· Article

Healthy Slow Cooker Dip Recipe for Game Day

· Article

Healthy Slow Cooker Dip Recipe for Game Day


Sunday-afternoon NFL on the screen means the perfect excuse to invite friends over. You’ll probably want to feed them, though, and there’s no shortage of cheese-filled, deep-fried, bacon-wrapped football snack recipe.

But what if you want something healthier?

Slow cooker dip is sure to satisfy

If you want something simple, try a slow cooker dip. In the morning, combine all of the ingredients in the slow cooker, and set it on low for a few hours. When the cooking ends, just blend the dip and serve it up with crunchy veggies or whole-grain pita chips.

Healthy slow cooker dips don’t need to be short on flavor, either. You don’t need to completely avoid less-healthy ingredients, like cheese. Instead, mix them with ingredients that are more nutrient-rich, like beans. According to the American Heart Association, beans may help lower cholesterol and keep you satisfied longer between meals, likely thanks to their combination plant-based protein and fiber.

Don’t go overboard too close to bedtime

Because they’re rich in fiber and protein while being low in saturated fat, beans are also great news when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. Research from the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that eating more fiber and less saturated fat is associated with more restorative sleep.

The recipe below packs four grams of fiber per serving, about 15 percent of what an adult woman needs in a day. It also has just three grams of saturated fat, which is far less than traditional cheese dip.

One thing to keep in mind is that eating close to bedtime, even if you’re chowing down on the good stuff, might disrupt sleep for some people. For example, people with acid reflux might experience worsened symptoms if they eat within three hours of bedtime.

If this applies to you, snack away during afternoon games, but taper offer as evening rolls to night.

Slow Cooker White Bean and Parmesan Dip

Serves: 12

Total time: 4 hours 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

Two 15-ounce cans white beans, rinsed and drained

2 ½ cups skim milk, divided

8 ounces shredded Parmesan

6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

¼ teaspoon paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

1 small red bell pepper, cored and chopped

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Combine white beans, 1 ½ cups milk, Parmesan, garlic, and paprika in a large slow cooker.

2. Cover and cook on high setting for 2 hours.

3. Turn the slow cooker to warm setting. Add remaining 1 cup milk. When ready to serve, use an immersion blender to puree the mixture until smooth. (Alternatively, transfer the mixture to a blender and puree, then return it to the slow cooker). Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Serve dip in the slow cooker or a bowl, garnished with bell pepper and parsley.

Nutrition per serving (⅓ cup dip): 147 calories, 5 g fat (3 g saturated), 600 mg sodium, 14 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 4 g fiber, 12 g protein

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