic, in a small pan and saute on low heat for a minute or two, or until veggies are softer. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Cook the Greek yogurt, cream cheese and Italian shredded cheese in a medium saucepan over medium heat for about 5 minutes to melt the cheeses. (It may seem thick at first, but it will become creamier the longer it cooks.)
  3. Add in spinach, pepper and onion mix, as well as sea salt, pepper, onion salt and the remaining garlic and lemon juice. Cook for another 5 minutes or so, while stirring. The dip should become creamy.
  4. Serve warm with blue corn or regular yellow corn tortilla chips.