Is there a chip dip in the world that isn’t wonderful? No matter what the flavor, at heart most are tubs of sour cream or melted cheese. Few foods are more satisfying.
Of course, most dips also are notoriously heavy with fat and calories. Indeed, that’s why we love them. Still, there are ways to lighten them up while retaining their luxurious texture.
• Bulk up on vegetables. Artichokes, spinach, tomatoes (fresh or sun dried), peppers (chili or bell, roasted or fresh), celery and onions all contain nutrients and fiber Caramelizing the onions adds a nice depth of flavor.
• To get a rich, cheesy texture without a boatload of cheese, go low, as in low-fact. Neufchatel, a French cream cheese, has one-third less fat than the full-fat version, but more flavor than the no-fat version. Low-fat sour cream and low-fat mayonnaise are also good choices.
• Skip the cheese altogether and go with white beans for the dip’s base. You get the creaminess without most of the fat.
• Layer in the flavor. Parmigiano-Reggiano, for example, bristles with so much flavor and salt that just a little bit of it will do the trick.
• Spice it up. Red pepper flakes and Peppadews (pickled red peppers from South Africa) are good options. Frank’s RedHot sauce is practically a requirement for football parties. And there’s always Sriracha sauce.