Thursday, October 17, 2013

Leilani’s Rustic Almond Dipping Sauce

Leilani’s Rustic Almond Dipping Sauce

Makes 10 oz of sauce

Well after 10 years, I've finally made a new innovation with my sauce.  And my most important critic-- my 5.5 yr old daughter loves it!  The reason for this innovation is necessity.  My normal go-to source for almond butter (Trader Joe's) has been having a nation-wide shortage for this whole year.  So when I decided to whip up some gỏi cuốn | spring rolls for lunch since we had some shredded chicken on hand and making any carbs/starches like rice or sweet potato would take too long, I had to use what we had in the pantry--whole roasted almonds.  I like the rustic flavor & texture achieved by using whole almonds; it's considerably paler than the almond butter sauces I've made in the past since I am not using molasses in this recipe since I like to avoid cane-based sugars which spike my blood sugar; instead I'm using organic medjool dates that I picked up from Whole Foods recently. 
And it's not as creamy as processed almond butter.  It reminds me more of the Buddhist vegetarian sauces made with mung beans.  Best of all, I don't have to worry about the industrial processing of almond butter and the allowable rodent content.  Next, I'll try raw & soaked almonds to boost the nutritional value or I might try raw, soaked cashews since I have those in my pantry already (to make dookies).

Since my daughter doesn't yet like spicy, I leave the chile paste on the side and reduce the garlic.  While fresh garlic tastes better, I buy organic minced garlic by the pound from Frontier Coop because garlic sprouts faster than I can use it; conventional garlic is bleached and nowadays imported from China; organic garlic is pricey and we haven't gotten around to growing our own yet.  If you use fresh garlic, 1/2 a clove ought to suffice unless you like it more pungent.
  • 1/2 tsp minced organic dried garlic
  • 3 organic fresh medjool dates, pitted* or 1 tbs fruit syrup
  • 1/2 c. roasted, unsalted almonds
  • juice from 1/4 lime
  • 1/2 tsp grey sea salt
  • water
  • chili garlic sauce or fresh diced chilies to taste
In a food processor combine all the ingredients except the chile.  Add enough water until the consistency is loose, but not runny.  Add more sea salt if needed.

Serve the chile on the side so everyone can customize their Scoville factor.

Serve with gỏi cuốn or over warm noodles & protein (Bún).

*3/1/2014 I've recently watched Dr. Robert Lustig's TED talk where he lists the 56 names of sugar.  Date sugar was listed so I am now giving a lower glycemic option and in considering the sugar content of fruit, I've also removed dried figs and dried dates in favor of a lower glycemic fruit syrup.  

Original almond sauce recipe here.
Gỏi cuốn | spring rolls recipe here.

Leave a comment and let me know how you think it compares.

Ăn Ngon Lành|Eat Delectably!

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