I’ve been on this mission to create healthful snacks. I know my body works best when I eat three meals a day plus two snacks in-between. If not, I get hangry and that’s not good a good thing. Never heard of hangry? Well, I can guarantee you’ve felt it! It’s when you’re so hungry you get angry and then become one with the refrigerator!!! ERRR!!! You almost feel a little out of control mainly due to your blood sugar dropping, and you end up eating whatever you see first vs. something satisfying and healthful. I don’t know about you, but I like to save up my calories for something really good and not binge hangry eating!!! 80 healthful and 20% whatever you want. Important not to switch those numbers around and a hangry appetite can do just that!
So the journey began to find a healthful snack. I’ve tried all kinds of homemade, healthful things…but have begun to get bored. Hummus with veggies – BORING! Apple and almond butter – BEEN THERE DONE THAT! Cheese and celery – SNOOZE! Although these snacks are very healthy and could absolutely fill my hunger, I was getting bored with them and found my way into the fridge more times than I needed because I wasn’t satisfied!
Above everything else, my body has decided to reject beans. BEANS. I could live off chickpeas. That means no kind of hummus or bean dip. Ugh, now I’ve really have to think outside the box and figure out something that will cover all my needs: filling, healthful, satisfying and above all not boring. What’s a girl to do?
I recently read a fantastic book called The Beauty Detox Foods and was inspired by all the healthful foods you can have in your life and still be satisfied. (Check out the book if you need some tips on healthful eating. The author’s vision is clean vegan eating and foods that heal the body. Love that! Everything homemade.)
Have you ever had Muhammara Dip? I hadn’t until I picked up the book. It’s a traditional Middle Eastern dip packed with walnuts, red peppers, spices and olive oil. But the author of The Beauty Detox Foods managed to make it healthy by keeping it raw and eliminating the olive oil.
This particular dip totally inspired me to get in the kitchen and test our some new recipes. I’ve toyed around with a recipe for some time now. I love to mix it up and have found my version of a healthful pepper dip. It’s delicious! It’s spicy, tangy, sweet, and is 100% satisfying. Goes with any kind of veggie or you could turn it into a spread or thin it out for a healthful dressing.
The base of my dip is roasted cashews. I’m using cashews for a few reasons. Roasted cashews add a richness to this dip that regular nuts just wont do. In addition, cashews, when ground, give a starchy quality that thickens your recipes without actual starches. It’s great to thicken soups, stews, curries (it’s typically the base of curries) and desserts. The plus is that cashews have great health benefits. They are a good source of Iron, Magnesium, Potassium and Protein.
Behold, your new favorite snack:
Spicey Pepper Dip
1 cup roasted cashews
4 small tomatoes, roasted or grilled
3 hatch chilis, roasted and skinned
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp lemon juice (1/2 large lemon)
1 tsp tamari sauce
1/4 tsp salt
Place cashews, sesame seeds, and garlic powder into a high-speed blender. Blend until it comes to a mealy texture, almost paste like. Then add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth!
It’s that simple. A few minutes and you’ve got the base of a healthful and satisfying snack. Think about how great this would be at parties in addition to your daily snack. It’s easy to make in a large batch and with no dairy, it can sit out worry free!
Some things to note:
**This version of the dip is not raw. However, you can change to accommodate raw eaters! Raw cashews, garlic, tomatoes and chilis would be perfect in this recipe.
**I HIGHLY recommend roasting your own veggies. They take about 10 extra minutes to prepare on the grill or under a broiler. The chili peppers I did skin, but the tomatoes I just left whole. If you’re not into that, you can substitute canned fire- roasted tomatoes with green chilis. But again, TRY to roast yourself. It’s super easy, I promise!