Baby Spinach for an Easy Win!
Spinach is considered a superfood but it is also a functional food – ask Popeye about all the health and performance benefits. I’m especially keen on “baby spinach” given it’s mild and tender texture. It nonchalantly boosts the protein, vitamin, antioxidant, and mineral content of any recipe I add it to. One of my favorite ways to use spinach is in a chocolate & banana smoothie. I blend in a handful of raw spinach and feel more full and satisfied, all while packing a punch of nutrition into my day. Spinach is effortlessly added to stir fries, baked goods, tossed into soups, chillies, and stews or can be featured in a dip! Cooking may reduce some of spinach’s water soluble vitamins. Therefore, eat it raw and cooked for the best results.
Do you have a blender or food processor? Then you are in luck! This quick heart healthy dip not only has an impressive nutrient profile but it is yummy too which really matters. I put this dip to the test and served it to my mother and mother in law and received rave reviews!
First, get your beautifully colorful dipping veggies ready. Which are your favorites? Baby tomatoes, sugar snap peas, carrots, celery, sliced red, orange, yellow and green peppers? You can try serving this dip with a few whole grain crackers or baked whole grain pita slices.
Next, mix together in a blender or food processor:
A bit less than a cup of raw cashews
A few cloves of garlic
3/4 of a cup plain almond milk
Half the juice of a fresh lemon
A tablespoon of Dijon mustard
A couple tablespoons of nutritional yeast if you have it – but it is ok to skip if you don’t!
Salt and pepper to taste
Enter Baby Spinach…
Then, add in about 2 cups of baby spinach leaves and pulse to incorporate. Chop and add by hand a can of well drained artichoke hearts or two if you love a chunky dip – I do!
Place in a baking dish in an oven at about 425 to 450 for 15-20 minutes. Serve with your favorite veggies or whole grain choices.