Serves: Makes about one cup of dipTotal time: Soaking: 2 hours / Assembling: 10 minutes[ratings]

After a long run, hike, or bike, try this salty, spicy, and garlicky dip. It’s a perfect contrast to the sweet gels and trail gorp that fueled your earlier excursion. The beauty of this recipe is you can spice it up or down, based on your preferences. The fresh garlic and eating this with raw vegetables will further balance and keep your daily fuel clean. If garlic isn’t your thing, use sweet red pepper instead. Different experience but just as good. This dip also works as a spread on a toasted bagel with a garnish of sliced cucumbers.

Eric Aakko, MS MCHES, is a certified plant-based chef educator and backcountry cyclist. His upcoming cookbook is Clean Endurance: 100 Plant-Based Recipes for Culinary Wellness. Read more at his website.


1 cup raw cashews (soaked)
½ cup water
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 clove raw garlic
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Cayenne powder to taste (optional)


• Soak the raw cashews for several hours (or overnight), prior to using.
• Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender.
• Blend for up to 1 minute or until the dip is creamy, but still thick.
• Add an additional tablespoon of water as needed (be careful not to add too much water).
• Garnish with chopped fresh chives.
• Refrigerate overnight and keep in a chilled sealed container to enjoy at the end of the trail.

To see a short cooking demo of this recipe, visit the Plant-Based Scratch Kitchen (PBSK).

Note: Nutritional yeast is not the same as baking or brewer’s yeast. It’s a deactivated yeast (looks like small yellow flakes)—with a taste close to cheddar cheese. It’s a good source of B-vitamins and protein. Nutritional yeast is a staple in plant-based cooking. Pick up the nutritional yeast and the raw cashews at any natural food or larger grocery store.

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