“By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Raisin Marketing Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”
Have you noticed that during the during the holidays, your use of certain ingredients goes up??? I don't know about you, but in holiday seasons past, I've noticed that my purchases of cream cheese, butter, and bacon goes up exponentially. It seems like just about every holiday recipe calls for those ingredients in some way, shape or form. We all tend to indulge a little more during the holidays, but are there any ingredients we could utilize more that feel indulgent but provide a little better nutrition?
I'm happy to tell you that the answer is yes. This is my first holiday season to write recipes for a blog, and although I do want to share some of my favorite indulgent holiday recipes with you, I also want to develop recipes that you can feel good about feeding your loved ones during the holiday season. Some of my favorite ingredients that speak "holiday" to me but at the same time have a good bit of quality nutrition in them include dried fruit, nuts, pumpkin, sweet potatoes,dark chocolate, pomegranates, and the beautiful apples, oranges, and pears you see in gift baskets this time of year. Recipes that let these kinds of ingredients shine as the star of the show feel indulgent and festive. BUT they can also lend a good source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and protein. Recipes that look beautiful and festive, taste a little indulgent, and happen to be good for you are definitely the ones I want to have prime billing on my holiday menus. And the dip I'm sharing with you today fits that description perfectly!
So here's the scoop: Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip. Need I say more? Let me just blow your mind a little: this dip is studded with little jewels of bourbon-soaked California golden raisins. Think it couldn't get any better? Well, you might be happy to know that this dip is made with just six ingredients. And it can be made up to two days before your party. In the spirit of the season of giving, I'll give you a bonus tip to be even more jazzed about: all the ingredients in this dip are healthy. Except maybe the bourbon you soak the raisins in. Oh, and there's no refined sugars in the dip. We get natural, wholesome sweetness from the golden raisins, spicy cinnamon, and a bit of honey. And it tastes soooooo gooooood. It'll have you singing "dippity do da, dippity yay!" all day long. At least, that's what I was singing while I ate it.
Serving suggestions for dunking in said creamy goodness include all, some or none of the following: apples (I used honeycrisp), pears (love Anjou), cinnamon pita chips (Stacy's rocks!), ginger snaps, and graham crackers, My favs are obvi from the pics: apples, pears, and cinnamon pita chips are just irresistible in this dip. It's going to be my appetizer of choice for any potluck or party I attend this holiday season (because it's so easy!) and I hope it will become yours too!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip with California Raisins
- 6 ounces Greek cream cheese it's a cream cheese combo of Greek yogurt + cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- ½ cup packed pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅓ cup California golden raisins
- 2 tablespoons bourbon or water
- For serving: Cinnamon pita chips apple and pear slices
- In a medium size bowl, combine the cream cheese, pumpkin, honey and cinnamon with a handheld mixer and mix until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes.
- Combine the golden raisins and bourbon (or water) in a small saucepan or skillet. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 2 minutes, remove from heat and cover. Let the raisins steep for 15 minutes.
- Fold the softened raisins into the dip, reserving a few raisins to garnish the top of the dip. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve chilled. Dip can be made up to 2 days ahead and will keep for 1 week when refrigerated in an airtight container.
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