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Healthy dips and tasty chips for your summer party

Consumer Reports News: May 10, 2013 09:38 AM

Looking for some chips for a summer party and a quick, healthy dip to go with them? We've got you covered, with updated reviews of veggie chips and some recipes whipped up in the Consumer Reports' test kitchens.

Veggie chips are marketed as a healthier alternative to standard chips. Some actually deliver on that promise, with real vegetable ingredients and healthful nutrients such as fiber and protein. But they're no diet food; even the healthier ones have about the same amount of fat and calories as traditional potato chips.

In our recent tests of veggie chips, those made from root vegetables were among the best tasting. Those are better choices than potato-based veggie chips, crisps, and sticks, which tasted 
mediocre and tended to have more sodium. such as Terra Exotic Vegetable Chips and Trader Joe's Vegetable Root Chips. Here are details of two tasty ones:


Terra Exotic Vegetable Chips (Original)
Sodium: 50 milligrams
Calories: 150
Fat: 9 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Bean-based chips

Trader Joe's Falafel Chips

Sodium: 85 milligrams
Calories: 140
Fat: 7 grams
Fiber: 3 grams

The edamame dip, below, pairs well with Terra Exotic Vegetable Chips, our food experts say, and the roasted garlic and red pepper dip is great with the Trader Joe's Falafel Chips. Both are easy to make, full of protein and vitamins, and have fewer calories and less fat than traditional appetizers such as spinach and artichoke dip. And they can help you sneak some extra vegetables into your diet. The dips can also be used in sandwiches and wraps. Each recipe makes 2 cups.


Edamame dip

8-ounce package shelled, 
ready to eat edamame (about 1½ cups)
1/3 cup cilantro leaves
1 avocado, peeled, chopped
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
¼ teaspoon ground cumin (optional)

Directions: Put the edamame in a food processor and pulse several times. Add cilantro and pulse again. Add remaining 
ingredients and process the mixture until smooth. Serve with chips or cut-up vegetables.

Nutrition information: 50 calories and about 3 grams of fat per 2-tablespoon serving.

Roasted garlic and red pepper dip
2 heads garlic
2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 8-ounce package Neufchatel
 cheese, softened
1/3 cup chopped, roasted red pepper
1/3 cup parsley leaves
¼ cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons hot sauce

Directions: Heat oven to 400° F. Slice ½ inch from the top of each garlic head. Place garlic cut side up on a large sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Wrap tightly. Roast about an hour, then let cool. Squeeze garlic cloves from the bottom of each head into a small bowl, then put in a food processor. Add remaining oil and other ingredients. Process until smooth. Chill and serve with chips or cut-up veggies.

Nutrition information: 80 calories and about 
6 grams of fat per 2-tablespoon serving.

See our guide to food and drinks.

Joel Keehn

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