Sunday, July 26, 2015

Healthy Vegan Ranch Dip

When I was younger my mom always made this "ranch dip" that was basically a carton of sour cream and a packet of Hidden Valley Ranch mix. All you had to do was mix the two together and you're left with a creamy delicious ranch dip. I primarily used it to dip chips in, and on a good day, maybe some carrot sticks since I was no where near the health nut that I am now back then.

Fast forward many years later and I miss that creamy ranch dip! But since I'm vegan and avoiding things in a packet with all those flavorings, GMOs and preservatives, I knew I'd have to make my own version of this ranch dip that I so fondly remembered from my childhood. But the road to dipping perfection was a long one. In most of the vegan recipes I found, tofu was used as the base. Now although I love tofu in a pasta or stir-fry dish, I do not like it in my dips because all I can taste is well...tofu.

Other recipes contained expensive mock-vegan products like vegan sour cream or vegan cream cheese which can be nice, but can also get expensive and are known for having some sketchy ingredients like carrageenan, which I try to avoid.

The last obstacle I faced was with the flavor, who knew "ranch" was so difficult?  Some were too strong, others to bland, some were to "garlicky" and others, too "lemony". But like most recipes, you refine it, refine it, and refine it some more until you get it right then...BAM! It's perfect.

Once I finally got the favor right, I had my family taste test it and they couldn't put it down. As you'll see below this ranch dip can be used for many things, such as for dipping veggies, buffalo cauliflower bites, sweet potato fries, chips and even pretzels just to name a few.

With all that said, let's get started with that recipe...

"Healthy Vegan Ranch Dip"
Servings: 4


1. Soak your cashews in water for 6 hours, or if you're like me and remember you want to make this dip and it's a few hours from dinner, just soak them for 2 hours...minimum 1 hour.

2. Drain the soaked cashews and rinse them with water.

3. Now add them to the blender with the rest of the ingredients.

4. Blend for a minute or so until smooth.

5. Add additional water if needed, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is found with the dip. Sometimes you have to add a little to the blender to get it going. This is also a good time to stop and check the flavor. See how it tastes to you, does it need a tiny bit more salt or dill or garlic powder? Adjust to fit your taste buds.

6. Transfer the dip to a bowl and dip away!

7. Store leftovers in the fridge in a covered container for up to 5 days.

Here's some of our favorite ways to use the vegan ranch dip.

With veggies...

With buffalo cauliflower wings...

I use this recipe to make the buffalo cauliflower bites.

Brushing on the hot sauce to the cauliflower wings.

With sweet potato fries or even regular fries...

With chips...

Or even with pretzels...

This is the girl's favorite way to have them!

Smiles all around. 

Of course we had to make ranch dip mustaches!

So there you have it, a vegan ranch dip. How do you like your ranch dip? What's your favorite way to make it and most importantly...what do you dip in it?! Share below.

Happy Dipping!

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