Perhaps you’ve heard the news: it’s been cold and snowy in Vancouver. While it may surprise you to hear that wintry weather in Canada made the national news (aren’t we used to our igloos by now?), my mom has texted me on three separate occasions from Toronto to announce that my adopted city’s climate was indeed the lead story.
Vancouver has a mild, temperate climate and snow is rare. When it snows, it’s a light dusting and the rain typically washes it away in a day or two. Starting in December, we were ‘hammered’ by repeated snowfalls and below freezing temperatures.
While the amount of snow we actually received is minimal compared to most other places in Canada, when you combine snow and cold temperatures with a city that is totally unprepared to deal with it then chaos ensues.
Sidewalks remained unshoveled. Ice piled up. Residential crossings were skating rinks. Car wheels skidded and spun. Dogs, like our dear Daisy, were shortchanged on their walks.
I’ve never experienced living in a city so incapable of handling snow before and I’m not being a wimpy when I tell you we have been hesitant to leave home. Walking or driving on ice is a recipe for disaster, even with snow boots or snow tires. (Maybe you think I’m being wimpy. I’m OK with that.)
On a number of occasions since we’ve been housebound I’ve found myself gazing into the fridge wondering what I can cobble together without having to venture out for additional ingredients. This isn’t a sad situation – it’s surprisingly easy to do when you’ve got a well-stocked pantry and freezer. Grab a free PDF download of How to Create a Healthy Pantry here.
That’s how this vegan beet, carrot and cashew dip was born. Using a stray golden beet and a few leftover carrots from the farmers market, this creamy dip came together quite simply. The biggest effort involved was waiting for the beet to roast in the oven and that’s not really any effort at all. Simply wrap in foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, then peel and chop. You could steam the beet if you want to save some time, but I personally prefer the roasted flavour.
I’ve made this dip a few times with a mix of different winter vegetables. It always turns out delicious and relatively the same, since the flavour profile of the veggies I’ve used (carrots, sweet potato, squash, beets, etc.) are sweetly similar. As long as you have about 2 heaping cups of winter or root vegetables to add into the mix, you’ll end up with something tasty.
And let’s not forget the health benefits of this creamy beauty. Carrots are a rich source of Vitamin A, which helps to boost the immune system and aids with tissue healing, while beets support detoxification (which you may be interested in considering this is January and all). Both veggies are full of antioxidants and fibre – great for balancing blood sugar and ensuring we have good poops.
Plus, the vivid orange colour just might brighten your day. Especially when it’s snowing.
- 2 medium-sized carrots, sliced into coins (about 1 heaping cup)
- 1 large yellow beet, roasted and chopped (about 1 heaping cup)
- ½ cup cashews, soaked 4-6 hours
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- ¼ tsp salt
- Bring two inches of water in a pot to a boil. Place the carrot coins in a vegetable steamer and cook for 8-10 minutes, until they are soft and tender.
- Drain the cashews in a strainer and rinse well. Add the carrots, beets, cashews, apple cider vinegar and salt to a high speed blender or food processor.
- Blend until smooth and creamy. Depending on the strength of your blender, you may need to add a little bit of extra water, but add it 1 tbsp at a time.
- Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Chill in the fridge before serving.