Healthy Spinach Dip: A Appetizer With Less Calories

My Diet Matters
healthy spinach dip

The merry holidays have arrived, bringing with them plenty of social engagements and delicious food. For many people, delicious often means “full of calories.” However, it doesn’t have to. With a bit of crafty cooking, you can make your favorite holiday recipes tasty, but with fewer calories. A healthy spinach dip made lower in calories is a personal favorite. This skinny version recipe always gets rave reviews. No one ever seems to notice that all the fat has been removed from this healthy and classic Knorr spinach dip recipe!

Great tasting dip for fewer calories

A favorite of many, this dish packs a mean 72 calories in each tablespoon. That may not seem like a lot, but remember most of us don’t stop at a just a tablespoon! Making a few key changes to this recipe can reduce the caloric count to 50 calories per tablespoon. It may not seem like 20 calories is a big deal, but keep in mind that most people probably eat about five tablespoons or more. As a result, at least 100 calories saved! During the holidays, those calories add up quickly.

An appetizer dip with important nutrients

In addition to being reduced in fat and calories, this appetizer offers some significant nutrients. In fact, spinach has a reputation as a superfood. It’s a source of lutein, zeaxanthin and beta carotene, which contribute to eye health. It’s also loaded with antioxidants, and has almost as much as kale. Those antioxidants protect the body’s cells from oxidation which is damaging to the body. Spinach is also a source of minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and calcium. It should be noted, however, that the calcium in spinach is not readily absorbed. This is because spinach has oxalic acid which binds the calcium to prevent absorption. So, while spinach is not a great source of calcium, it’s a great source of other key nutrients. Include it in your diet for beta carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, potassium, and magnesium.

The slimmed down healthy spinach recipe vs. regular recipe

Conventional Spinach Dip Recipe: 1 Tablespoon serving size = 72 calories

Resized Spinach Dip Recipe: 1 Tablespoon serving size = 50 calories

“Resized” Holiday Spinach Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 package KNORR brand vegetable soup
  • one 8 oz can chopped and drained water chestnuts
  • 1 cup fat-free mayonnaise
  • 1 container no fat sour cream

Instructions

  • Make sure the spinach is thoroughly thawed and drained. I usually thaw it and then place it in a strainer and press on it to get as much moisture out as possible. Next, mix all the ingredients together. Chill for several hours to blend flavors. Stir well. Serve with crackers, cut up vegetables, or cubed bread as pictured.
  • NUTRITION INFORMATION: 1 Tbsp. is about 50 calories
  • 20 servings

Nutrition notes

This goes nicely into a scooped out round loaf of sourdough bread with the scooped out bread used for dipping. This recipe can also be made several days in advance of your party. So, it’s a great make-ahead appetizer to lessen holiday stress. Just make sure you give it a final stir before placing in a pretty bowl or the scooped out bread.

Substituting the fat-free versions of mayonnaise and sour cream in this recipe will help whittle your waist without compromising the taste! If the fat-free versions are not available at your grocery store or in your part of the country, then use the reduced fat versions. I hope you enjoy my version of this low calorie healthy spinach dip.

Sue Rose, MS, RD, LDN

Sue Rose helps readers sort through the maze of nutrition information available to the public. As a seasoned clinical dietitian/nutritionist with decades of experience, her blogs attempt to educate and inform the public at a time when there is so much information it is often overwhelming to understand. Stay tuned for clarity on a variety of topics!

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