Make your own dips and crackers

There’s no need to settle for store-bought; try these quick, easy, healthy and tasty recipes.

Store-bought varieties are laden with artificial flavourings and preservatives, not to mention all that plastic packaging!

Try making our Chia-oat crackers, and Spelt triangles. Our simple dip recipes include Red capsicum, Roasted beetroot, and a tried-and-tested Spinach and feta.

Holiday entertaining doesn’t have to cost the earth – here it’s happy, healthy, and delicious!

Recipes by Tracey Rutherford
Photos by Steve Brown

Roasted beetroot dip

Makes about 2 cups
Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 1–1½ hours

1 bunch beetroot (about 500 g)
1 cup (280 g) Greek yoghurt
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cumin

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Trim the beetroot stems, leaving about 3 cm. Rinse the beetroot, and place onto a large sheet of foil. Wrap tightly. Put onto an oven tray, and cook for 1–1½ hours, or until the largest beetroot is soft when tested with a small sharp knife.

Unwrap and cool beetroot, then slip off the skins (you may want to wear rubber gloves as it will stain your hands). Roughly chop, and place into a food processor with the remaining ingredients. Process until smooth and season to taste.

Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until required.

Red capsicum dip

Makes about 1½ cups
Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 1 hour + cooling

– 4 large red capsicums
– 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
– 1/3 cup (70 g) slivered almonds
– 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
– 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper, and put the whole capsicums onto it (lie them on their sides). Roast for 1 hour, turning once during cooking, until very soft and the skin has blackened. Add the garlic cloves for the last 20 minutes of cooking time. Cover with foil and leave to cool completely.

Spread the almonds onto a baking tray, and bake for 3–5 minutes until golden brown (watch carefully). Cool.

Pull the skin off the capsicums and tear the flesh into large pieces, discarding the seeds and membrane. Drain off the excess liquid. Place the flesh into a food processor and add the garlic (squeezed from the skins), almonds, paprika and lemon juice. Process until smooth and season to taste. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until required.

Spinach and feta dip

Makes about 1½ cups
Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 2 mins

– 2 bunches English spinach, stems trimmed
– 2 teaspoons olive oil
– 4 spring onions, finely sliced
– 2 garlic cloves, crushed
– 150 g silken tofu
– 100 g creamy feta, crumbled
– 2 tablespoons dill sprigs, chopped
– 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind

Place the spinach leaves into a large bowl or clean sink and cover with cold water. Swish around with your hand briefly, then leave to stand for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small frying pan and cook the spring onions and garlic over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes, or until soft. Cool.

Lift the spinach leaves from the water (any grit will fall to the bottom). Place into a large heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Stand for 1 minute, then drain into a colander and cool under cold running water. Squeeze out as much water as you can.

Combine the spinach, spring onion mixture, tofu, feta, dill and lemon rind in a
food processor and process until well chopped and combined. Season to taste. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until required.

Stir before serving.

Chia oat crackers

Makes about 26
Preparation time: 15 mins + 10 mins standing
Cooking time: 45 mins

– 1 cup (90 g) rolled oats
– ¼ cup (50 g) white chia seeds
– ½ cup (40 g) finely grated parmesan
– 2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 150ºC and line an oven tray with baking paper. Combine the oats, chia seeds and parmesan in a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the oil and 1/3 cup (80 ml) hot water, and use a rubber spatula to mix to a sticky dough. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface, and roll out to a 5mm thickness. Use a 5cm round cutter to cut rounds from the dough. Use a non-serrated knife to pick up the rounds and place onto the prepared tray. Bake for 45 minutes, or until crisp and dry. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, then store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Spelt triangles

Makes about 60
Preparation time: 20 mins + 1 hour rising
Cooking time: 12 mins

– 1 teaspoon dry yeast
– ½ teaspoon sugar
– ½ teaspoon salt
– 1½ cups (240 g) wholemeal spelt flour
– 2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
– 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Combine the yeast, sugar and salt in a jug with ½ cup (125 ml) lukewarm water. Stand in a warm place for 10 minutes, or until frothy.

Place the flour into a large bowl, mix in the rosemary and make a well in the centre. Add the yeast mixture. Use a wooden spoon then your hands to bring the dough together. Turn out onto a clean work surface and knead for 5 minutes. You can lightly dust the surface with a little spelt flour to prevent sticking, but try not to add too much. Place into a lightly oiled bowl, cover and stand in a warm place
for 1 hour, or until well risen.

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Divide the dough into 4 portions, and keep the ones you aren’t working with covered. Roll out one portion as thinly as possible (lift occasionally to prevent sticking). It should be about 40 cm long and 11 cm wide (don’t worry if it isn’t perfect). Cut crossways into about 15 triangles and place onto a prepared tray. Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake for about 12 minutes, swapping shelves halfway through, until lightly browned and crisp. Cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for up to four days.

Tips on dips

Keep in the fridge, but take out about 15 minutes before serving so they aren’t icy cold.

These recipes make a generous amount, so if you think you may not use it all at once, put out a smaller amount to start with and replenish as needed. This way you won’t waste any.

Leftover dips make great sandwich spreads or condiments to serve with a meal.

Dips will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge.




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