Friday Food Finds: Healthy Dip for Veggies and More!
This is the first post in a series called Friday Food Finds (FFF). Every few weeks – on a Friday – you can expect a post about a store bought food find that gets my stamp of approval for taste, convenience, and at least a good-enough nutrition profile. It will be a food that either I enjoy or feel good about recommending to my clients and readers.
My first Friday Food Find is a healthy dip for veggies or a sauce for lots of foods. I think you’re going to like Trader Joe’s Tzatziki, a creamy garlic cucumber dip.
Tzatziki is a dip or a sauce common in the Middle East, Greece, and other European countries. It’s a combination of yogurt, cucumbers, lemon juice, garlic, dill and mint.
Make it yourself: I frequently make my own because it’s really quite easy, and you don’t need to stick to a recipe. Dice up or grate some cucumber, crush the garlic, and add them to your plain yogurt. Snip some fresh dill and mint and squeeze in some lemon juice. Taste and adjust. You might also want to add some salt and finish with some delicious olive oil. If you want a tangy, healthy dip for veggies, tzatziki is perfect. If you have the time to make it, here’s a recipe for tzatziki from the Kitchn. I would use less olive oil or simply omit it from the yogurt mixture and add a drizzle as a finisher. Say yes to a healthy dip!
I show tzatziki here with raw vegetables, but most often I put a spoonful or two on a crab cake, black bean burger, chickpea patty or even use it as a salad dressing. It offers such a wonderful tangy flavor and reminds me of foreign travels. My Easy black Bean Burger has been super popular on the blog, and some tzatziki on top makes the bun irrelevant.
Pick it up: Even though homemade tzatziki is easy to make, it’s not always convenient with my schedule. So now and then, I pick up the Trader Joe’s brand. And the taste definitely doesn’t disappoint. It isn’t made with the usual ingredients. This brand has a base of kefir cheese and sour cream and contains some gums and thickeners that I’d prefer to leave out. But they are safe to use (unless you have a specific sensitivity), and I’m not worried by them. I really like the Nutrition Facts, which show only 30 calories, 1 gram of saturated fat, 65 mg of sodium, and 2 grams of carbohydrate in a generous 2-tablespoon serving.
Tzatziki is delicious and changes the entire flavor profile of a dish. If you don’t have time (or inclination) to make your own, pick some up. I think you’ll like it!
Do you have a favorite way to eat tzatziki?
Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, CHWC, FAND, is a Nutrition, Culinary & Diabetes Expert, Wellcoach®-certified health and wellness coach, Freelance Writer, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's also the author of four books, including a best-seller. She's a nationally-recognized media expert in high demand for print and online interviews, as well as corporate and one-on-one nutritional counseling. Jill's philosophy is that nutrition science should be understandable, realistic and oh so delicious.
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Like most of my patients and clients, I lead a busy life. You probably do too. Fortunately, you don’t need weeks, days or even hours to start living better and healthier. This blog offers timesaving strategies and bite-sized nutrition and health information. Come by often for tips and inspiration to healthy living – no matter how busy you are. I am a registered dietitian nutritionist offering credible, practical nutrition advice to keep busy people healthy. Yes indeed, we can be both busy and healthy.