Fat Free Fondue? Or at least healthier fondue variants?

Last night, the kids and I huddled around the Wii and played a minigame that involved forking pieces of bread as they surfaced in the fondue cheese. The youngest asked what a fondue was. So, in the interest of burning their little mouths on the deliciousness that is fondue, I thought I’d concoct some this weekend and test their little patiences as they waited for the meat to cook.

Then I thought of how not to make this a fatty debauchery of goopy messes of cheese and the oil that somehow seeps into the curtains for months if not years. Of course, finishing up the meal with the standard chocolate fare would make this meal a bad alternative to McDonald’s.

I’m not sure where to cut the calorie corners to make this work as I’m not so kitchen savvy. So is there a way to make a tasty and kid-friendly fondue that is also healthy(ish)?

That’s a toughie. If you want fat free, you’d have to do a chocolate fondue. I did find this reduced-fat and alcohol-free recipe: http://www.kitchencheese.com/cheese-fondue2.php

You could make a broth fondue: heat broth and have a variety of bite-size pieces of meat (we like to make it with beef, chicken, and pork) on hand for cooking in the broth, as well as vegetables: mushrooms, broccoli, baby corn, whatever floats your boat. Serve with a variety of sauces. This is one of our favorites for Christmas dinner, when we can enjoy spending time at the table chatting while slowly eating our meal.

When I was a kid in the 70s, all we ever did was hot oil fondue - basically a pot of hot oil that you dipped steak, chicken, etc into until it was cooked. I don’t think it was all that bad for you, if you keep the oil hot enough that you’re not deep frying forever.

Cheese fondue isn’t all that bad, either, if you keep the dippings reasonable. Cheese + vegetables and/or lean protein: OK. Cheese + bread/fatty meat/cake : probably not OK.

But I guess it all depends on what you’re avoiding, carbs or fat. Me, I limit the carbs, so the oil/cheese doesn’t bother me all that much.

Better known as a Chinese hotpot or firepot, rather than a fondue. I used to do this many years ago as well.

I swear I answered this thread yesterday, with a similar answer. Broth with spices and some wine if you want makes a great cooking element for meat & seafood bits.

Whatever you do, don’t try to use fat free cheese in fondue - it doesn’t really melt, and will not be creamy. You may be able to use lowfat cheeses, those usually work pretty well, though.