Beans are good for your heart…

…so here’s some tips from the Food Network on how to healthy-up your bean dip.

This classic party starter is layered with refried beans (canned versions often include unhealthy trans fats from partially-hydrogenated lard), lots of sour cream, full fat cheeses and high-sodium taco seasoning. For our healthier version, we made the following changes:

  • We replaced the refried beans with canned beans and blended in a touch of extra-virgin olive oil for both its healthful qualities and flavor.
  • We drained and rinsed the beans to decrease sodium by up to 40 percent.
  • Instead of high-calorie sour cream, we used a wonderfully rich and guilt-free nonfat Greek-style yogurt. Nonfat Greek yogurt is drained of excess whey and is as luscious as the regular version. Sold in many supermarkets, it’s worth asking your store to carry if it’s currently not stocked.
  • We increased the health factor by adding in lots of fresh ingredients: crispy romaine, fresh tomatoes, cilantro and scallions, as well as a low fat cheese.
  • We kept avocado in the recipe to contribute fiber, folic acid and creamy texture. Although avocados do contain fat, it is mostly a healthy monounsatured fat. If you want to reduce calories, use half the avocado and mix it with cooked or canned tomatillos.
  • We layered our final dip in smaller containers, to cut down on the portion size.
  • We recommend serving the dip with baked chips or vegetables, like peppers or cucumbers, to further improve the health profile.
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