Creamy dips don't have to carry a heavy burden of fat - not when there are low-fat and fat-free alternatives to traditional dips laden with mayonnaise, sour cream and oil.
Nonfat plain yogurt and low-fat ricotta cheese are long-standing staples for lightening up dips. Blending either of these products (or a mixture) with a puree of fresh vegetables or fruits gives light-hearted dips an entirely new dimension: gorgeous color.
Another invaluable ingredient for lighter dips is soft (silken) tofu, a soy product with a delicate, pudding-like texture. The naturally mild taste of tofu mingles easily with the more assertive flavors of garlic, herbs and seasonings used in many dips.
Delicious, healthful dips deserve equally delicious, healthful dippers in a variety of shapes, colors and textures - specifically, celery and carrot sticks, tomatoes, green beans, broccoli florets, bell pepper strips, small chilies, green onions, snow peas, slices of summer squash or zucchini, fresh mushrooms and lettuce leaves.
This svelte version of a traditional dip for Buffalo chicken wings has all the hearty flavor of the original.
Blue Cheese-Tofu Dip
Makes 2 cups
8 ounces soft tofu, drained
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
3 ounces blue cheese
Puree all ingredients in blender or food processor. Pour into a serving bowl and chill for several hours.
Pub Date: 7/12/98