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My eHow Video Series: Crescent Spinach Dip

Have you ever looked up the ingredients in traditional spinach dip? You’ll find things like butter, mayo, heavy cream, and dairy cheese. It’s not really fair to call it “spinach” dip. “Saturated fat” dip would be more accurate.
The really sad thing is that none of these unhealthful ingredients are necessary for making a fantastic dip. We just include them because we always have. But just because we always have done something doesn’t mean we always have to keep doing it. We need not be slaves to custom or tradition or habit. I think most people would agree that custom, tradition, or habit aren’t good enough reasons to continue causing harm to ourselves or others, ESPECIALLY when there are quick and easy alternatives out there.
My version of spinach dip takes the spinach seriously. And, in addition to using a whole package of thawed frozen spinach, I also use a whole head of kale. Like spinach, kale is loaded with vitamins A, C, K and folic acid, and it’s also a rich source of calcium and iron. Kale also contains carotenoids, which are potent antioxidants with natural inflammatory properties that help prevent some cancers.

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     I use cashews to add a rich creaminess that we too often mistakenly think we can only get from dairy products. Plus, cashews have numerous health benefits. They are high in copper which helps defend against iron deficiency anemia, ruptured blood vessels, osteoporosis, joint problems such as rheumatoid arthritis, elevated LDL cholesterol and reduced HDL cholesterol levels, and irregular heartbeat. Because of their high antioxidant levels, nuts like cashews have been linked to lower risks of cardiovascular and coronary heart disease. For additional creaminess, I use beans, which also adds protein and even more fiber to this already fiber-rich dip. (For more on the wonderful world of beans, see here.)
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     This is one of my favorite dishes in this whole series. I love this recipe because it demonstrates that you can eat in a way that reflects your deepest values of health and compassion AND feel like you’ve died and gone to heaven because it tastes so good. For me, the beauty of being vegan is that we can have both!

Ingredients:
16 oz. organic frozen spinach, thawed
1 bunch kale, chopped
1/2 cup raw parsley
1 cup raw cashews, soaked in warm water about 20 minutes
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
5 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast Flakes
1-15 oz can white beans
(optional: Daiya cheese)

Instructions:
1. Add all your ingredients (except beans and cheese) to a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth.
2. Pulse in the beans.
3. Pour spinach dip into a heat-safe serving dish. Add the Daiya cheese on top if using and place in a 350 degree oven for 15 min.
4. Serve warm with veggie sticks, bread squares and rice crackers.

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