A couple weeks ago, I posted some ideas for snacking using ingredients from your CSA share. This week, I wanted to continue on that thread by focusing on the ever versatile dip. Many of the dairy choices offered by Brookford Farm make fantastic bases for dips both sweet and savory: kefir, yogurt, Greek yogurt, and sour cream will all work. Dips are a great way to get kids to eat vegetables they might otherwise shy away from. Toddlers, in particular, often love dippers and might surprise you by their willingness to eat all things crunchy when given the opportunity.
There are lots of recipes out there for all kinds of dairy based dips. Here, I’ll share some general guidelines to help you become a pro.
- Generally speaking, Greek yogurt and sour cream can be used “as is.” Kefir and regular yogurt benefit from thickening before use in dips. This is really very easy. It requires a fine mesh strainer and a coffee filter or thin piece of fabric. Place the strainer over a bowl, and place the coffee filter or fabric in the strainer. Pour the kefir or yogurt into the lined strainer, and place the bowl (with strainer inside) into the fridge. The whey will drip into the bowl, leaving you with a thicker product in the strainer. Leave the bowl in the fridge as long as it takes to reach the desired consistency (typically anywhere from 3-12 hours).
For most dip recipes, yogurt, greek yogurt, and kefir can be used interchangeably. It’s the add in ingredients that will determine the flavor of your final product, so it’s okay to use what’s on hand.
Get creative with dippers. Raw fruit and veggies are great for dipping. Crackers, meat cubes, breadsticks, chips, homemade veggie chips, and toast also work really well.
Feel free to be adventurous with add-ins. Beans, herbs, many fruits and vegetables, and several cheeses are very, very happy to mix with yogurt (or kefir, or sour cream) and become dip. A few recipes to get you started: this yogurt and chickpea dip, and this avocado and cumin dip.
Remember that herbs and spices are the ticket to versatility. Try cumin and chili powder, sauteed garlic with dill, cinnamon and nutmeg, or lemon and oregano. (For starters).