Eat

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Chip Dip

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

A tasty and almost essential part of any party eats, chip dip isnít the healthiest snack. We test a few to see which keep us dipping and dipping.

 

   BUYING TIPS

The Basics

  • The average serving size is two teaspoons, which by our calculations is only about nine dipped chips.

  • There are easy ready-to-eat options: just crack the lid and your work is done. But remember to check the expiry date.

  • Add some homemade appeal by mixing your own sour cream or yogurt to dry mixes.

Other Considerations

  • Opt for a dry mix to control some of the ingredients by using low-fat sour cream or non-fat yogurt. You can also add these low-fat alternatives to pre-made dips to dilute the fat, and add chopped onion to compensate for lost flavour.

  • Dry mixes have a long shelf life. You can make only a portion and save the rest for another dipping occasion.

  • Most North Americans choose French Onion, so if you’re trying to decide for a party, it’s a good bet to please.

Be Aware

  • Unfortunately, like most snack foods, chip dips have bad trans fats. Look for options with less than 2 grams.

  • A lot of dips have MSG, which is basically just a flavour enhancer – it’s not really good or bad, though some people are sensitive. If a dip claims to be MSG-free, it’s likely got sodium in another form to make up the flavour.

   TEST CRITERIA

We taste tested these five brands of the tangy French Onion flavour favourite:

  • Generic: $1.89 per 225 grams
  • Nalley’s: $2.59 per 225 grams
  • Lighthouse: $2.98 per 296 ml
  • Kraft Philadelphia (cream cheese base): $3.99 per 227 grams
  • Simply Organics Dry Mix: $1.99 per 312 grams (+ sour cream)

Our specific tests and results include:

Taste Test

  • Some were sweeter than others, some creamier than others, others were spicier and tangier – basically it all came down to personal taste.
  • Lighthouse won for best tang.
  • The generic dip was a fave with those who like a sweeter dip.
  • The fresh flavour of the Simply Organics dry mix kept some of our testers dipping and dipping.

   OUR TOP PICK

Dips are up to your taste preferences, but we like the option of using the Simply Organics dry mix to control what went in it (non-fat yogurt or sour cream) for a lower calorie, lower fat dip.

   Thanks to Our Experts

Nina Hirvi, Nutritionist

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