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My favourite spreads and dips – four alternatives to butter

Quite a long time ago I started to look for options to replace butter and dairy products in my spreads and dips. I have tried many different recipes since, and these are my four favourite that I make regularly. I like to add a little twist from time to time – hence the pink moutabal. It is also great to get creative with some spices and herbs. Fresh herbs work well in anything, especially in raw spreads and dips. By the way, these are amazing served at the party, you have beautiful colours, different flavours, and still something healthy to snack while having fun!

You can serve these on the bread or toast, in tortilla wraps (will be adding these soon!), with crudités (a.k.a. sliced raw veggies), with tortilla chips or roasted potatoes and veggies for dipping, with pita bread and fresh salad as an appetiser or even main.

A few tips before starting:

  • you can make these well in advance, even a day before you plan to serve them
  • when seasoning, taste can be very well adjusted with more/less lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper
  • moutabal, hummus, and avocado spread can be all made more chunky – simply use a pulse function when blending or use a fork for mashing avocado or aubergines

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1. Pink Moutabal

  • 2 medium aubergines
  • 1 small beetroot
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp tahini paste (light or dark, both work well)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (optional)

Preheat the oven to 200 °C. First, halve the aubergines and season with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Together with a washed beetroot, put the vegetables in a roasting tray and cook in the oven for about 40-50 minutes. The aubergines are usually done quicker.  You need to take them out once the flesh is very soft. The beetroot is ready when you easily stick a fork in the middle. Once aubergines and beetroot cool down, peel and slice the beetroot and scrape out the flesh of aubergines. Discard the skins. Put the vegetables into a food processor and blend with everything else on the ingredient list. 20160928_081936

2.Black Bean Hummus

  • 1 can/400 g of black beans
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp tahini paste
  • about 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil (optional)

Blend everything together in a food processor (important: do not discard all the water from can, you can use some to make hummus creamier). Finally, season to taste and serve scattered with some chilli flakes or herbs.

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3.Avocado Spread with Garlic and Basil

  • 1 large avocado
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 10 basil leaves, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a blender, blend avocado, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper until you achieve smooth paste. Then stir a bunch of basil leaves into the spread.

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4.Traditional Salsa

  • 4 medium tomatoes, ripe and sweet are the best
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 green onions
  • a big clove of garlic
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh chilli (optional)

Dice tomatoes and mix them with thinly sliced garlic and onions, both red and green. Add seasonings, lemon juice, and olive oil as well as chilli if using. Mix well again and let sit in the fridge for about 1 hour before serving.

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