Never Buy Potato Chips Again!

Deliciously Cheap Recipes and Tips for Homemade Gourmet Chips and Dips

A Save at Home Quick Guide

Introduction

There’s no doubt about it, folks just like snacking. In fact, according to a 2011 report by U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Surveys Research Group, most Americans consume one to two snacks daily. Unfortunately, all this snacking has led to increases in health problems such as obesity, heart disease and increased bad cholesterol levels. Additionally, snacks are increasingly expensive making the average household’s food costs soar. Take a moment to check your grocery cart – what percentage of the items you normally purchase are snacks? The results may be surprising.

How would you like to continue to consume snacks without the adverse effects to your wallet—and your waistline? Making your own homemade chips and dips is an effective way to cut food costs and provide your family with healthy, low-fat snacks. They are easy and fun to make, and offer a variety of tasty treats.

Why You Should Be Making Homemade Chips & Dips

1.      Taste – Fresh, homemade chips and dips taste incredible and are bursting with amazing flavors that cannot be found in processed snacks.

2.      Health – Homemade snacks do not contain fillers or preservatives that are used in factory-made chips. Using fresh vegetables, fruits and ingredients that are full of vitamins are a healthy alternative to processed snacks. Many homemade chips are baked rather than fried, thus cutting bad cholesterol. In addition, you control the amount of salt and sweeteners used in homemade recipes.

3.      Cost – These quality chips are made from fresh vegetables and fruits, most commonly found in your grocer’s produce section. Three large potatoes at an approximate cost of $1.50 can yield the same amount of chips as are found in a regular family-sized bag of commercially-produced potato chips at an average cost of $4.99 per bag! Inexpensive products like yogurt and sour cream can be made into dips that cost a fraction of prepared ones.

4.      Choice – Making your own fresh chips and dips allows you to make choices regarding baking versus frying, the types of oil used, amounts of salt, sugar or items you or your family may be allergic or sensitive to, or simply don’t like! You choose what’s in your snacks – and what’s not.

Storing Homemade Chips and Dips

Chips – Store chips in air-tight containers or plastic zip-type bags from which as much air as possible has been removed.

Dips – Store dips in air-tight containers in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Tip: rather than dipping out of the storage container, place dip to be consumed in a small bowl. This keeps germs and cross-contamination out of the storage container, giving the dip a longer shelf-life.

Basic Ingredients, Equipment and Tools

·         Basic Ingredients: For chips you will want to have some simple, basic produce, such as potatoes (white, red, Yukon gold are good choices), sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, taro root, apples and bananas. For dips, yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese, herbs, spices, fresh fruits and vegetables are used.  

·         Basic Equipment: For chips it is most helpful to invest in a mandoline, a device that consistently cuts super-thin slices of vegetables and fruits. Some people prefer using a food dehydrator or microwave oven rather than a conventional oven to produce chips that are not fried. For making dips, a food processor or electric mixer is often helpful. A silicone mat (also known as a SIL PAT) is also recommended.

·         Basic Tools: Most recipes require the most basic of kitchen tools: knives, measuring cups and spoons, vegetable peeler, bowls, baking pans, spatula and a cutting board. If you plan to make chips on a regular basis, an oil mister is a great tool to invest in.

Extra Crispy Homemade Potato Chips

Have you ever tried to make potato chips at home and just ended up with piles of soggy, oil-soaked potatoes? This easy recipe gives you the secret to crunchy homemade chips that are fun and easy to make!

What you need:

·         1 pound Idaho potatoes

·         Vegetable oil

·         Salt and/or pepper to taste

·         Water

Directions:

1.       Scrub the potatoes thoroughly.

2.       Put on a large pot of water to boil.

3.       Use a mandoline to slice the potatoes into thin, even slices; 1/8 of an inch thick is ideal.

4.       Place all potato slices in the boiling water. Boil for two minutes. Immediately remove from heat and transfer potato slices to kitchen towel or paper towels to dry for 5-10 minutes. Turn often during drying process to ensure the majority of moisture is removed.

