THE BLOG
06/28/2013 08:36 am ET | Updated Aug 28, 2013

Give Your Veggies and Dip a Makeover

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We've all heard this advice: "Choose healthy snacks like veggies and low-fat dip."

Don't get me wrong, I love baby carrots and hummus, but it's time to give this advice a modern makeover. So my nutrition team and I were put to the test to come up with a healthy, fun and EASY way to update the usual veggies and dip.

Let me introduce you to what we came up with... SNACK SHOOTERS! They are the trendier and healthier way to do veggies and dip. Make these for yourself for fun weekday snacking or serve them at your next get-together. Nibbling from a shot glass will get everyone in the spirit!

We came up with three types of Snack Shooters:

-- Southwest Black Bean
-- Italian White Bean
-- Spicy Thai Peanut

AND... since we all have a sweet tooth, we came up with two Dessert Shooters: Avocado Chocolate Mousse and Cinnamon Cashew Dessert Shooters. They are around 100 calories, gluten-free & vegan-friendly.

PS: I love these shooters when I get home from work with a tall glass of sparkling water spiked with a shot-glass of 100 percent juice.

Southwest Black Bean Shooters
Yields 8 servings, 2 tablespoons + veggie dippers

INGREDIENTS
Dip:
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 lime, juiced
1/2 cup prepared salsa

Dippers:
1/2 medium jicama, cut into sticks
1 green bell pepper, cut into sticks

DIRECTIONS
In a medium bowl, using the back of a large spoon or a potato masher, mash the black beans with lime juice until semi-smooth. Fold in the salsa. Serve dip and dippers in shot glasses.

Nutrition Info (1 serving; 2 tablespoons + veggie dippers):
50 calories, 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 230mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 2g sugar, 3g protein, vitamin A 2%, vitamin C 35%, calcium 2%, iron 6%

Italian White Bean Shooters
Yields 8 servings, 2 tablespoons + veggie dippers

INGREDIENTS
Dip:
1 can (15 ounces) white beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup fresh basil leaves (about 10 leaves)
1 lemon, juiced
water for thinning
kosher salt and pepper, to taste

Dippers:
1 small yellow squash, cut into sticks
1 red bell pepper, cut into sticks

DIRECTIONS
In food processer, puree white beans, basil and lemon juice until smooth. Process until smooth. Add water if too thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve dip & dippers in shot glasses.

Nutrition Info (1 serving; 2 tablespoons + veggie dippers):
50 calories, 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 55mg sodium, 9g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 1g sugar, 3g protein, vitamin A 10%, vitamin C 40%, calcium 2%, iron 4%

Spicy Thai Peanut Shooters
Yields 8 servings, 1.5 tablespoons + veggie dippers

INGREDIENTS
Dip:
6 tablespoons natural creamy peanut butter
5 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1/16 teaspoon cayenne pepper (a pinch)

Dippers:
1 cup pea pods
1 cup carrot sticks

DIRECTIONS
In a small bowl, whisk peanut butter, seasoned rice vinegar, water and cayenne pepper until smooth. Serve dip & dippers in shot glasses. Note: Add more cayenne pepper for a stronger kick.

Nutrition Info (1 serving; 1.5 tablespoons + veggie dippers):
90 calories, 6g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 200mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 3g sugar, 3g protein, vitamin A 30%, vitamin C 8%, calcium 0%, iron 2%

Avocado Chocolate Mousse Shooters
Yields 8 servings, 2 tablespoons + fruit dippers

INGREDIENTS
Dip:
1 avocado, seeded + peeled
1/4 cup raw honey
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons unsweetened vanilla almond milk
pinch of salt

Dippers:
8 strawberries, halved
1 cup cubed pineapple

DIRECTIONS
In a food processor, puree avocado, honey, cocoa powder and almond milk until smooth. Add a pinch of salt, to taste. Thread fruit onto skewers. Serve dip and skewers in shot glasses.

Nutrition Info (1 serving; 2 tablespoons + fruit dippers):
100 calories, 4.5g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 25mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 11g sugar, 1g protein, vitamin A 2%, vitamin C 30%, calcium 2%, iron 2%

Cinnamon Cashew Shooters
Yields 8 servings, 2 tablespoons + fruit dippers

INGREDIENTS
Dip:
1 cup raw unsalted cashews
3/4 cup hot water, almost boiling
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Dippers:
1 cup grapes
1 cup cubed cantaloupe

DIRECTIONS
In a food processor, puree cashews, water, maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon until smooth. Thread fruit onto skewers. Serve dip and skewers in shot glasses.

Nutrition Info (1 serving; 2 tablespoons + fruit dippers):
110 calories, 6g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 10mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 7g sugar, 3g protein, vitamin A 15%, vitamin C 15%, calcium 2%, iron 6%

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For more by Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, CSSD, LDN, click here.

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