Pretty, pretty, please with a cherry on top…
DON’T judge this recipe until you try it for yourself!
After seeing variation after variation of dessert-style dip recipes on Pinterest, I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on my food processor so I could create my very own version!
Thankfully, selecting a unique flavor wasn’t all that difficult.
See, as a little girl, I absolutely ADORED chocolate covered cherries. In fact, I loved them SO MUCH that my Dad would give me a big HUGE box of Godiva’s chocolate-covered cherries each Christmas. The fancy box of chocolates wrapped under the tree became a yearly tradition for us…as did the terrible belly aches following me eating half the box in one sitting!
As I grew older however, and as I became more and more concerned about my health and my physique, I began to turn away from these sugary, not-so-healthy treats and have lived without that delicious combination ever since.
Whatever you do…don’t be put off by the strange mix of ingredients. I promise the result is delicious!
(makes enough to fill up a Ball Jelly Jar)
- 1 cup chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- 3/4 cup dates (soaked in water for a couple of hours and drained– I like Dole and Sun-Maid because they are already so soft)
- 1/2 cup organic,canned pumpkin (NOT the pumpkin pie mix– just plain old pureed pumpkin)
- 2 tablespoons all-natural cherry preserves (make sure your jam uses fruit pectin instead of gelatin, or it will not be vegan! Also, strawberry or raspberry jam could work too, it just may not be as cherry-flavored)
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk (or another non-dairy milk)
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil (you COULD omit this to make it 100% fat-free…but I don’t think it has as nice of a consistency without it).
- 1/2 cup blended oats (throw oats in a blender for a couple of seconds until it has a flour-like consistency)
- 4-5 tablespoons all-natural cocoa powder (add ore or less depending upon how chocolaty you’d like it–I like it SUPER chocolaty )
- 1 teaspoon pure almond extract (THIS is the secret ingredient that gives the dip its cherry flavor! Feel free to add more for a stronger “cherry” taste…but be warned…a little almond extract goes a long way so start with less and add more as you go)
- 4 packets of stevia (or 1/4 c of another all-natural, dry sweetener–add more or less depending upon how sweet you’d like it).
- Add everything into a food processor and blend until VERY smooth.
- Serve the dip immediately, or store it in a sealed container–I use a Ball Jelly Jar–in the fridge for up to 4-5 days (If serving after having been chilled in fridge for a while, I would suggest setting the dip out for 20 minutes or so and mixing it well before serving– I find the consistency to be a bit smoother this way).
You can use this dessert dip as a dip for fruit, cookies, and crackers, or even as a spread for toast. Heck, it’s so yummy you could get away with just eating it like a mousse or a pudding. I bet it would even taste good layered between my Very Berry Vegan Pancakes…(NOW we’re talking!)
It’s healthy, it tastes delicious, and it’s quick and easy to make. I personally like to layer it on a rice cake or toast in the morning and chow down while I’m running to the bus. Sometimes I even add a few slices of banana on top for good measure
Not too crazy about cherries? You can easily swap out certain ingredients and make a few simple substitutions to change-up the flavor.
(official recipes/photos to come soon!)
- Peppermint Patty Dip: Just swap out the jam and almond extract, and add some peppermint extract.
- Double Trouble Chocolate Dip: Swap out the almond extract for vanilla extract, and add some extra cocoa and a swirl of chocolate sauce.
- Peanut Butter Cup Dip: Swap out the almond extract and coconut oil, and add a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter.
- Chocolate-Covered Banana Dip : Omit the jam and almond extract for vanilla extract, and swap out the pumpkin for a large, VERY ripe banana
- Crazy Coconut Chocolate Dip: Swap out the almond extract for vanilla extract, and add a few tablespoons of unsweetened, shredded coconut
The options are endless!