Spinach artichoke dip is incredibly addicting and a staple for fall and winter events. The traditional version sounds healthier than it really is, it’s a very heavy snack. Fortunately, our vegan version of the classic is a lighter version. The base, though still creamy, is plant-based, specifically made with cashews. This gives the dip a comparable taste and consistency without overwhelming the nutritional benefits of the two main vegetables.
Spinach is a vegetable recognizable by its dark green leaves. Along with quinoa and beets, it is a member of the amaranth family. Spinach has a well-earned reputation as a very healthy vegetable. It is loaded with nutrients such as calcium, iron, and fiber. Spinach contains folate, or folic acid, which is essential for normal cellular function. Because it also promotes tissue growth, it is an important nutrient for pregnant women to consume. One spinach leaf contains over half the recommended daily allotment of vitamin K1, which is essential for blood clotting. Spinach contains vitamin C and carotenoids that the body can turn into vitamin A, both of which can function as antioxidants.
The artichoke heart is the core of the plant, located just above the stem. It is possible to buy artichoke hearts separate from the rest of the plant. However, if you do purchase the whole artichoke, you should know that most of the plant is edible. The exceptions are the outside of the leaves and the choke, which is a fuzzy material on top of the heart. If preparing artichoke hearts yourself, it is essential to remove the choke thoroughly and discard it. You can do this by slicing it off with a knife or scraping it off with a spoon.
Like spinach, artichokes are rich in nutrients, such as antioxidants and fiber, and low in calories. They have a slightly sweet, verdant flavor that has been compared to fresh corn, celery, and asparagus.
Preheat oven to 375. Spray baking dish with cooking spray.
Use a blender to process together the cashews, yogurt, nutritional yeast, garlic and lemon juice and zest.
Transfer mix to bowl and stir in thawed spinach and chopped artichokes. Spoon mixture into an 8” pie pan or dish and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until top bubbles.
For those not adhering to a paleo diet, serve with Forager Project Super Greens Chips.
Michele L. Seattle, WA
Judy H. Marblehead, MA