Mid-July probably seems like a weird time to make a hot dip, but as some of you might know, I head up marketing for Upton’s Naturals and one of my jobs is working with our PR team on items to pitch to the media. Right now they’re working on their holiday and Super Bowl pitches so it’s been Dip City at my house lately.
Since this recipe was going to be gluten-free without any effort on my part, I decided to add the challenge of making it nut-free as well. Not only does that make it more allergy-friendly, but it also makes it less expensive, and there’s information out there suggesting that sunflower seeds are less taxing on the environment than cashews and other tree nuts too.
If you’re tempted to use canned jackfruit instead of the recommended Upton’s Naturals, obviously I’m biased because I work there but also, I’ve found the texture of ours to be better since it’s not water logged and because it’s par-cooked before it gets packaged. And, if you’re opting for sunflower seeds out of concern for the environment, you might want to consider the toll shipping heavy cans of water from Thailand takes on the planet, vs shipping lightweight, recyclable boxes which is what we do. Plus, you’re supporting a cool, vegan-owned brand that doesn’t answer to any board of directors, share holders, investors, and doesn’t secretly belong to Nestle or something. (If you can’t find Original Jackfruit in your local store, you can buy it online from Thrive Market, Vegan Essentials, and other e-tailers.)
This recipe is for good old fashioned Midwestern mild dip, but if you’re a spicy boi add a couple dashes of hot sauce before baking.
Nut-Free Spinach & Jackfruit Dip
- high speed blender
- 1 & ½ cups raw sunflower seeds
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- ½ cup diced onion
- 1 & ½ cups unsweetened non-dairy milk
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt more to taste
- 4 cups loosely packed fresh spinach roughly chopped
- 2 10.6 oz packages Upton’s Naturals Original Jackfruit
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Place the sunflower seeds in a heatproof bowl and cover them in boiling water. Soak for 15 minutes, then drain.
- In a small pan, sauté the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. You can use a small amount of olive oil, if desired, or add a splash of water to keep it from sticking.
- In a high-powered blender, or food processor, blend the sunflower seeds, garlic, onion, non-dairy milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and salt until completely smooth. Taste, and add up to an additional ½ tsp of salt if desired.
- Add the spinach and Jackfruit, and pulse – don’t blend. You want to keep the texture of both ingredients, rather than puree them. Depending on the capacity of your blender, you may need to do this in two batches – or, pulse the spinach and Jackfruit in a food processor and stir it into the pureed ingredients.
- Transfer to an oven-safe dish (a 9” pie dish works well) and bake for 20 minutes, until the top starts to brown.
- Serve with tortilla chips, toasted baguette, or vegetable sticks.