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Eating for Life | Skinny dip into the new year with a healthy hummus

By JILL WENDHOLT SILVA
The Kansas City Star

Everyone loves a good skinny dip.

But sadly most dips are pools of hidden saturated fat and calories that manage to push us off the dietary deep end.

If your New Year’s resolution is to snack better, try whipping up The Star’s White Bean Hummus Dip for your end-of-year party.

Since hummus is made primarily from beans, the popular Middle Eastern staple has become the go-to dip for holiday entertaining. Beans are low in fat but high in protein, complex carbohydrates and soluble fiber.

Traditionally, hummus is made from garbanzo beans but white cannellini beans provide a nice change of pace since their texture is also slightly softer and they require less olive oil to create a rich, velvety smooth puree. Tahini is a thick, oily paste made of sesame seeds that gives rich flavor without added saturated fat. For a boost of flavor and holiday color, we drizzled a small amount of reduced-fat pesto over the top and spooned diced red pimiento as a garnish.

Avoid mindless eating: Dips — even skinny ones — are an indulgence best consumed in moderation.

• Shopping tips: Read the label before buying canned beans; some brands are much higher in sodium than others. Before using, rinse and drain the cannellini beans in a colander under cold water to remove excess sodium.

The popular supermarket brand Buitoni offers a pesto that is 25 percent less fat than classic versions.

Look for tahini in the ethnic foods section. Like all nut or seed oils (including natural peanut butter), oil floats on the top; mix well before using. Tahini should be stored in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container; it will last up to three months.

• Serving tips: If you serve this tasty dip with vegetables, it is gluten-free and vegan.

Clip and save this recipe to serve for Super Bowl parties.

To reach Jill Wendholt Silva, call 816-234-4347 or send email to jsilva@kcstar.com.

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