5.       Heat vegetable oil in large electric skillet or deep fryer. The oil should be deep enough that potato slices can be completely submerged. The oil should be heated to 350 degrees.

6.       After the oil is heated and the slices have dried, add one fourth of the potato slices to the hot oil.

7.       Flip the potatoes constantly while in the oil to ensure even cooking. Potato slices should be cooked until they release no bubbles when submerged in the oil. It should be about 5 minutes of cooking time.

8.       Remove chips from oil as they are done. Transfer cooked chips to a cookie sheet lined with paper towels to remove excess oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and toss to coat all chips.

9.       Repeat the process until all the potato slices are cooked.

10.   Serve immediately. If storing the chips, allow to cool completely before placing in air-tight storage container.

Recommendations: This recipe can be prepared using white, red-skin, Yukon gold, or sweet potatoes, though boiling and frying times may need to be adjusted for different potato types.

Tips: Sweet potato chips are great when tossed with a combination of salt and sugar or brown sugar. For flavored regular chips, try adding herbs and spices when tossing chips after frying, such as garlic powder, barbeque spice rub, cayenne pepper, dill or smoked paprika.

Super-Fast Potato and Sweet Potato Chips

Potato chips are American’s number one snack food. You can make them healthier, tastier and more interesting when you prepare homemade white, gold and sweet potato chips. To make them as simple as possible, these homemade treats are made in the microwave oven.

What you need:

·         1 pound white, red-skin, Yukon gold or sweet potatoes

·         Olive oil

·         Salt and/or pepper to taste

Directions:

11.   Scrub the potatoes thoroughly and peel if desired.

12.   Use a mandoline to slice the potatoes into thin, even slices.

13.   Working quickly so potatoes do not brown, place slices in a bowl and toss with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper, if desired.

14.   Place a single layer of potatoes on a plate and cook in the microwave on high for about 3 minutes, then carefully turn the slices over and cook for an additional 3 minutes. The chips will begin to get crisp and brown on the edges.

15.   Move chips to a sheet of parchment paper and allow to cool completely.

16.   Repeat the process until all the potato slices are cooked.

Recommendations: White, red-skin and Yukon gold potatoes are delicious with the skin on. Sweet potatoes tend to be better when peeled, though it is not required.

Tips: Sweet potato chips are great when tossed with a combination of salt and sugar or brown sugar. For flavored regular chips, try adding herbs and spices when tossing chips in oil prior to baking, such as garlic powder, barbeque spice rub, cayenne pepper, dill or smoked paprika.

Beet Chips

In addition to being tasty and good for you, beet chips are dramatically colored, and make a wonderful garnish. Try these sweet treats with Greek Feta Dip.

What you need:

·         2 -4 medium sized red, variegated or yellow beets

·         Sea or Kosher salt

·         Olive oil spray

Directions:

1.       Heat oven to 375 degrees.

2.       Peel the beets and cut them in half. Slice beets with a mandoline.

3.       Coat two cookie sheets lightly with olive oil spray. Place a single layer of beets, not touching, on the trays.

4.       Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool thoroughly on wire racks. Remove chips from sheets.

5.       If you have more beet slices, simply wipe the cookie sheets with paper toweling, then re-oil and repeat the process until all chips are baked.

Recommendations: If the raw beet slices are very juicy, you may want to drain them for a few minutes on paper toweling prior to baking.

Tips: Use a variety of beets for a colorful snack. Beet chips may be sprinkled with salt and/or sugar to taste. Also try sprinkling with a mixture of salt to which a bit of ground cardamom has been added.

Kale Chips

Kale, a well-known “super food,” is full of vitamins and minerals – and makes a tasty snack chip. Healthy and tasty, try these chips crushed and sprinkled on top of a baked potato topped with Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.

