If you have LTEV, you’re probably well aware of my love for all things saucy and dippy! I have a whole chapter devoted to them in that book. Indeed, I often say I’m saucy. Just don’t call me dippy.
And yet I develop another. Why? (Because I’m half-mad, that’s why! But that’s just between you and me.) Madness aside, I wanted to create something creamy, full-bodied, and sumptuous, but using only whole foods and no added substitutes (such as vegan mayonnaise) and also no oil.
I like to challenge myself – and this one developed a little easier than I anticipated! When I first posted this idea on facebook it received a LOT of comments. See, I had this idea of doing a dip like the bread bowl dips you find at potlucks and summer parties, but without (of course) the wallop of dairy products.
So, it started as that spinach bread bowl dip… until artichokes called to me from the freezer “we’re here, we’re here, have you forgotten about us?” (half-mad, remember)
How could I forget about artichokes! They are one of my very favorite plant-powered ingredients. I especially love the frozen artichokes from Trader Joe’s. They taste FAR fresher than canned, and you can bypass the steps of draining/rinsing that comes along with the jarred/marinated artichokes.
For me, artichoke dip tastes best warm. So, I do enjoy baking this dip briefly. Not too long, or the spinach turns off-color. Just long enough to warm it through. You might say it’s um, half-baked.
Creamy Artichoke Spinach Dip gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free
This dip is exceptionally creamy with a full-bodied taste and texture, and yet has no commercial dairy substitute and also no added oil. It will be a hit at any party, bbq, or potluck!
3/4 cup raw cashews (unsoaked)
3/4 cup plain unsweetened non-dairy milk (I like almond or soy, but your choice)
2 1/2 – 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-2 medium-large cloves garlic (I typically use 1 to make it family-friendly; use less/more to taste)
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp dry (ground) mustard
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cups frozen artichoke hearts, partially thawed (helps for pulsing in blender)
2 cups (loosely packed) spinach leaves
Preheat oven to 425. In a blender, first add cashews, milk, lemon juice (I like the full 3 tbsp for tanginess), garlic, salt, dry mustard, and pepper. Blend until very smooth. (If using Blendtec (purrrrr, meow!) or other high-powered blender, this will only take a minute or so. If using a standard blender, keep blending until very smooth. Add artichokes and spinach and just PULSE through. Do not fully blend, keep some chunky texture! Transfer to an oven-proof baking dish, and bake for 17-20 minutes. Remove and say ‘ahhhh’.
Do you love artichoke dip? What artichoke dishes do you like to make?