Tuesday, March 3, 2009

An Alternative to MSG-Laden Ranch Dip

Howdy Strangers! That's what we southerners say when we are just returning to technology after a rare snow storm that stopped life as we know it. Please excuse my absence. Who would have thought that in four short months of blogging, I would miss so many familiar "faces"?

Do you all remember a while ago when I posted strategies for helping our children get their Five-A-Day of veggies and fruits? So many of you commented that one way your children LOVED veggies was with Ranch Dip. While I know that some kids won't stand for a change, perhaps some of you moms out there will be able to substitute this additive-free recipe. (Thanks for posting it, Shannon!)

When you look at the recipe, you'll see that it starts with "Yogurt Cheese." At the outset, let me calm any fears you may experience when you read those words. Yogurt Cheese is not at all difficult to make. Simply pour whole milk yogurt in a tea-towel-lined colander and let it drain overnight. The whey will drip out and leave a "cream cheese" in the towel. Yogurt Cheese is a nutritious substitute for anything that calls for cream cheese. We love it as the base for a cucumber and cream cheese sandwich spread.

Have no fear! If you don't want to make Yogurt Cheese, you can simply substitute plain yogurt. Doing so will yield a "dressing" rather than a "dip," but the taste will be unaffected. Another option that may not be as healthy but is still healthier than ranch seasoning packets: use the list of spices from this recipe and add them directly to sour cream. This last option may be a good transitional dip for kids who might balk at a sudden change in their beloved ranch dip.

Party Dip by Greg Brown

Please comment to let me know how you like this dip or dressing! Or, if you have a recipe for another healthy veggie dip, please comment with the link... don't all mothers need more strategies for serving veggies to our children?

Photo Credit: AllPosters.com


noel2momof3 said...

I'm going to have to try this. I'm always running out of ranch dressing. We love it!

Mama Krit said...

oh yum! I am going to try making this tonight! Thanks!

Sharon said...

I wrote this recipe down. We love ranch dressing, but, I do not react well to MSG. Thanks!

Teresa R said...

We pretty much only buy the Annie's dressings if we ever buy dressing. Luckily, our kids love veggies no matter how they're presented. This recipe from Shannon sounds very similar to the one my dh makes on the rare occasions that he makes a dip. :}

One of my fav ways to eat veggies is roasting them...just toss them with olive oil and some Herbamare (or another salt-spices seasoning) and roast in oven (or grill!) until desired tenderness is reached.