What you need:

·         1 bunch of kale, washed and trimmed

·         Olive oil

·         Kosher salt

Directions:

1.       Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.       Thoroughly wash kale and trim the ends. Place in a salad spinner to remove the excess water from the leaves, or pat dry with paper toweling.

3.       Lightly coat one or two baking trays with baking spray.

4.       Lightly mist or rub the leaves with olive oil and place in a single layer on baking trays.

5.       If desired, sprinkle with sea or Kosher salt.

6.       Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, then flip the leaves over with a spatula and bake for another 7 to 9 minutes. Allow to cool thoroughly.

Recommendations:  Kale will shrink significantly when baking. If serving these chips for a crowd, you may want to double or triple the recipe.

Tips: Herbs or spices can be added as desired, such as garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, or even cayenne pepper.

Carrot Chips

Sweet and salty equals delicious for these yummy, healthy snacks. Try them dusted with a bit of Kosher salt and curry or cayenne pepper for a spicy treat.

What you need:

·         2 or 3 large carrots

·         Olive oil

·         Kosher or sea salt and pepper (if desired)

Directions:

1.       Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

2.       Coat a large cookie sheet with olive oil.

3.       Wash and peel the carrots.

4.       Using a mandolin or the carrot peeler, cut long, thin strips of carrot and place strips in a bowl.

.       Drizzle oil on the carrot strips and toss gently with your fingers.

6.       Place the strips on the baking sheet separately and dust with salt and pepper, if desired.

7.       Bake for approximately 12 minutes or until the carrot chips begin to get brown on the edges. Remove from heat and cool the cookie sheet on a wire baking rack. Carefully remove chips from the cookie sheet with a spatula when cooled.

Recommendations: Carrot chips are best when eaten immediately; however, they can be stored in an air tight container or zip style bag for approximately one week.

Tips: Use the left-over carrot “middles” in soups or broth, or eat raw or cooked. For a sweet and salty twist on this snack, toss oiled carrot strips with equal amounts of sugar and salt before baking.

Pita Chips

Pita chips are delicious and can be made plain, spiced or with parmesan cheese added. They are a versatile treat, and making them homemade will save tons of money compared to pre-packaged brands.

What you need:

·         1 package pita bread  or 5 or 6 homemade pita rounds

·         Olive oil

·         Kosher or sea salt

·         Powdered garlic (about 1 teaspoon)

·         Dried rosemary leaves (about 1 teaspoon)

Directions:

1.       Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

2.       Using a large chef’s knife, place each pita round on a cutting board and cut into eighths, forming triangles.

3.       Coat two cookie sheets lightly with cooking spray.

4.       Place the pita triangles evenly on the two cookie sheets and drizzle with olive oil. Toss with your hands or a spatula to evenly distribute the oil.

5.       In a small bowl, combine the salt, garlic powder and dried rosemary. Sprinkle the mixture evenly on the pita triangles and toss again.

6.       Bake, turning two or three times, until the pita chips become crisp and golden brown (about 20 – 25 minutes).

7.       Remove from heat and cool completely before serving.

Recommendations:  Turning the pita chips often while baking makes crispier chips.

Tips: Oregano, basil, thyme, curry, cardamom, smoked paprika or cayenne can be substituted for the rosemary – or try a combination of herbs and spices. Baked chips can be sprinkled with a bit of parmesan cheese. For a sweet treat, omit garlic and salt, and toss hot, baked chips in a bit of cinnamon and sugar, then allow to cool.

aked Tortilla Chips

Another household favorite, tortilla chips are generally fried and full of “bad cholesterol”.  Homemade baked chips are easy to make, tasty and healthier than fried varieties.

What you need:

·         Corn or flour tortillas, prepackaged or homemade

·         Light corn oil

·         Sea or Kosher salt, if desired

Directions:

1.       Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat one or two baking pans with light corn oil.

