luscious-layer-dipSnack dips are great at holidays and sports events. Be the health guru of your community with this spinach, yogurt, avocado and tomato combination. Each ingredient brings its own weight in healthy nutrients to the party.

Spinach is packed with chlorophyll, folate, Vitamin C and beta-carotene which boosts the immune system. Lutein and zeaxanthine serve as antioxidants to support retinal health and reduce the risk of cataracts.

Yogurt contributes probiotic compounds for improved digestion. Seasoning plain yogurt with cilantro (Mexican parsley), chili powder and oregano reduces the need for a sweetened yogurt to make the medicine go down.

Avocados are great sources of essential fatty acids which help leptin (a hormone in your small intestine) control how much you eat. Healthy fats provide satiety so you aren’t looking for food 1 to 2 hours after eating a high carbohydrate meal.

Tomatoes are the base for salsa and they serve as scavengers in the blood to reduce harmful free radicals in addition to reducing tumor cell growth- especially in prostate cancer. Some medical studies have also shown that the lycopene in tomatoes can lower blood pressure.

My friends call this their “Popeye Taco special dip” served with raw vegetables or whole grain chips. It is an easy to fix healthy snack
everyone can enjoy.

Luscious Layer Dip

4 cups shredded spinach
8 ounces plain lowfat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh cilantro
1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
16 ounces prepared guacamole
8 ounces chunky salsa
33/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 fresh plum tomatoes, diced
2 scallions, minced
10 black olives, pitted and diced

Place spinach in clear bowl like trifle dish. Stir together yogurt, cilantro, chili powder and oregano. Spoon over spinach. Use spatula to spread guacamole over yogurt layer. Spoon salsa over guacamole. Sprinkle on cheese. Top with tomatoes, scallions and olives. Serve with raw vegetables or whole grain chips. Makes 24- 1/2 cup servings.

Calories per serving 42 (no chips)
Protein 2 g
Carbohydrates 4 g
Fat 3 g
Sodium 153 mg