So, as I was saying yesterday, I’d been looking around the interwebs for a munchie that would be good, but also that would be: sugar free, wheat/gluten free, and dairy free.
Tall order, right? Well, I came across this recipe for creamy carrot dip on About.com (via, of course, da Google) that was approaching my needs, except that it called for fake cream cheese and bread crumbs.
I have sincerely regretted it when I’ve tried dairy-free cheese products, so that was out.
The original recipe also called for added finely chopped cashews to the veggies; how’s about turning the cashews into cashew butter, thereby eliminating the need for cheese (cream or otherwise) and, I reasoned, the breadcrumbs?
Yeh. I liked that idea, and then, while I was about it, decided to spice things up, just a bit, by adding a fresh jalapeño to the veggie blend, which seemed to me to be leaning towards bland, even with the garlic and onion called for.
Worked a treat, and the resulting dip will most definitely be joining French Carrots on my short list of better-for-you party munchies at future gatherings.
Note: this recipe could also, very easily qualify as vegetarian/vegan, and just missed because the market I went to did not carry the veggie stock I prefer, and I was not in the mood to make my own that day, so I used my default chicken stock, which also just happened to be in an open container in the fridge and needed using up, so, bonus!
•3 cups water
•3 cups veggie or chicken stock
•1 large onion, chopped
•5 large cloves garlic
•1 jalapeño, sliced
•2 cups peeled, chopped carrots (~1-lb bag)
•2 tsp dried thyme
•1/2 cup cashew butter
•1/2 tsp sea salt
•1/4 tsp Tellicherry pepper
•1/4 tsp Aleppo pepper
Bring the water and stock to a boil in a large pan, then add the garlic, onions, carrots, jalapeño, and thyme.
Remove from heat and drain the vegetables through a colander, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid.
Add the drained veggies and reserved cooking liquid to a food processor fitted with the metal blade – handy, isn’t it, that you have just used the processor to make that cashew butter, so, two jobs, one clean-up, gotta love it! – and process until smooth.
Add the cashew butter, sea salt, and peppers and process until nicely blended, smooth, and creamy.
Transfer the dip to a bowl, cover, store in the fridge until needed, then serve cold or at room temperature.
The original recipe recommended storing with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the dip to prevent a skin from forming, which I did when I first made the dip, but wasn’t quite so fussy about with the leftovers. I never noticed a problem, so perhaps my tweaks have removed that issue.
How was it?
The dip was very nice spread on crackers as well as when dipped into with veggies, and that one jalapeño added a nice layer of flavor (but not really any heat, so if you want spicy, consider adding another pepper or two) to what could very easily have been just another mush of veggies spread across a celery stick or a cracker.
As another option, if you happen to be a fan of sammiches, consider using a bit of this in place of mayonnaise when next you gather a couple of slices of bread and stuff to put in between them.
I believe you will be pleased with the results.