2.       Place corn or flour tortillas on a cutting board and slice into strips or triangles.

3.       Place the cut tortillas in a large bowl and drizzle a bit of corn oil on the pieces. Toss lightly with your hands to distribute the oil evenly.

4.       Spread out over the baking trays and place in hot oven.

5.       Bake for 15 to 25 minutes, turning often with a spatula, until crisp and golden. Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt, if desired, immediately.

6.       Allow chips to cool on a wire rack. Can also be served warm.

Recommendations:  Turning often while baking will result in crispier chips.

Tips: If desired, add a bit of cayenne pepper, cumin or chili powder to the salt before sprinkling on hot chips.

Banana Chips

Banana chips are sweet, healthy and delicious. They are a great snack when traveling. For a special treat, mix a handful each of banana chips, chocolate chips and walnuts in a zip style bag.

What you need:

·         2 – 3 bananas, barely ripe

·         ¼ cup brown sugar

·         Pinch salt

Directions:

1.       Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

2.       Lightly coat a couple of baking trays with baking spray or line a baking tray with a SIL PAT silicone liner lightly coated with vegetable oil (recommended).

3.       Peel the bananas and slice into uniform pieces about ¼ inch thick.

4.       In a bowl, mix the brown sugar and salt together. Dip the slices in the sugar mixture and place them flat on the baking pan.

5.       Bake for 17 to 20 minutes, until the edges turn golden brown. Allow to cool then remove from the baking sheet.

Recommendations:  Watch the banana slices carefully as they burn easily.

Tips: For a twist, add ½ teaspoon white pepper, cardamom or cinnamon to the sugar mixture before dipping the banana slices. These are best eaten the same day, but can be stored in an air tight container for 2 or 3 days.

Apple Chips

Skin on or off, spicy or plain, these apple chips travel well and are a favorite with kids and adults. Try them with Creamy Caramel Apple Pecan Dip. These take a little while to make, but the result is definitely worth it!

What you need:

·         2 or 3 firm apples, washed and cored

·         ¼ cup white sugar or mixture of white and brown sugar

·         1 teaspoon cinnamon, if desired

·         Pinch salt

Directions:

1.       Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees.

2.       Line a baking sheet or two with parchment paper.

3.       Slice apples cross-ways on a mandoline to achieve super-thin slices. (White in the middle, skin around the edges)

4.       In a bowl combine the sugar and spice.

5.       Place the apple slices in a large bowl and toss in the sugar mixture. Toss carefully with your hands to distribute evenly on the slices.

6.       Place the apple slices on the baking sheets. Bake for 1 ½ to 2 hours until crisp. Remove from heat and cool completely.

Recommendations:  Use a mixture of red, green and yellow skinned apples for a pretty treat. Store in an air-tight container up to 4 days.

Tips:  Cinnamon may be omitted, if desired, or substitute cardamom, allspice or ginger for the cinnamon.

Pasta Chips

Pasta comes in lots of fun shapes that can be turned into tasty snacks. Kids love bow-ties, shells and wagon wheels turned into tasty chips.

What you need:

·         2 cups dry pasta

·         Lightly salted boiling water

·         ¼ cup light vegetable or canola oil

·         2 teaspoons Kosher salt

·         ½ teaspoon white pepper

·         ½ teaspoon basil

·         ½ teaspoon garlic powder

·         2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

1.       Place dry pasta in boiling water and cook as usual, about 12 – 15 minutes, until it reaches the al dente stage. Empty into a colander and drain. Immediately rinse pasta under cold, running water and drain again.

2.       In a bowl combine the salt, pepper, basil, garlic powder and parmesan cheese. Mix well and set aside.

3.       Place the oil in a large skillet and heat to approximately 375 degrees. An electric skillet is helpful for this step.

4.       Place cooked, drained pasta about 1 cup at a time in the oil and fry until golden and crisp, approximately 8 minutes, turning to fry evenly.

