Add the Vegtables

By: Renee Fisher

Raw vegetables are pretty much the healthiest foods you can eat, but, if we’re being honest, they’re also the most boring. I can’t think of any craving that eating a bowl of baby carrots will fulfill.

The only thing that gets me excited about veggies is dipping them in something delicious. Ranch dressing, hummus, and peanut butter magically turn broccoli into a crunchy vessel for my favorite dips instead of a blah health food.

If you’re goal is weight loss, however, fattening dips can ruin what was meant to be a low calorie snack. We ranked our favorite dips from guilty-pleasure to guilt-free so you know what you’re getting into when you start snacking.  
Ranch dressing. This is a tried-and-true classic dip for your vegetables, but with buttermilk and egg yolks as main ingredients, it’s not always the healthiest.

1) Marzetti Classic Ranch.
Two tablespoons = 160 calories.
First three ingredients: Soybean oil, buttermilk, distilled vinegar.

2) Hidden Valley Original Ranch.
Two tablespoons = 140 calories.
First three ingredients: Vegetable oil, water, egg yolk.

3) Ken’s Lite Ranch.
Two tablespoons = 80 calories.
First three ingredients: Water, vegetable oil, buttermilk.

4) Bolthouse Farms Greek Yogurt Peppercorn Ranch.
Two Tablespoons = 40 calories.
First three ingredients: Nonfat greek yogurt, buttermilk, water.

5) Hidden Valley Fat Free Ranch.
Two tablespoons = 30 calories.
First three ingredients: Water, corn syrup, maltodextrin.

Peanut butter. Peanut butter is usually paired with fruits (apples dipped in peanut butter or peanut butter and fruit jam sandwiches), but it is also delicious as a dip for your vegetables!

1) Jif Creamy Peanut Butter.
Two tablespoons = 190 calories.
First three ingredients = Roasted peanuts, sugar, vegetables oils.

2) Justin’s Classic Peanut Butter.
Two tablespoons =  190 calories.
First three ingredients = Dry roasted peanuts, palm oil.

3) Peter Pan Whipped Creamy Peanut Butter
Two tablespoons = 150 calories.
First three ingredients = Roasted peanuts, sugar, hydrogenated vegetable oil.

4) Better’n Peanut Butter.
Two tablespoons = 100 calories.
First three ingredients = Peanuts, tapioca syrup, water.

5) PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter.
Two tablespoons = 45 calories.
First three ingredients = Roasted peanuts, sugar, salt.

Hummus. Hummus, classically made from chickpeas and tahini (sesame seed butter) makes a creamy dip for your veggies. It also comes in a variety of flavors and is lower in calories than ranch and peanut butter.

5) Sabra Basil Pesto Hummus
Two tablespoons = 80 calories.
First three ingredients: Cooked chickpeas, soybean oil, tahini.

4) Tribe Zesty Spice and Garlic Hummus
Two tablespoons = 70 calories.
First three ingredients: Cooked chickpeas, canola oil, tahini.

3) Athenos Original Hummus
Two tablespoons = 60 calories.
First three ingredients: Chickpeas, water, tahini.

2) Trader Joe’s Beet Hummus
Two tablespoons = 45 calories.
First three ingredients: Chickpeas, beats, beat juice.

1) Wild Garden Fire Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Two tablespoons = 35 calories.
First three ingredients: Chickpeas, tahini, water.