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Too-Cool Crudites! (Fun Picks & Dip Recipe!)
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Too-Cool Crudites! (Fun Picks & Dip Recipe!)

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06.17.11
 

Close your eyes and picture a fresh-veggie snack. What did you see? Celery? Carrots? Maybe some broccoli florets and cherry tomatoes? It's time to branch out! Here are some unexpected veggies that ROCK eaten raw, plus a fantastic new dip recipe...

 
 
  Jicama

PER SERVING (4 oz., about 1 cup sliced): 43 calories, <0.5g fat, 5mg sodium, 10g carbs, 5.5g fiber, 2g sugars, 0.5g protein -- PointsPlus® value 0*

If you've never tried jicama before, DO IT, and do it now. It tastes amazing -- kind of like a mild crispy apple. The jicama itself looks sort of like a big round potato with a taproot, but don't be put off by its less-than-attractive exterior. Just peel it and cut it into sticks -- great dipped in salsa or chomped on solo. Crunchy!

 
  Zucchini and Other Summer Squash

PER SERVING (4 oz., about 1 cup sliced): 18 calories, <0.5g fat, 11mg sodium, 4g carbs, 1g fiber, 2g sugars, 1.5g protein -- PointsPlus® value 0*

No need to cook these veggies if you need a snack. They're delicious raw, and you don't even have to peel them. (Just wash 'em well and hack off the ends!) Cut your squash into spears or slices (like you'd do with a cucumber), and you're ready to go! Smear on some low-fat hummus (courtesy of yours truly)... YUM!

 
 
 
  Radishes

PER SERVING (4 oz., about 1 cup sliced): 18 calories, <0.5g fat, 44mg sodium, 4g carbs, 1.5g fiber, 2.5g sugars, 0.5g protein -- PointsPlus® value 0*

If most raw veggies are a little dull for your taste buds, the crunchy zing of radishes could be exactly what you need. If your radishes are on the small side, serve them whole -- leave on a bit of the green end to use as a handle! If they're large, cut 'em into quarters... or coins... or roses, if you're feeling fancy. Your call.

 
  Bell Peppers

PER SERVING (4 oz., about 1 medium pepper): 29 calories, <0.5g fat, 2mg sodium, 7g carbs, 2g fiber, 4g sugars, 1g protein -- PointsPlus® value 0*

Alright, these aren't TOO unconventional, but they sure beat the heck out of celery sticks. Look for sweet yellow and orange bell peppers in addition to red and green. One of the best ways to snack on bells? Cut them into short chunks -- ideal for scooping! Serve with salsa or HG's Holy Moly Guacamole for a chips-n-dip-like snack!

 
 
 
  White and Brown Mushrooms

PER SERVING (4 oz., about 1 1/2 cups sliced): 25 calories, <0.5g fat, 6mg sodium, 4.5g carbs, 1g fiber, 2g sugars, 3g protein -- PointsPlus® value 0*

Some people don't dig the slightly spongy texture of raw mushrooms, but we kind of enjoy it. And the flavor of mushrooms is nice and mellow, so it works well with nearly any type of dip. If you want to dress your mushrooms up a bit, you can toss 'em with a bit of light vinaigrette -- then spear them with toothpicks for serving... unless you enjoy having your hands smell like salad dressing, that is.

 
  Green Beans

PER SERVING (4 oz., about 1 cup): 35 calories, <0.5g fat, 7mg sodium, 8g carbs, 4g fiber, 1.5g sugars, 2g protein -- PointsPlus® value 0*

Snap peas are sweeter, but regular string beans are still super-tasty. Look for ones that are nice and firm. Then trim the ends before you chow down. SO GOOD. And if you see a bagged mix of the green and yellow beans, grab it -- yellow beans rock too! Our dip of choice for these? This stuff! 

 
 
 

Veggied-Up Veggie Dip
PER SERVING (1/8th of recipe, about 1/4 cup): 42 calories, <0.5g fat, 322mg sodium, 6g carbs, 0.5g fiber, 2.5g sugars, 3.5g protein -- PointsPlus® value 1*


That's right -- it's a dip that's full OF veggies and tastes good ON veggies! (Full disclosure: It's also good on pretzels, light bagels, and more.)

Ingredients:
1 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt (like the kind by Fage or Chobani)
1/4 cup fat-free mayonnaise
Half a 1-oz. packet (about 3 tbsp.) dry veggie soup mix
One 10-oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 cup roasted red peppers packed in water, drained and chopped
1 tbsp. dried minced onions

Directions:
In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, mayo, and soup mix. Stir well.

Add remaining ingredients and mix until uniform.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, to allow soup mix to rehydrate and flavors to develop. (It's even better chilled overnight.) SO EASY!

MAKES 8 SERVINGS

 

Who doesn't need more veggies in their life? Click "Send to a Friend" to pass the vegetables!

CHEW ON THIS:

Happy National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month! We've got your veggies covered here in this email. For a fruit salad to balance things out, try our Ginormous Fruit Salad Surprise or Creamy Dreamy Fruit Fandango!

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We may have received free samples of food, which in no way influences whether these products are reviewed favorably, unfavorably, mentioned with indifference, or mentioned at all. Click for more about our editorial and advertising policies.


*The PointsPlus® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.

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