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Vegan Cheese Dip

Sharon Muse

Yep, you read that correctly and please don't turn your nose up. This dip can hold it's own against the regular cheese dip that is full of unhealthy fats and processed cheese. This cheese dip is actually made with vegetables! Eggplant is the base of this recipe and has a few health benefits that are worth mentioning.

These aubergine beauties are full of goodies known to help build strong bones, aid in digestion, anemia, increase brain function and even boost your immune system.

The Phenolic compounds are what make egglpants so helpful in fighting osteoporosis as well as the good amounts of calcium and iron. All of these nutrients help keep our bones strong and healthy.

Eggplants are also a great source of fiber and we all know that fiber is surer important in helping our digestion, but did you know it is also helpful in reducing heart disease? Yep, fiber aids in eliminating the "bad" cholesterol that clogs our arteries.

They contain a good amount of phytonutrients which are boosters for cognitive activity and overall good mental health.

Eggplants are full of many other vitamins and minerals including Vitamin C, which helps keeps us healthy and Copper, an essential component of red blood cells which combats anemia. Vitamins K, B6, and Magnesium are also found in present in this wonderful vegatable!

So this Super Bowl Sunday, you can eat all of this "cheese" dip that you want knowing you are doing something great for your body!

Ingredients:

7-9 round slices of eggplant (about 1/2 of a medium eggplant)

Olive Oil

Sea Salt

1.5 cups Unsweetened Almond Milk - no flavor (may need more if too thick)

2-3 T of Nutritional Yeast 

1/4 tsp. minced garlic

1/2 tsp. Cumin

1-2 T Chili Powder (we used 2 T)

2 tsp. Cornstarch

1/4 cup Chunky salsa of choice, draine if too liquidy

Instructions:

1.) Slice your eggplant into 1/4 inch rounds. Sprinkle both sides with salt and arrange on a drying sheet with paper towels under it to absorb the liquid. The salt helps draw out the moisture in the eggplant. Let them sit for 15 minutes and when done, rinse with cool water and pat dry.

2.) Preheat oven to broil on the high setting and place an oven rack near the top of the oven. Place eggplant rounds on a cookie sheet that is sprayed with cooking spray. Drizzle both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt.

3.) Broil for 4 minutes on each side (be sure not to burn them). The eggplant is done when both sides are golden brown. Remove from the oven and wrap them loosely in foil to steam.  Let them sit in the foil for a few minutes. Remove skin from the eggplant. You should have about a cup of eggplant when finished.

4.) Place the eggplant in a blender with almond milk, Nutritional Yeast, minced garlic, cumin, chili powder, and cornstarch. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. If you want your dip thinner, this is the time to do it - just add more almond milk until you get the consistency you want.

5.) Transfer to a small saucepan and warm over medium to medium-high heat until your dip thickens up and becomes bubbly. This takes about 5 minutes. NOTE: If the dip isn't thick enough then take a small cup and add 1 tsp of cornstarch, a little bit of almond milk and 2 - 3 T of the dip. Mix that together before adding into the saucepan and incorporate. 

6.) When you have the thickness you desire, remove from heat and add the salsa and stir.

7.) Your vegan cheese dip is now ready for you and your guests to enjoy! Serve with tortillas chips and veggies. Please note if the dip sits out too long, the color may fade a bit but it still tastes delicious. 

Inspired by www.minimalistbaker.com