What is it about the Super Bowl that makes us want to dip stuff? We dip hot wings in blue cheese dressing, chips in onion dip, pumpernickel bread in spinach dip, tortilla chips in queso, and vegetables in ranch dip.

What do all those dips have in common? They are heavy on mayonnaise, cream cheese, sour cream and cheese. But who says those foods need to be the base for your party dips? Pureed beans, nuts or tomato paste can also make dips of creamy consistency, and add a lot of nutrition to the dips, too.

Here's a selection of dips that you can add to your Super Bowl spread or take as your contribution if you’re watching the game at a friend's house.

  1. Simple and Creamy White Bean Dip with Lemon Zest: It's simple, it's fast and it's tasty — that hits all the right notes for me.
  2. Black Bean Dip – A definite Mexican-inspired dip, this recipe uses canned black beans, tomato paste, chilies, garlic, lime and more. It can be thrown together quickly in a food processor or blender and served with pita wedges, tortilla chips or vegetables.
  3. Fava Bean Dip with Goat Cheese and Garlic – Here’s something a little different that you might want to try. Fava beans are packed with protein, vitamins and minerals. This recipe calls for fresh fava beans, but they are probably not available right now so use them in whatever form you can get. Dip cucumber slices or jicama slices in this bright green dip.
  4. Creamy White Bean Dip – Cannellini or white kidney beans are pureed with several fresh herbs, a little heart healthy olive oil and garlic. One reviewer of the recipe suggests adding marinated artichoke hearts for extra flavor. A great dip for a variety of raw vegetables.
  5. Spicy Pumpkin Hummus: You can make this with or without the garlic — sacrilegious for some — and it will still taste great.

spicy pumpkin hummus Top off your pumpkin hummus with a sprinkle of paprika and sesame seeds for contrast. (Photos: Jaymi Heimbuch)

Editor's note: This story has been updated since it was first published in January 2011.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

5 healthy dips for your Super Bowl party
Opt for dips with beans or nuts as the base and you'll instantly up the nutrition factor of your Super Bowl spread.