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Healthy Yogurt Dips for Vegetables

By Sara Ipatenco

Yogurt is a nutrient-dense food that supplies a healthy dose of protein and calcium. Using yogurt as the base for dip recipes in place of mayonnaise or sour cream can increase the nutritional value while also reducing fat and calories. Deborah A. Klein reports in her book, "The 200 SuperFoods That Will Save Your Life," that adding yogurt to your diet may also improve the health of your digestive system and help boost your immunity.

Fruity Yogurt Dip

The addition of fruit to yogurt makes a tasty dip that also supplies vitamin C and potassium. Place 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt in a serving bowl. Add 1/2 cup pureed fruit, such as apples, pears, berries or bananas. Stir to combine. Chill for two hours, and serve with fresh sliced fruit, such as apples, strawberries and melon cubes. This dip can also be served on pancakes or French toast in place of high-sugar maple syrup.

Sweetly Spiced Yogurt Dip

Prepare a sweet dip that's healthier than cake, cookies or ice cream. Combine 1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt in a bowl with a sprinkle of brown sugar, 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon and 2 tbsp. honey. Whisk and chill for one or two hours. Serve with sliced fruit, such as berries or apples. You can also use this dip as a replacement for butter on toast and biscuits.

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Cucumber Yogurt Dip with Dill

Yogurt can be used to prepare a refreshing dip that pairs well with pita bread or fresh vegetables. In a serving bowl, place 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt. Add 1 finely chopped fresh cucumber, 1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh dill, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 tbsp. olive oil and freshly ground black pepper. Whisk to combine. Chill for up to four hours, and serve with vegetables like carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers and squash or with pita bread cut into triangles.

Yogurt Spinach Dip

Many spinach dip recipes call for high-fat mayonnaise, but low-fat plain yogurt supplies a similar taste and texture. Place 1 cup low-fat yogurt in a bowl. Add 1/2-cup chopped fresh spinach, dried basil, dried parsley, garlic powder and black pepper. Stir to combine, and chill. Serve with toasted bread or fresh vegetable pieces. Replace the spinach with canned artichoke hearts for another popular dip that is often high in fat and calories.

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