Soaking walnuts to make a nutrient-rich eggplant dip

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Eggplant and walnut dip from "Two Moms in the Raw" by Shari Koolik Leidich. Photo by Iain Bagwell.

Book_Cover_1024x1024You might have already had food from Two Moms in the Raw founder Shari Koolik Leidich.

The Colorado resident started the company that specializes in crackers, bars, granola, truffles and cereal after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and made drastic changes to how she ate.

Now, Leidich, who founded the company with her mother, Marsha, has published a cookbook, “Two Moms in the Raw: Simple, Clean, Irresistible Recipes for Your Family’s Health” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $22), to dig into many of the tenants of her mostly raw diet.

One of them is soaking and dehydrating nuts, which activates beneficial enzymes inside them. You can do that for any nuts you use for salads, granola or snacking, but you can also puree them into a dip.

Eggplant and Walnut Dip

Eggplant and walnut dip from "Two Moms in the Raw" by Shari Koolik Leidich. Photo by Iain Bagwell.

Eggplant and walnut dip from “Two Moms in the Raw” by Shari Koolik Leidich. Photo by Iain Bagwell.

This dip captures eggplant’s creamy side, which develops during roasting, and the smokiness it takes on with high heat. Fresh herbs, a sprinkling of heart-healthy walnuts and a generous splash of olive oil put this dip firmly in the guilt-free category.

1 large or 2 small eggplants (about 2 pounds)
1/2 cup walnuts, soaked and dehydrated, chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
2 small garlic cloves, minced
3/4 tsp. fine sea salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Crudités or crackers, for serving

Heat the oven to 450 degrees. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, roast the eggplant until the skin is puffy and blackened, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, cool for 15 minutes, split the eggplant and cool until the eggplant is easy to handle.

Scoop out the eggplant flesh, discarding the seeds, coarsely chop and transfer to a bowl. Add the walnuts, olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. Serve with crudités or crackers. Makes 3 cups.

— From “Two Moms in the Raw: Simple, Clean, Irresistible Recipes for Your Family’s Health” by Shari Koolik Leidich (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $22)


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