Dairy Free Spinach, Artichoke, and Sun-dried Tomato Dip
I LOVE any type of spinach dip. My first memory of spinach dip was a cold dip my mom's friend Phyllis used to bring to our annual New Years Eve party. I would always take a huge spoonful and then go back for seconds or thirds. I remember one year she let me keep the leftovers and I was so excited. My love for this type of dip grew as I first tasted the warm spinach artichoke dip at a local restaurant the Upstream. My sister and I would split the dip as an entree. I wondered if I could make a dip that tasted similar but I was able to eat on a more regular basis. A dip that wasn't mayo or cream cheese based. Most dairy free dips use cashews as a base but that doesn't work for me. I searched the internet and blogs and discovered that hemp hearts could be used to make a sauce. I first made this dip and took some to my sister Elizabeth, the one who used to frequent spinach artichoke dip joints with me. I didn't tell her what it was made out of, I just told her to eat it and let me know what she thought. She loved it! She text me right away and demanded to know what it was made out of. I also dropped some dip off at my friend Diane's house. Elizabeth and Diane are my taste testers. They will always tell me their honest opinion, a quality I love about both of them. Diane also really liked the dip. I knew I had to fine tune the ingredients and get the recipe on my blog! This dip is great with tortilla chips, or even as a sauce over gluten free pasta!
1/2 bag of frozen spinach (about 5-6 oz total spinach)
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes chopped
1 15 ounce can of artichoke hearts drained and roughly chopped
3/4 cup hemp hearts
3/4 cup water
2 TBSP garlic infused olive oil (or 2 TBSP olive oil and 1 tsp garlic powder)
2 1/2 tsp sea salt (use less if using table salt)
1) Place the frozen spinach in a fine mesh strainer and rinse with warm water to defrost. Use the back of a spatula or spoon to push the spinach against the strainer to drain any excess water. You want to make sure you get as much water out as possible so it doesn't water down the dip.
2) Drain the artichoke hearts and roughly chop them. Chop the sun-dried tomatoes into bite sized pieces and set aside.
3) In a blender combine the hemp hearts, water, and garlic infused olive oil. Blend for 1-2 minutes until very smooth. You want all of the hemp hearts to be pulverized. The amount of time this takes will depend on the strength of your blender.
4) Heat a large pan over medium high heat. Add the hemp mixture, spinach, artichoke hearts, and sun-dried tomatoes. Cook while stirring for 5 minutes or until heated through. Serve immediately. If you want to serve this at a later time you can pre-heat the oven to 300 and place the dip in an oven safe 8x8 dish to keep warm. The dip is also good served cold!
Leftovers will keep for up to 4 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator. I also have frozen the dip and it re-heats well from frozen.
Note on garlic infused oil, I buy mine from a local grocery store. If you don't have garlic infused oil you can use olive oil and add 1 tsp garlic powder but the garlic infused oil will have a stronger more intense flavor.