Consider the dip. Basic, almost a must have, at many gatherings this time of year; and made up – normally – of sour cream and some sort of spice and flavor blend, whether from a packet or your own, time-tested mélange of flavors that folk look forward to sample again and again (and often, again).
And therein lies the trouble.
With so many folk failing so spectacularly on their diets in this season of cookies and feasts and cocktails and nibbles…
No! Not the dip – the sour cream! It’s actually much easier to do than you think, and you won’t have to rely on any of those ‘lite’ or ‘fat free’ chemistry projects from the supermarket shelves, either.
First, consider the list of ingredients on a tub of cottage cheese*: milk, cream, salt.
Next, look over the nutritional comparison of cottage cheese to sour cream. Pretty impressive savings in (most of) the bad stuff, no?
*Not all plain cottage cheeses are the same, read the labels on the brands at your market, there should be at least one with no additives. By the same token, consider the fat and caloric savings over sour cream and resist the temptation to pick up the 2% or fat-free cottage cheese; tho’ in truth, one look at the ingredients should be more than enough to stop you from doing that.
Pop it into a food processor fitted with the metal blade along with a tablespoon of white vinegar for each cup of cheese.
Pulse to blend.
Voilà! Smooth, creamy, really kinda sour cream-like stuff!
Use this as you would sour cream in your favorite dips – tho’ you may need to add a bit of liquid to make the texture more dip-like. I used milk for this dip, made by adding a couple of teaspoons of Chip Dip Seasoning from the Spice House, but you could use water, or any other liquid that may enhance the flavor of the dip you’re making; it’s all good.
And pretty darned good for you (when you consider the alternatives), so don’t fret so much and simply choose to eat a little better while making your way through the holiday seasons temptations.
Of course, this substitute will work in more than dips – check out this vodka sauce, where I used plain creamed cottage cheese in place of ricotta (google cottage cheese vs ricotta and you’ll see it’s a good choice).
Still much lower in fat and most of the bad stuff. But without all the extra sugars and things food companies slip into ‘lite’ and ‘fat free’ foods to get them to work the way the regular food they’re trying to imitate does.
I like that in a substitute.
Since I’ve discovered this little trick with cottage cheese, I’ve used it in lots of different dishes, from yesterday’s Doris Project Upside Down Pizza Casserole, to my take on Stroganoff with ground beef. I will admit that I haven’t tried to substitute the creamed cottage cheese for sour cream when we have baked potatoes, but then, we have potatoes so rarely anymore that I look at them as a treat food, so anything goes when I serve them.
Go ahead, enjoy your holidays, just mebbe look to make better choices about where and how you can save some calories and fat.