Three Winter Dips

With all the salads and juices that I posted last month I hope I have tempted you to include more of the healthy root vegetables in your daily meals. Eating these veggies raw is the best way to assimilate the goodies that lie within them. But sometimes one craves a cooked meal. Especially in the winter. So your next best choice after salads and juices are soups and dips.

In this post I am sharing three of my this-winter favourite dips, two of which are based on root veggies and one is the never-getting-tired-of guacamole.

Starting with the guacamole, it is really one of my to-go recipes that I retreat to whenever I am short of time or have no better idea what to cook. All it takes is a ripe avocado mashed with a fork, mixed with onion, garlic, salt and lemon juice as a base. I never follow a precise recipe and never measure the ingredients when making guacamole. In summer I usually add fresh tomatoes in the mixture and now in winter I have added a finely chopped red bell pepper that gave the guacamole a lovely crunchy twist.

However, my most favourite dip this winter is the roasted red-beet humus. It is prepared exactly as real humus only that the chick peas are replaced with roasted red beetroot. And it tastes amazing!

Beetroots are certainly one of the treasures of the winter season. Since ancient times they have been used in traditional medicine to cleanse liver, kidney stones, stomach and gallbladder disorders. Beets are good for people suffering from anemia because they help build red blood cells. However, to assimilate the iron in the beet do not consume it together with dairy products.

Red Beetroot Humus


  • 2-3 red beet roots
  • 2-3 tbs tahini
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs cumin
  • 1 tsp salt

Wrap the beetroots in folio and bake at 180C for 30 – 40 minutes until tender. Wait to cool down, peel and chop them.

Place all ingredients in a food processor and process into puree.

I sometimes make twists with the above basis by adding to it either a handful of walnuts, a bunch of parsley or 2-3 roasted, peeled and chopped red bell peppers (the last being my favourite combination for the smoky aftertaste of the roasted peppers). You may try other additions as well and find out your own favourite.

Now my last suggestion is a parsnip puree. If I have to be honest, when the red beetroot humus and this puree are served side by side I more often reach for the red dish as the parsnip taste is a bit blatant to my plate in comparison. But served on its own, the puree is a great dip, or spread or a garnish to a meal.

As for the parsnip, this humble pale cousin of the carrot, is not very popular which is quite unfair considering its nutritious qualities. The parsnip is packed with fiber (the soluble one which lowers cholesterol and regulates blood sugar), vitamins including C, E, K, B6 and folate and minerals like zinc, potassium and magnesium. It is considered a great food for pregnant women and people suffering from cardiovascular disease, asthma and osteoporosis.

Parsnip Puree


  • 0.5 kg parsnip roots
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbs olive oil (divided)
  • 1 tbs dry thyme
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a tray with a baking sheet.

Wash, peel and chop the parsnip, cutting off the top of the fat end. Coat in 1 tbs of olive oil, spread on the tray and bake for 20-25 minutes until tender.

Place the sunflower seeds in the food processor and pulse for 20 sec to get a rough meal. Add all remaining ingredients and mash into a fine puree.

All three dips might be kept for up to three days in well closed containers in the fridge.

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February 6, 2013  |  Starters, Recipes

1 comment

  1. Amazing recipes. I loved your blog and shall come back for more!

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