Way before I’d ever slurped the end of a doughnut dunked in creamy coffee or even heard of Dunkin’ Donuts, dunking my food was my preferred way of eating it.
Now back then, I ate a lot more bread, but my thighs could afford it, and I definitely indulged. There was just something delicious about blending flavors before putting the food into my mouth. I dunked just about everything including:
- mayonnaise sandwich bites (yep just mayo and bread) into Hawaiian Punch
- Girl Scout Do-Si-Dos (peanut butter cookies) into milk. Ohhh myyy! Delicious!
- McDonald’s fries into strawberry shakes
- My Dad’s cornbread into a Kool-Aid flavor of my choice
- Pickles into vanilla milkshakes (nope I wasn’t pregnant)
Well, you get the idea.
These days though, I’ve upgraded my dunking to be used as a means to make my foods taste delicious and still be as healthy as I can stand at that moment. I say “at that
moment” because unfortunately, I STILL love bread and bread products like this delicious plate of stuffed bread sandwiches I made during the last cold weather season. Or the veggie burger, fried egg and cheese sandwich I allow myself to eat once a month. (Sometimes twice.) I definitely struggle with keeping bread out of my diet – even wheat bread. All of it leaves me feeling bloated, unhealthy and in need of a substitute way of eating what I like.
Take these lentil-spinach burgers I made for example. The traditional way to eat any burger is to slap it between two buns or bread slices. But when you’re 55 like me, fighting a slowed metabolism, and health conscious, you pay attention to extra sugar, and extra sodium, and extra fat. Why take two slices of bread (potato bread is my store-bought fave) and fill my thighs with another 160 calories, 28 grams of carbs and 220 mg of sodium if I don’t have to? For these burgers I mixed a quickie sauce of ketchup, hot sauce and mustard, and enjoyed my lentil burgers – and no bloating!
But there are plenty of other dunking combos that are easy to whip up and offer great health benefits without all the extra unhealthy drama. Like …
- Salsa with chopped avocado stirred in – Any type of salsa will do; it’s a matter of your taste. Try this with any type of burger, as well as lettuce or collard-green roll-ups.
- Cashews and rice milk, who knew? – Cashews are perfect for creating a creamy
dunking sauce. Just soak the cashews in water (I did it overnight); and then process. Add rice milk to adjust texture. (I like dairy-free.) This tasted delicious when I dunked cooked broccoli florets and cauliflower pieces. (But if you just MUST, pour this creamy sauce over cooked spinach, or anything else you desire)
- Beans – especially Mayacoba, white, or Northern beans – cooked, then processed until creamy – make a great base for dunking chunks of chicken, tofu, or for a lighter meal: celery, carrots, or lettuce roll-ups. Add your favorite seasonings, and perhaps some chopped tomatoes, pimientos, onions or peppers.
- Tomato sauce, or ketchup, with wasabi sauce, and mango salsa – veggie burgers, or any burger of your choice, baked chicken, tofu chunks, broccoli florets, brussel sprouts, even these broccoli-cheese balls taste divine dunked in this sauce!
- Chick peas and Mayacoba beans – an unlikely couple, but oh so creamy good! Thoroughly cooked, then drained and processed into a creamy mixture. With or without any of the additions mentioned above for a bean mixture, this combo is great for dipping with cooked or raw broccoli florets, carrots, burgers, or cauliflower.
These are just my own tried and true examples of dunking sauces. I’m sure you can come up with so many more combos of your own.
And yes, of course you could pour these sauces over whatever foods you want. But there’s something about DUNKING that just makes the eating experience that much more healthy and enjoyable.
At least for me. 🙂