Rebecca Longshore Rebecca Longshore
May 20, 2014

We’re kicking off this week’s Aisle to Table with one of my favorite topics, DIY dips, spreads, and salsas. Three things come to mind when making dips: simple, pure, and absolutely delicious. When making your own dips and salsas, you know exactly what goes into every bite without all the unwanted processed ingredients. You can also be the judge of how each one tastes by pumping up your favorite flavor boosters and toning down the ones that you could typically use less of.

When I look at a recipe, and see a laundry list of ingredients, I tend to look elsewhere. When creating my own recipes,  I like to use big pops of flavor in my recipes, so I can use fewer ingredients with the same great taste.

I’ve found the best hummus starts with a few simple ingredients and tools.

Here’s what you’ll need:1 Food Processor1 15-ounce can of cooked, drained chickpeas (about 1 3/4 cups total)1/2 cup tahini paste (natural creamy peanut butter would work too)2 small garlic cloves smashed¼ cup olive oil¼ cup water (if you desire a creamier texture)

Now time to make hummus: Pulse the drained chickpeas on low in food processor for about a minute, add the tahini, crushed garlic and olive oil and pulse for another minute or two. If you want a creamier hummus, add about ¼ cup water through the top while the hummus is mixing. Once you’ve reached your desired texture, chill overnight and enjoy the next day.

Add some flavor: These four ingredients make a delicious hummus alone, or make perfect blank canvas to add your favorite flavors to.I like to add a dash of salt (about ¾ teaspoon), a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice (about 2 tablespoons), 1 tablespoon of paprika, and 1 or 2 teaspoons of cumin. (I love cumin, but if it isn’t your favorite, bring it down to ½ teaspoon or omit it completely.)

A quick tip:If you want to shell your chickpeas before making your hummus, simply place the chickpea in between your thumb and index finger and pop off the shell, or place the whole can of drained chickpeas in between two towels and gently rub off and discard the shells.

These Dips, Dressings, and Salsas are just as easy and perfect for the summer. Here are some of my favorites:

Avocado, Mint, and Yogurt Dip: 

Greek yogurt, sliced avocado, fresh mint leaves, and fresh squeezed lemon juice make a creamy bright and balanced dip for a work snack, picnic, or party appetizer. Ready in just a few short minutes, this dip is perfect to add to your spring and summer rotation.

Nutty Edamame Spread 

For a little more adventuresome dip, give this edamame recipe a try. Though this recipe looks like it has a lot of ingredients, 6 of them are pantry staples, like salt and pepper. For a flavor swap and money saver, use almonds instead of pine nuts.

Avocado-Mango Salsa with Roasted Corn Chips

This recipe is my favorite for summer salsas. All you need is an avocado, fresh mango, cilantro, lime juice, and a dash of salt. Toss it all together, and you have a refreshing homemade salsa.

See more: Hummus Recipes See more: Salsa Recipes

Every week we show you how to navigate your way through the grocery store and how to make your favorite foods simple, clean, and worth every bite.

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