5.       Remove fried pasta from the skillet and drain on paper towels. Repeat this step until all the pasta is fried.

6.       Placed drained fried pasta in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the herb and salt mixture and toss lightly with your hands or a slotted spoon.

Recommendations:  To avoid cooked pasta from sticking together, a bit of olive oil can be drizzled on cooked, drained pasta and tossed with your hands before frying. Olive oil gives the pasta a nice flavor as well.

Tips:  Change the flavor profile by substituting herbs and spices: try thyme, oregano or sage for the basil, or make a Tex-Mex spice rub of salt, cumin and chili powder. Another great combination is salt, white pepper and smoked paprika. Cheese can be omitted, if desired.

Holy Moly Guacamole Dip

Guacamole is a household name when it comes to dips. This simple, delicious recipe is just thing to go with your homemade tortilla chips.

What you need:

·         2 ripe avocados

·         1/2 cup chunky salsa

·         1 ½ tablespoons cilantro (leaves only – chopped)

·         1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

·         1 teaspoon Kosher salt

·         Freshly grated black pepper to taste

Directions:

.       Cut avocados in half and remove seeds. Scoop out flesh from the peel and place in mixing bowl.

2.       Using a fork, mash avocado to desired consistency.

3.       Add the salsa, cilantro, lime juice, and salt and mash together.

4.       Add black pepper to taste and serve.

Recommendations: Prepare as close to serving time as possible. If preparing ahead of time, cover with plastic wrap, directly on the guacamole to prevent oxidation of the avocado.

Be sure to use salsa that is mostly chunky, and has very little liquid. If your salsa has too much liquid, it will make your guacamole runny.

Tips: This dip can be prepared as simply as like. The most basic ingredients are avocados, salt and lime juice. After those, experiment with different fresh vegetables like tomatoes, onions and chile peppers in places of the salsa. You can also try different herbs and spices to mix up your own unique flavor.

Greek Feta Dip

In addition to being a tasty treat with a variety of vegetable chips, Greek feta dip is also a great sandwich spread and a wonderful accompaniment for roasted vegetables, especially eggplant.

What you need:

·         1  cup plain Greek-style yogurt

·         ½ cup sour cream

·         Juice of 1 lemon

·         ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese

·         1 tablespoon chopped parsley

·         ½ teaspoon oregano

·         ½ teaspoon chopped fresh mint (about 3 leaves)

·         Salt and white pepper to taste

Directions:

1.       Juice the lemon and strain to remove any seeds and large pieces of pulp.

2.       Place ingredients in a bowl and fold together.

Recommendations:  Sour cream can be omitted and 1 ½ cups Greek yogurt can be used instead.

Tips: This dip can be thinned with a little buttermilk or regular milk and used as a dressing as a Greek twist on bleu cheese dressing. Try Greek Feta Dip as a topping for baked potatoes instead of sour cream and/or butter.

Grammy’s Green Onion Dip

There are lots of brands of pre-made onion chip dip out there, but nothing beats Grammy’s Green Onion Dip.

What you need:

·         2 cups (1 pint) sour cream

·         1 cup softened cream cheese

·         3 medium green onions (scallions)

·         ½ teaspoon garlic powder or 2 cloves finely chopped garlic

·         ½ teaspoon white pepper

·         ½ teaspoon black pepper

·         1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Directions:

1.       Wash and slip skins from the green onions. Remove the roots and any brown tips.

2.       Finely chop the green onions.

3.       Place the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and blend till smooth, or whisk together in a mixing bowl.

Recommendations:  For a lower-fat dip, use plain yogurt in place of the sour cream. More or less green onion can be used, according to desired taste. Store in an air tight container to avoid onion odor from permeating the refrigerator.

Tips:  For a brighter flavor, omit the Worcestershire sauce and add a squeeze of lemon juice.

