One of the events that I participate in each year, and truly enjoy, is a Nutrition Night called the “Crunchy Carnival” held at the local elementary schools in Larchmont and Mamaroneck, NY. At these health fairs or “carnivals”, children and parents explore new foods, learn about mindfulness eating, try cross fit, yoga and mini Kong Fu classes, and experience hands-on the benefits of good nutrition. They have great food samples (myself included), music, games, and local vendors. All of the activities are geared toward teaching kids about making healthy food choices and introducing them to new, delicious, good-for-you foods. It’s such a fun night and a great experience for everyone!
(makes 1½ quarts of dip)
½ lb. garlic, peeled (this equals about 1 cup of roasted garlic. I buy already peeled garlic)
1-cup oil (3/4 cup is used for the dip), I use half olive oil and half canola oil
2-3 sprigs thyme
3-16 oz. cans white beans, rinsed
Zest from 2 lemons
Juice from 3 lemons
In a small saucepan, add the garlic, oil and thyme and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes or until the garlic cloves are a light golden brown. This oil is delicious and leftover can be refrigerated and used to sauté broccoli. Remove from heat and take out the thyme.
In a food processor, combined all of the roasted garlic, ¾ cup of the garlic oil, the white beans, zest, lemon juice, paprika and salt. Add the cup of water in slowly and as needed to get to a smooth consistency. It is really important to taste this dip and adjusted the flavor as needed. Sometimes I have small lemons and need a bit more lemon juice, other times it’s really thick and needs extra water. I like to make sure it’s well salted too.
This dip can sit around for an hour or so (covered) allowing the flavors to come together. I like to serve this with fresh vegetables (try adding some radish or asparagus to you’re veggie plate as they’re both in season now). I also serve either whole wheat pita bread or pretzel thins. This makes a great after-school snack too.