Friday, September 14, 2012

Carrot Cake Dip & Spread

It seems everyone is doing some version of chocolate-chip-cookie-dough dip these days.  This doesn't appeal to me much, but lately I've been wondering if it could be one option to expand Big A's limited repertoire of lunches.  Chickpeas dressed up as cookie dough might be the only way to get my girls excited about legumes.  But I have reservations about frequently making her lunches involving chocolate chips.  Like most kids, I think she already gets way too much sugar.

So I got thinking...what OTHER kind of 'dough' or baked good flavour could I use with chickpeas as a base?  Then it struck me: Carrot Cake!  No chocolate chips needed and added bonus of some veggies.  I got so excited coming up with this recipe, that I decided to make it for my own lunch instead.  After all, I gotta test it out first to ensure it's kid-friendly, right??

I enjoyed this a lot, simply spread into a whole-grain wrap and rolled up.  But it would be amazing on whole-grain graham crackers or whole-grain cinnamon-raisin bagels, with or without dairy/vegan cream cheese!  This could be part of a yummy, healthy breakfast, lunch or snack.  For Big A, I am thinking I might have to add more pineapple and/or sweetener, less carrots, and will probably have to steam the carrots to make them less crunchy.  But for me, it's just fine as is.  So at least I succeeded in expanding my own lunch repertoire!

Carrot Cake Dip & Spread

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 of a fresh pineapple, about 1 cup (or frozen or canned is fine)
2 tbls tahini, cashew butter or coconut oil (optional, if you want it richer/creamier)
2 tbls sweetener, or to taste (xylitol, erythritol, stevia, Splenda, coconut sugar will all work)
2 tbls fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Fresh ground nutmeg, to taste
1/8 tsp salt
Coconut milk (either canned or for drinking is fine)
1.5 cups grated carrots (lightly steam if you want them sweeter and less crunchy)

Optional add ins: grated coconut, chopped pecans, raisins.

Place all ingredients, except carrots, in food processor and puree until smooth.  Thin out with coconut milk, if desired (I kept mine thick so it wouldn't drip out of my wrap!).  Add in grated carrots and pulse until desired consistency is reached.  Keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.

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