Roasted Garlic Dip

Garlic is one of America’s favorite flavorings, and the complexity of the cloves when roasted is an unforgettable taste treat. This dip is sure to be one of your family’s favorites. It is versatile, and can be used with chips and snacks, and also as a topping for cooked vegetables, on bruschetta or baked potatoes.

What you need:

·         2 cups (1 pint) sour cream

·         ½ cup (4 ounces) softened cream cheese

·         1 bulb garlic

·         1 tablespoon olive oil

·         Salt and white pepper to taste

·         ¼ teaspoon onion powder

Directions:

1.       Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

2.       Separate cloves of garlic and remove the skin.

3.       Place garlic in a small baking pan and drizzle with olive oil. You may sprinkle with sea salt or Kosher salt if you wish.

4.       Bake until the cloves are tender and slightly browned, about 10 to 12 minutes. Allow garlic to cool to room temperature.

5.       Place the roasted garlic, sour cream and spices in the food processor and blend, or this step can be done by hand using a whisk. If blending by hand, you may want to mash the garlic with a fork before adding the remainder of the ingredients.

Recommendations:  More or less roasted garlic may be used, according to taste. If you desire a milder taste, elephant garlic may be used, however, because the bulbs are much larger, longer roasting time is required.


Tips:  Allowing the garlic to brown a bit when roasting adds a deep, complex flavor. Be sure to scrape the brown drippings from the pan into the dip mix

Scrumptious Seafood Dip

This delectable dip is delicious with chips, crackers, raw vegetables. It’s perfect for summer get-togethers, and can be made with real or imitation crab.

What you need:

·         2  8-ounce bars cream cheese, softened

·         ½ cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

·         1 cup finely chopped imitation crab or

·         1 can drained chunk crab meat

·         1 package cooked cocktail shrimp (about ½ cup)

·         Juice of 1 lemon

·         1 teaspoon dried dill weed or 2 teaspoons fresh, chopped dill

·         1 cup prepared catsup

·         2 tablespoons prepared horseradish

·         ½ teaspoon lemon zest

Directions:

1.       Zest the lemon and set aside. Squeeze the lemon and strain the juice to remove seeds and any large pieces of pulp.

2.       In the bowl of a food processor, combine the softened cream cheese, sour cream or yogurt, crab meat, lemon juice and dill. Process until smooth, then remove and place in a bowl.

3.       Add the cooked cocktail shrimp and fold thoroughly. Smooth the top of the dip with the back of a spoon until even.

4.       In a separate bowl, combine the catsup, horseradish and lemon zest. Whisk together.

5.       Spoon the cocktail mixture over the seafood dip and smooth over the top.

Recommendations:  More or less horseradish can be used, according to taste. Cooked, cooled, chopped lobster meat can also be added or used in place of the crab meat.

Tips: This dip is also delicious with raw, sliced fruits – simply omit the cocktail mixture topping.

Smoked Salmon Dip

There’s nothing quite like the flavor combination of smoked salmon and cream cheese. This dip, lightened with a bit of sour cream or yogurt is fantastic on homemade potato chips, spread on a toasted bagel, or as an accompaniment for a raw veggie platter. Using your own freshly prepared salmon makes this dip even more special.

What you need:

·         2  8-ounce bars cream cheese

·         ½ cup sour cream or plain yogurt

·         6-ounce salmon filet with skin

·         1 teaspoon liquid smoke

·         Olive oil

·         Kosher or sea salt and pepper to taste

·         ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

·         ¼ teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika

·         Juice of 1 lemon

·         ½ teaspoon dry dill weed or 1 tablespoon fresh, finely chopped dill

Directions:

1.       Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

2.       Wash the salmon and pat dry with a paper towel.

3.       Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking oil. Place the salmon skin-side down on the sheet.

4.       Rub the liquid smoke on the salmon, then drizzle lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and the spices.

5.       Bake for approximately 10 – 12 minutes, until meat is just firm. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

6.       When cool, the skin should slip right from the salmon flesh. Place salmon in the bowl of a food processor.

7.       Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth.

