Summer is here and that means that boatloads of fresh local veggies! It’s so easy to eat ‘clean’ during those warm summer months when the gardens are overflowing with goodness, and there’s nothing more simple and perfect than a platter full of fresh cut veggies for your crew (no matter how big or small) to snack on! Of course, what is a plate of veggies without some dip, right?
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I raided the produce section of Nature’s Fare Markets to create two super simple, healthy and flavour-packed dips to jazz up those veggies that your crowd will LOVE! Veggie platters are an awesome way for everyone to get more veggies into their diet and it’s such a fun way to get the kids to try new vegetables! Here are some tips for putting together a beautiful, effortless platter for those endless summer days:
- Choose as many different colours as you can when shopping for your veggies! Nature’s Fare Markets has so many beautiful local organic veggies to choose from, I was like a kid in a candy store! (ok, bad analogy lol!)
- Get your kids to help choose a new veggie that they haven’t tried for the platter – there’s a MUCH better chance that they will eat it if they picked it out!
- Cut the pieces into bite sized pieces – easier to eat and of course, reduces the chances of double dipping;)
- When putting the platter together, layer the colours instead of grouping the same colour of veggies all together. It just makes it prettier. And it doesn’t have to be perfect, you can even serve it on a baking sheet, giant food-safe board or any platter and pile the veggies on; sometimes the more rustic the better!
- Cut up the veggies ahead of time and store them in a re-sealable plastic container to make last minute prep a breeze. It’s the healthiest fast food you’ll get!
- Think outside the box! Add in some of your favourite crackers, olives, tapenade, roasted veggies, crostini… have fun!
Roasted Garlic White Bean Dip (vegan)
Roasting the garlic in this dip takes the bite out of the garlic and gives it such a wonderful flavour! If you want to skip this step only add a couple of cloves of crushed fresh garlic… I don’t think I need to explain why!
- 1 head garlic, roasted*
- 1 can (398 mL) white cannellini beans, drained
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. tahini
- 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. sea salt (or less, to taste)
- To roast the head of garlic, preheat the oven to 400F and cut the top off of the garlic head to expose the top of the cloves. Place the head of garlic in the centre of a small piece of aluminum foil leaving the garlic paper and cloves intact, and drizzle with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Wrap the foil tightly around the head of garlic, place on a small baking sheet or dish, and bake for approximately 30 minutes, until the cloves are soft and light brown. Remove the cloves from the head by squeezing on them (they will just pop out) once cool.
- Blend all of the ingredients including the cooled roasted garlic cloves together in a mini food processor or small blender until smooth and serve!
Creamy Yogurt Herb Dip
The cucumber in here is optional, but it gives the dip an amazing fresh flavour similar to a jazzed-up tzatziki. It tastes great either way! If you do add the cucumber just don’t be tempted to skip the step of salting and squeezing it to remove extra liquid or your dip will be watery!
- 1/2 c. grated long English cucumber
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 c. full fat (11%) plain Greek yogurt
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. sea salt (or less, to taste)
- 1/3 c. finely minced herbs (I used a combination of dill, chives and flat leaf parsley but use your imagination!)
- 1-2 large cloves crushed garlic (to taste)
- Combine the grated cucumber with the 1/2 tsp. of salt in a fine sieve and let it sit for 30 minutes. Press down firmly on the cucumber to drain as much liquid out of the cucumber as you can.
- In a medium bowl combine all of the remaining ingredients, including the cucumber, and mix together well.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve!
Photography by Mackenzie Jane Photo
This nutritious post was sponsored by Nature’s Fare Markets!