Raw Vegan Recipe: Zucchini Cashew Ranch Dip

by on March 31, 2013


Hey everyone! The other day I was invited over for a friend’s house warming and I assumed that I would be the only vegan attendee. So what I did was brought a few things that I would be able to eat, that would also appeal to other types of tastes as well. I made some vegan nachos using seasoned soy beef and some vegan cheese to show off that vegan food could be tasty. BUT I only make that kind of food when I’m serving people totally unfamiliar with vegan food. I don’t make that kind of food at home or for myself. So I also wanted to bring a healthy option to balance that out.

I thought of serving a veggie tray as that would be quick and easy to bring as well. Lucky for me my local grocery store now makes veggie trays without that dairy based dip in the middle, so I could run out and grab it and just focus on making the dip portion from scratch. Of course I could chop the veggies myself as well, I just didn’t really have a handy travel tray so this worked well for me.

I had been thinking about a way to make a tasty ranch-like dip, but lower in fat. And I was inspired by my Hemp Seed Hummus recipe fromย Savory Raw Dinner Recipesย which uses raw zucchini as the base instead of nuts to cut out some of the extra calories. But I didn’t want it to just taste like raw zucchini so that’s why I added some raw cashews so it had that nice creamy taste to it as well. I promise you won’t be able to taste the zucchini. ๐Ÿ™‚

This recipe was a real hit and everyone could not believe that I had made it myself (or that anyone would be a vegan chef let alone a low fat one) but I was very happy that everyone found it delicious even after I told them there was raw zucchini in it! Hurray! Score one for the low fat vegans.

So I wanted to share this recipe with you because quite often I hear the pleas of newbies craving something tasty to dip their raw celery and broccoli into and this is very easy to make at home.

I use a VitaMix for my heavy duty blending, but don’t worry if you don’t have one I have included some tips like soaking your cashews and dates, that will help make the blending process in your regular blender much easier.

Raw Vegan Zucchini Cashew Ranch Dip

Makes enough dip to serve with 1 large veggie tray

Ingredients:

1 medium/medium large zucchini peeled and diced into small cubes (approx 2 1/4 cups)
1/3 cup cashews, soaked for a few hours and drained
1-2 medjool dates, pitted, soaked and chopped
2- 2 1/2 tbsp meyer lemon juice
1 tbsp nutritional yeast *optional for flavor
1-2 small cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tbsp diced sweet onion (or 1 tsp of onion powder)
1 tbsp chopped curly leaf parsley
1 green onion/scallion, sliced (green top portion only)
1/4 tsp Herbamare or salt or to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Splash or two of unsweetened almond milk (if necessary to blend in a regular blender)

Directions:

1. Combine everything but the parsley, green onion, salt, and pepper in a Vitamix or a food processor and blend. (It’s important to have everything in small pieces so it’s easier to blend together. A high powered blender with a tamper is preferable.)

2. Add remaining ingredients and blend on medium low to break up the fresh herbs into smaller pieces. Taste test and add additional salt, pepper or lemon juice as desired.

3. Refrigerate before serving.

Additional Tips:

If you have a Vitamix you do not have to soak the cashews or the dates or use the almond milk, but if using another blender or food processor that is lower powered it is highly recommended to make this dip easier to blend.

Let me know what you think of this dip! And what is your favorite raw veggie for dipping?

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amy Love January 28, 2014 at 10:24 PM

THANK YOU FOR THIS!!! Went 80/10/10 (Low-Fat Raw Vegan) for the new year and this dressing saved me! I was dreading salads when I usually loved my daily salad slathered in vegan ranch. Thank you for this low-fat raw version I am telling all my friends to make this!! How about a low fat raw vegan cesare?

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2 Jacqui Pappas December 31, 2013 at 9:52 AM

This sounds amazing! I’ll try it for New Years lunch with omni’s. Thanks for all your terrific recipes

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3 Jordan November 18, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Do you have an alternative idea for the dates? That’s my one missing ingredient and I really want to make this!

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4 Veronica Grace November 18, 2013 at 6:03 PM

I use dates as a whole food sweetener. If not i use maple syrup to taste.

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5 Becca August 29, 2013 at 1:41 PM

I made this for a “taco night”get together with a group of friends. No lie, people CHOWED down on this. I felt bad that I didn’t make more for every one to get to try some. I had a friend comment the next day that she “heard about the dip” I made… that’s phenomenal feedback. I also added a green chilli pepper and next time plan to add a jalapeno. : ) You’re brilliant. Thank you for the recipe.

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6 Kendan Lovell May 28, 2013 at 8:28 PM

Made this dip today and was stunned by how good it was. It tastes like there should be half a cup of oil or something in it to make it that creamy!! I really loved it.

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7 Sara May 24, 2013 at 12:44 PM

I just made this and love it! I grow flat leaf parsley so used that and I explored a little bit and added a tad dried dill and I love curry so I added a little curry too. I think you could go in a lot of directions with this recipe…….like jalepenos and substitute the parsley with cilantro. The basic recipe great alone with out tinkering as well! Thank you!

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8 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica May 24, 2013 at 1:50 PM

Sounds delicious Sara! I’m glad you enjoyed it ๐Ÿ™‚

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9 Em April 20, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Update: made this last night – was delicious and didn’t last long. Will definitely be making this on a regular basis:)

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10 Eva April 18, 2013 at 2:24 AM

I’m going to try this one today.
Thank you for sharing it’s so inspiring.

๐Ÿ™‚

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11 Em April 14, 2013 at 7:30 PM

This looks like it might become my new favourite dip! I will try it out in the next week or so and get back to you;)

Thanks V, for always coming up with ideas to make things taste incredible (I know I may be jumping the gun here, but everything of yours that I’ve tried has turned out amazing) despite being low/no overt oils/fats etc. Replicating or substituting that mouth-feel of fat is no easy task. I am quite a good cook, but I’m certainly no ‘food-chemist’ like you. I look to you to be the creative inventor/experimenter and then I can run with your recipes and do them well. Of course, it helps that you make them no-brainers;)

Your website and books are by far, my favourite cooked-raw vegan sources!

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12 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica April 14, 2013 at 9:13 PM

Thank you Em! Can I save this as a testimonial? I am definitely not a food chemist or expert, but I am very inquisitive and take something from everything I learn and work with it to try new things and make oil free lower fat variations. Sometimes it’s just trial and error. ๐Ÿ™‚

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13 Em April 20, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Sure – glad of it:)

Btw, my favourite dipping vegetables are red capsicum (I like the sweetness) and cucumber – and celery if it’s a good one.

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14 Barbara Lowell April 2, 2013 at 8:27 AM

If you are going for the classic ranch flavor, you need dill weed I think. I would add 1T or to taste of chopped fresh dill.

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15 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica April 4, 2013 at 7:57 PM

I already had a little dill and seaweed in my raw caesar salad dressing recipe, so I didn’t want to make it taste similar. Many bottled ranch dressings don’t list dill on the package either. Just parsley and onions.

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16 Margaret April 1, 2013 at 11:17 PM

Thank you Veronica I will definitely
be trying this RAW dip !!
Warmest regards,
Margaret (NZ)

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17 GS test demo April 1, 2013 at 12:40 AM

Raw Vegan Recipe: Zucchini Cashew Ranch Dip โ€” Low Fat Vegan Chef Recipes

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