Recommendations: If a ‘pinker’ color is desired, add a bit more paprika and process.

Tips: In addition to an accompaniment for chips and veggies, this dip is delicious spread on toast points.

Dilly Dip

The combination of fresh dill, lemon and sour cream is indescribably good. It is especially yummy with baked carrot chips. This dilly dip can also be used as a salad dressing when thinned out with a bit of buttermilk.

What you need:

·         1 ½ cups sour cream

·         4 ounces softened cream cheese

·         Juice of 1 lemon

·         Salt and white pepper to taste

·         ½ teaspoon garlic powder

·         1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dry dill weed or about 3 ounces fresh dill, finely chopped

Directions:

1.       Juice the lemon and strain to remove seeds and large pieces of pulp.

2.       If using fresh dill, place in the bowl of a food processor with the lemon juice and process until finely chopped.

3.       Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth.

Recommendations: Using fresh dill is recommended in this recipe; however, if it is unavailable, dried dill produces a result that’s almost as good.

Tips: Try Dilly Dip as a sauce for grilled, baked or steamed fish or shell-fish. Use as a dressing for a cucumber-onion salad: combine 2 sliced cucumbers, 1 diced scallion and ¾ cup Dilly Dip. Mix and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

Smoky Poblano Avocado Dip

Smoked poblano peppers give this dip a deep, rich flavor with a hint of heat. Try with Baked Tortilla Chips or Beet Chips.

What you need:

·         1 large ripe avocado

·         1 1/2 cups sour cream

·         Juice of 1 lime

·         Salt and white pepper to taste

·         1 tablespoon chopped, dried smoked poblano pepper

·         ½ teaspoon cumin

·         2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Directions:

1.       Juice the lime and strain to remove seeds and large pieces of pulp.

.       Cut the avocado in half and remove the seed. Scoop the fruit out into the bowl of a food processor. Add the lime juice and blend until smooth.

3.       Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Refrigerating the mixture for a while allows the poblano pepper flavor to develop.

Recommendations:  Taste a small bit of the pepper before adding it – the heat of this type of pepper vary. Add more or less pepper, depending on desired flavor and heat.

Tips: Lemon juice may be added in place of lime juice. For a thicker dip, blend in 4 ounces (1/2 bar) of softened cream cheese.

Berry Dip

Use your favorite berry – or combination of berries – to create this pretty, flavorful dip. This dip is tasty with fruit chips, sweet potato chips, shortbread, biscotti, fresh fruit or as a surprise accompaniment for grilled pork.

What you need:

·         2  8-ounce bars softened cream cheese

·         ½ cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt

·         1 pint berries

·         ¼ cup honey, brown rice syrup or real maple syrup

·         1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice

Directions:

1.       Wash and hull the berries, them place in a paper towel-lined colander and allow to drain.

2.       Place the softened cream cheese, yogurt, sweetener and citrus juice in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth.

3.       Add the berries and pulse a few times to incorporate berries, but not mash them completely.

4.       Chill for one hour prior to serving.

Recommendations: Use your choice or a combination of strawberries, blue berries, huckleberries, raspberries, blackberries, loganberries, Marion berries, chopped cherries or dewberries.

Tips: For extra vanilla taste, add ½ teaspoon of real vanilla extract, or scrape a vanilla bean pod into the mixture and blend. This dip is wonderful with fruit chips, with raw, sliced fruit or as a spread for shortbread or vanilla wafers.

Cheesecake Dip

Who doesn’t like cheesecake? This cheesecake dip is super simple to make and is a quick take-along dish for a party or barbeque when accompanied by fruit chips, dried fruits or a fresh fruit tray.

What you need:

·         2  8-ounce bars softened cream cheese

·         ½ cup marshmallow fluff

·         Juice of 1 lemon

Directions:

1.       Juice the lemon and strain to remove any seeds or large pieces of pulp.

2.       Place softened cream cheese, marshmallow fluff and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl. Beat on low with an electric mixer until blended, then on high for one minute until smooth and fluffy.

