Wanting to do your best to eat gluten and dairy free this festive season? If so, I have some delicious recipes for you!

While a typical Christmas meal of meat and veg is pretty healthy, it’s the other bits around it like the pre-dinner dips and desserts that could do with some nutritional tinsel (AKA sprucing up) without compromising on taste and that wonderful feeling of indulgence!

So here are some pre-Chrissy-dinner dip options that can be made very easily with just a few simple ingredients and tools (I’ll cover desserts tomorrow!).

Ditch the store bought varieties which, even if they’re dairy and gluten free, tend to contain high amounts of vegetable oil (especially canola oil that’s often the second ingredient!) that in excess can cause inflammation (hello fatigue and brain fog), and of course, weight gain.

The following four dip recipes are rich, creamy, colourful and flavourful – everything you’d want from a dip. And – they take very little time to make!

Cannellini Hummus Dip

Hummus seems to have exploded in popularity in recent years. I counted 6 varieties in my local supermarket the other day!

While still a fairly healthy option, chickpeas can be fattening, especially coupled with tahini and oil.

Chickpeas have a higher fat content than most other beans, so switching to cannellini beans (white kidney beans) can be a great option.

Cannellini beans have more protein than chickpeas and are very low in fat, and when are really smooth and creamy in this delicious dip.

Ingredients

  • 1 can of cannellini beans
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes (drained of oil)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • Pepper and salt to taste

Instructions

This dip can be whipped up in a matter of minutes by using canned beans.

Simply throw all ingredients into a blender with an S-blade and blend until smooth.

If the mixture looks too thick, add a few teaspoons of water.

Artichoke Dip

I’m a huge lover of artichokes!

Apparently they’re eaten often in Malta, where my mum is from. So perhaps it’s in my genes!

Anyway, this recipe is so delicious and once again, super easy to make.

Ingredients

  • 1 jar of marinated artichoke hearts (usually around 200g), drained of oil
  • ¼ cup black pitted olives (e.g. Kalamata)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 anchovy fillets (optional – if you use, don’t add any salt)
  • ¼ cup parsley or coriander, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Drain as much of the oil as you can from the artichokes and place in a food processor with an S-blade with all the other ingredients.

Blend until smooth, transfer to a dish and keep refrigerated until use.

Serve with a sprinkling of smoked paprika on top. Yum!

Roasted Carrot Dip

This dip is super sweet, due to roasting the carrots which gives them a caramelised taste and texture. Delish!

Ingredients

  • 8 large carrots peeled and chopped into 2 cm chunks
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • ½ teaspoon cumin (optional)

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 220º.

Toss carrots in the olive oil, salt and pepper.

Place the carrots on an even layer on baking parchment on a baking tray.  

Roast for 40-45 minutes, until they’re golden brown. 

In a food processor with an S-blade, combine the carrots with the remaining ingredients until smooth (you’ll need to scrape the bowl a few times to make sure all the ingredients are blended well).  

Place in a dish and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Finally… my Besto Pesto Dip 

Besto, because this pesto is made with broccoli, avocado, walnuts and no dairy – and you won’t even notice the broccoli – so don’t tell your kids!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of broccoli florets
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1 bunch of basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup cold pressed olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Big pinch of sea salt and pepper

Instructions

In a food processor with an S-blade, blend the broccoli, avocado, oil and lemon juice until you get a smooth mixture.

Add the garlic, walnuts, basil and seasoning, then pulse until you get the kind of consistency you want (a little chunky or smooth – whatever you prefer!).

Store until you’re ready to serve. Enjoy!

Melissa x

ABOUT MELISSA

ABOUT MELISSA

Melissa is a naturopathic nutritionist and coach who helps exhausted women get their energy back. She consults with people worldwide via the web from her home in Melbourne, Australia.

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