This easy yogurt dip also happens to be one of the best yogurt dips out there – both in terms of flavor and health benefits. Made with creamy, cultured in the cup plain yogurt and generous quantities of extra virgin olive oil, garlic and dill. It provides probiotics and prebiotics and is naturally rich in protein. And it is outright delicious.
If you are a frequent craft beer drinker (and eater of the accompanying, often less than healthy, pretzel kind of beering snacks) you need something like it in your daily diet to hopefully counter the effects of consuming alcohol and the high glycemic index foods that go with it ((https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/glycemic-index-and-glycemic-load-for-100-foods)). The same applies to bread eaters, soda drinkers and even freshly squeezed fruit juice drinkers (without the fiber the juice of two oranges leads to a much higher rise in blood sugar as opposed to actually eating two oranges ((http://www.lowglycemicload.com/glycemic_table.html))). Or maybe you take or recently took antibiotics. Then you definitely need to be eating this versatile savory dip. In copious quantities.
I’ve been making this exact yogurt dip throughout my entire adult life. Before I ever realized that it was good for the body, before there was genetic sequencing to study the multitudes of bacteria residing in the human body and make sense of how essential probiotics and prebiotics are to every aspect of our health. It is something I grew up eating and I’ve always enjoyed its flavors. Now I most openly rejoice in the knowledge that it has potent health benefits and I am sharing it with great conviction that it can help you improve your gut health regardless of the manner you do sugar:)
The yogurt dip is adapted from, or rather forms the base of, a Bulgarian cold yogurt soup known as tarator. Add diced or grated cucumber, water and crushed walnuts to it and it will become tarator. Add diced cucumber and lemon juice instead and you will swear it is tzatziki and I have no clue what I am talking about. But I do. Look at a map of Europe, or even better, look at a historical map of the Balkan peninsula and you will realize that vast parts of the territory of modern day Greece were Bulgarian territories over the centuries. The outcomes of many wars lead to lands changing hands, but the food favored by the inhabitants of those lands remained the same regardless of whether the territory was considered Greek or Bulgarian. I am only mentioning this to drive home the point that the cuisines and food traditions of the area are beyond intertwined.
And food traditions are powerful drivers of taste preferences. I would never, ever put parsley in a yogurt dip because it doesn’t taste right to me. I love parsley, but it just does not belong in tarator and hence yogurt dip, lol.
You go ahead and add whatever herb you want if dill is not your thing. Lucky, unencumbered you:)
After you try this dip you might decide to make it a staple in your fridge. You may even start doubling the quantity of the recipe. It is that tasty in its simplicity. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I usually whip up a quart at a time and it’s gone in about a week.
Whenever hunger strikes (usually right before lunch time since on weekdays I don’t eat breakfast) I can resist the temptation to reach for chips or cookies or something that comes out of package. We always have some kind of fresh dippable vegetable in the fridge – a few mini sweet peppers or a few asparagus spears (another powerful prebiotic) do the trick. It is a great habit to have when drinking craft beer and eating all kinds of food is your passion.
Chris and I like the idea of balance, a middle road – we never over indulge, but indulgence has its prominent place in our lifestyle. What is the point of being alive if you will not enjoy a brownie sundae once in a while? Or a good cocktail, or a juicy, perfectly grilled steak with a bunch of fried onions on top. Plus, you never know if a careless truck driver won’t end your life tomorrow despite all your well intended adherence to austere, super healthy practices.
Easy Yogurt Dip Serving Suggestions
Here are our favorite ways to consume yogurt dip. Just to get you started on your own path of its daily consumption. Hopefully you too will make it a habit to keep yogurt dip in your fridge at all times.
- Dip Lamb & Feta Meatballs in it
- Dip fresh or grilled veggies in it ( our son digs English cucumber sticks)
- Serve a dollop of it over or next to thinly sliced roasted eggplant or zucchini or fresh avocado slices
- Dip homemade fries in it
- Use it as a dressing for potato salad
- Serve it next to chicken skewers
- Use it as a meat tenderizing marinade (for example tough cuts of lamb smothered in this dip become amazingly tender after a few hours)
Easy Yogurt dip Health Benefits
Because it is packed with probiotics (good bacteria rich plain yogurt) and prebiotic (garlic) this dip can perform wonders for your gut micro flora and as a consequence for your overall physical and mental health. And your good mood. It can also combat the negative effects of sugar consumption. And don’t forget the anti-inflammatory properties of extra virgin olive oil.
A couple of the lactobacillus strains contained in yogurt (you must use real cultured in the cup plain yogurt with live bacteria) are associated with weight loss and control. I talked about those strains in this post for Kimchi & Green Apple Salad. The same souring agents are at work in yogurt, with the same figure slimming properties.
Below is a list of books that can help you understand the full scope of health benefits brought about by consuming probiotics and prebiotics. The subject matter is nothing short of fascinating and these three books are the best I have read on gut health (I have read quite a few over the past three years).
Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain–for Life by David Perlmutter
Before I leave you with the yogurt dip recipe I have to confess that I’ve never actually adhered to a recipe with fixed ingredient ratios before today and I am not likely to start. I eyeball all the ingredients. Always have. After you make it once or twice you will probably start doing the same. Simply taste the freshly made dip and if it needs more salt, add more. If there seems to be way too much garlic, add a bit more yogurt and olive oil. If you feel like adding fresh mint to it, by all means do! Make it taste good to you so you can eat more of it. It will make you smile via the mind gut connection, I promise:)
The minced garlic tends to settle towards the bottom once the dip has sat refrigerated in a container. And if the yogurt you used had a higher water content, tiny pools of water may form on the surface after a day or two in the fridge. Fear not, just give the dip a quick stir and it will be just as creamy as on the day you made it. And you should know that the flavors develop after a day and it you can count on it becoming even tastier.
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- 2-3 cloves garlic depending on your raw garlic flavor tolerance & preference
- 1 1/2 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
- 1 tsp salt or a little more, to taste
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 3/4 cups plain yogurt with live cultures cultured in the cup recommended
- Mince the garlic as small as you can. Place in a small bowl.
- Add the finely chopped fresh dill, the salt and the extra virgin olive oil. Mix well with a fork.
- Add the yogurt and mix with a fork until all ingredients get incorporated in the yogurt.