Recommendations:  To lighten this dip, fold one cup of whipped cream into the mixture.

Tips: Vanilla may be substituted for the lemon juice, if desired. Lime juice may also be added in place of the lemon juice.

Sweet Honey & Basil Dip

This sweet dip has a complex flavor and is great with fruit chips, raw fruit and grilled meat.

What you need:

·         1 cup mayonnaise, homemade or purchased

·         1 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

·         ½ cup honey

·         1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

·         Pinch salt

·         4 -6 fresh basil leaves, chopped

Directions:

1.       Rinse the basil leaves and place on a paper towel to drain.

2.       Place the mayonnaise, sour cream or yogurt, honey, balsamic vinegar and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk together.

3.       Stack the basil leaves together, and roll into a tube. With a sharp chef’s knife, thinly slice the leaves into strips, and then give them a couple of cross cuts.

4.       Fold the chopped basil into the mixture. Refrigerate for one hour before serving.

Recommendations:  Chop the basil at the last minute to avoid it turning dark. If dry basil is used, add 1 heaping teaspoon, however, fresh basil is recommended.

Tips: For a tasty change of flavor, substitute fresh mint for the basil.

Creamy Caramel Apple Pecan Dip

This is a lovely dip for a fall gathering. It’s great on fruit chips, sweet potato chips or drizzled on baked butternut or acorn squash.

What you need:

·         2 tart apples, peeled and sliced

·         ½ can sweetened condensed milk

·         2   8-ounce bars softened cream cheese

·         ¼ cup chopped pecans

·         Pinch of salt

Directions:

1.       Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

2.       Coat a baking pan lightly with cooking spray. Place the apple slices evenly on the tray. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until tender and lightly browning at the edges. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

3.       Place the cream cheese, apples and sweetened condensed milk and salt in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth. Remove and transfer to a bowl.

4.       Pecans can be folded in to the mixture, or sprinkled on top as a garnish.

Recommendations:  For an extra sweet treat, place the pecans in a microwave safe bowl with 2 tablespoons brown sugar and a teaspoon of water. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove and stir, then microwave for 1 more minute. Spread the nuts on a piece of waxed paper and cool. Use the sugared pecans in place of the plain ones folded in or as a garnish for the dip. A bit of cinnamon can be added as well.

Tips: Walnuts or slivered toasted almonds can be added in place of the pecans.

Cinnamon Sugar Dip

This is a lovely dip for any fruit dish. It is light and sweet enough that it can make a great addition to almost any fruit.

What you need:

·         8 ounces softened cream cheese

·         1/4 can sweetened condensed milk

·         2/3 cup brown sugar (packed)

·         1 teaspoon cinnamon

·         1 teaspoon vanilla

·         Pinch of nutmeg

Directions:

1.       Mix together cream cheese and condensed milk until smooth.

2.       Stir in remaining ingredients until completely mixed.

Recommendations:  Tastes great with apples, bananas, and even sweet potatoes. Just about any fruit tastes better with this delicious dip!

Tips: Walnuts or slivered toasted almonds can be added to give the dip a bit of a crunch.

Conclusion

Just compare these yummy treats against store brands. Nothing beats the flavor of homemade treats. In addition to being healthful, hearty and tasty these natural chips and dips are easy to make, and easy on your food budget. They are packed full of natural colors and flavors, and will be a hit at your upcoming picnics and pot-lucks. Plus, these treats have zero preservatives and you control the amounts of salt and sugar! The only drawback is – everyone will love them so much, you will have to make a lot of these snacks and make them often! We hope you enjoy these tasty treats and that they become some of your family’s new favorites.

SOURCE: Never Buy Potato Chips Again! Deliciously Cheap Recipes and Tips for Homemade Gourmet Chips and Dips by Steph Hatfield