When I was younger, one of my favourite appetizers to order at a restaurant was Spinach Dip - it was warm, savoury, rich and impossible to stop eating. I haven't had spinach dip in ages! That's because traditional spinach dip is LOADED with dairy. I wanted to recreate this old favourite with healthier ingredients, keeping the recipe dairy-free and easy to make.
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Now, don't get me wrong, I love me some cheese every now and again BUT it's important to ensure the quality of the dairy you're consuming. If I do eat dairy, I look for organic and grass-fed as often as possible. That's because most non-organic dairy contains growth hormones which can interfere with our own hormonal rhythm, creating imbalances in our endocrine system.
Personally, I try to reduce the amount of dairy in my diet. If you follow my blog, then you've heard me say this before - dairy is an inflammatory product that increases mucous and inflammation in the body. If you suffer from PMS, menopause, acne (and other skin care issues), arthritis (and other inflammatory conditions) then I highly suggest restricting the amount of dairy you consume, opting for organic dairy whenever possible and trying some non-dairy alternatives such as non-dairy milks, yogurts, etc.
One of my absolute favourite non-dairy brands is YOSO - they have a really great line of coconut and almond/cashew yogurts as well a cashew cream cheese that is sooooo good and one of the main stars of this spinach dip.
This recipe is intended to be served warm with organic corn chips or whole grain pita. Like the classic dip recipe, it's rich, savoury and satisfying. I had so much fun in the kitchen recreating this old favourite and the best part was finally getting to taste it
Easy & Healthy Spinach Dip (vegan)
5 ounces fresh, raw spinach*
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp chickpea flour
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 lemon, squeezed
2 tsp tamari
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2/3 cup YOSO plain cashew cream cheese spread
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- In a large sauté pan over low heat add about 1/2 cup water with your spinach. Let the spinach steam and wilt for about 5-10 min or just until bright green. Drain, rinse and using a clean dish towel, squeeze out all of the excess water and moisture from the spinach. Finely chop it and set it aside.
- Warm 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan and add red onion. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until onion becomes translucent. Add minced garlic, paprika and flour and cook until toasted.
- Lower the heat a touch and slowly begin to whisk in milk. Whisk consistently until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, tamari, nutritional yeast and YOSO cream cheese.
- Return pan to heat and add in spinach to warm it through. Taste carefully for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
- Serve with organic corn chips or toasted whole grain pita triangles.
* You can use organic frozen spinach here. Just be sure to thaw, drain and squeeze out as much liquid as you can.
** This recipe can be made ahead of time. Store in an airtight container and then simply, warm before serving.