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There are many tips that can help to turn a high-calorie, high-fat dipping sauce into a healthy dipping sauce that still has a lot of flavor. One of the easiest ways to make a homemade dipping sauce healthier is to use ingredients that are non-fat or low-fat. Another tip is to use different liquids, such as orange juice, that have concentrated taste, along with vitamins and nutrients, but low fat. When creating a homemade dipping sauce that has a few high-calorie ingredients, one idea is to thin or extend the ingredients with water or another liquid so less can be used while making the same amount of sauce. One key to making a health dipping sauce is to pay attention to proportions, because even a fairly healthy ingredient such as olive oil can become a problem if too much of it is used.
The proportions used for the different ingredients in a healthy dipping sauce are important. High-fat or high-sodium ingredients can be used in a healthy dipping sauce when used in moderation. Certain ingredients, such as soy sauce or olive oil, can be very healthy when used in small amounts but can quickly make a dip unhealthy if too much is added.
Some ingredients can be very healthy — if they are homemade instead of being purchased commercially. Peanut butter is one example of a food that can serve as a good base for a sweet and healthy dipping sauce if extra ingredients, sweeteners and sodium are not added to the ground nuts. Creating mayonnaise with olive oil and egg substitute, or ranch dressing with low-fat buttermilk, can allow those ingredients to be used more readily in some recipes.
Many traditional types of base ingredients for a dipping sauce — such as mayonnaise, cheese, oils and heavy creams — are high in fat and very rich. These can be replaced with healthier options such as Greek yogurt, low-fat sour cream, Neufchatel cream cheese or ground chickpeas. Even replacing just a portion of the higher-fat ingredients with lower-fat alternatives can help to make a sauce healthier. In addition, using versions of the ingredients that have a reduced amount of fat or that use alternative or organic ingredients can reduce the amount of calories in a dip.
For added nutrition, a healthy dipping sauce can have items added that are high in vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber. This can be achieved by adding nutritional supplement powders or by grinding healthy vegetables and incorporating them into the sauce. Adding liquids such as tomato juice, pomegranate juice, or tahini also can add important and beneficial nutrients to a healthy dipping sauce.