One of the things that has been the hardest for me with following the AIP/Paleo diet has been having good snack options, especially ones that are be party ready. I've always been a big fan of chips and spinach dip, because I love spinach everything. So I thought it was time to make one that was AIP friendly that not only I would enjoy, but that I could bring to a holiday party or weekend barbecue and other people would enjoy as well. Let me tell you, I tried this one out and brought it to our friends holiday gathering and it was a hit!
The base for this spinach dip is coconut cream--no dairy or cashews in site. I haven't tried substituting with anything else, but if you don't tolerate coconut I imagine an AIP mayo and dairy-free cream cheese would also work. You can buy coconut cream in a can, but I have found the flavour and consistency to be off. I prefer to buy canned coconut milk and refrigerate it. By chilling it for at least 2 hours, the coconut cream will separate to the top. If you chill it overnight you will get a greater yield and will likely only need the one can. You can use the leftover coconut water in smoothies.
Once the cream is separated, let it sit out for at least 10 minutes (depending how warm your kitchen is at the time) so it can soften. I separated mine and left it out until it was ready to be mixed into the spinach (~30 minutes). Note: I made it in December and we keep our condo pretty cool.
After you've done all your prep work, sauté your spinach with the spices and salt (this helps it wilt) on until completely wilted. I use dried dill to save money, but you can also use fresh if you prefer it. Then add the white of the green onion and sauté another 1-2 minutes until separated and softened. Then chill until cool--I put it in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Once cool, you can mix in the green onion tops (optional: save some for garnish) and coconut cream. IF you like a little extra cheesy flavour, you can also add in some nutritional yeast at this point. I don't think it needs it, but to each their own.
This dish is best served right away. When you first make it, the consistency is optimal for dipping. If, however, you want to make this ahead of time for some party-prep that works too! Because it is made from coconut cream, it does solidify in the fridge. Don't worry though, just pull it out about an hour before serving and it's ready for dipping again. You can serve it with your favourite chopped veggies or compliant crackers.
When I first made it, I ended up having some leftover. I discovered it also amazing on some compliant toast or mixed in with your scrambled eggs (they turn a little green, but it's tasty!).
Servings: ~10 (makes ~2 cups)
Prep Time: 10 minutes (+2 hours for coconut cream)
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Large sauté pan or pot
Measuring cup & spoons
Small bowl for chilling
Ingredients (organic, non-gmo):
1 cup coconut cream, softened (you'll need two cans of coconut milk; refrigerate and use the solids off the top)
8 cups spinach, coarsely chopped
½ tbsp coconut oil or grass-fed ghee (if you can tolerate)*, melted
2 green onions, diced and separated (white & green tops)
2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried dill
½ tsp paprika (omit for AIP)
½ tsp pink himalayan salt (or to taste)
1. Chill 1-2 cans of coconut milk at least 2 hours. If you refrigerate overnight, you will get better separation and will likely only need 1 can.
2. Remove coconut cream off the top and sit out to soften.
3. Chop spinach and green onions, separating the white from the green tops.
4. Add coconut oil (or cooking fat of choice) to sauté pan and heat on medium-high. Add the spinach, spices and salt, stirring occasionally.
5. Once the spinach is wilted and the liquid (if any) has evaporated from the pan, add the whites of the green onion. When the layers are separated and tender, transfer spinach to a small bowl and chill for 20 minutes or until cool.
6. Once spinach is cool, mix in green onion tops (optional: save some for garnish) and coconut cream.
Calories 87kcal Fat 6g Cholesterol 0mg Sodium 84mg Potassium 212mg
Total Carbohydrates 5g Fiber 2g Sugar 0g Protein 3g Vitamin A 161% Vitamin C 3% Calcium 12% Iron 9%