Posts Tagged ‘roasted nuts’

Unrecipe of the Week: Nut Butter

January 11, 2016

 

1635400235_compI loathe peanut butter. I always have and always will. I remember being at a friend’s house when I was a little girl, and the babysitter said that we couldn’t leave the table until we finished our lunch. Not wanting to insult her “cooking,” I sat there for hours until she finally sent us away. I just couldn’t bring myself to eat that sticky muck, slathered with jelly and smeared inside that gummy white bread that stuck to the roof of my mouth and was so hard to swallow. I still don’t really care for the stuff, but I have managed to make amends with almond butter. Pure, salted almond butter with nothing else in it. I put it on an apple or a banana to add protein to my meal. When it is in its purest state, I can eat it with a spoon right out of the jar if I let myself.

I think the key here is purity. When you can taste just the freshly roasted nuts, and the consistancy is not gummy, it can be delicous. The common commercial brands contain sugar, molasses, hydrogenated vegetable oil, and mono and diglycerides. This contains just nuts. It doesn’t really need anything else.

You can buy great alternative nut butters in many supermarkets that are pure, and some supply the machine to grind your own peanut butter. I am partial to Trader Joe’s brand of almond butter. You can also make your own in a matter of minutes if you have a food processor or a super strong blender.

Homemade Nut Butter:

Place roasted nuts* into the bowl of the food processor. Pulse the nuts until they are completely chopped. Continue running the machine constantly for several minutes, pausing to scrape the sides with a rubber spatula. Process until the nuts go from grainy, to smooth. This could take about 5 minutes, depending on the amount of nuts, and the strength of the machine. If you like it chunky, add a little more of the nuts at the end, and pulse until they are finely chopped and distributed throughout the nut butter. Store nut butter in an airtight jar and refrigerate until ready to enjoy!

If you like salted nut butter, you may add a little and process until mixed. If your nuts seem very dry, you can add a little neutral flavored oil and continue to pulse, however, if you are patient, it should smooth out without any additional oil.

If you like flavored nut butters, you can add in some cinnamon or melted chocolate at the end, and mix it thoroughly.

*I roasted my own raw almonds,but you can buy them already roasted. Just look for dry roasted nuts with no added ingredients except salt, if you like salted nut butter.

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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Unrecipe of the Week: Roasted Nuts

September 3, 2015

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Nuts are a great snack. They are plant based, all natural and high in protein and heart healthy fats. That is until a commercial company gets ahold of them.

When I began my Whole 30 quest a couple of months ago, I became a stickler for reading labels on anything that had them. While most of the food I eat doesn’t come in a package, nuts are a whole food that typically does. When companies roast nuts, they add oil to them. Planter’s, one of the largest commercial nut companies adds peanut and/or cottonseed oil to thier nuts, as well as salt. Since legumes (peanuts and peanut oil) are off limits, as is cottonseed oil on Whole 30 and Paleo, I decided to roast my own.

Everyone I share my freshly roasted nuts with loves them. Nuts are already high in healthy unsaturated fats and don’t require any extra oil when roasted. By roasting them “naked” the flavor of the nut is enhanced, and not over powered by the flavor of the aditives. They are so easy to make, that there really isn’t a good reason to buy those cans again.

How To Roast Nuts:

Heat the oven to 350 degrees*. Spread the nuts (I love cashews!) in an even layer on a baking sheet with sides. Roast in the oven for about 5 minutes, and shake the pan or stir the nuts to redistribute them. The nuts on the edges of the pan will brown much more quickly than those in the middle. Continue to roast the nuts until they are an even light brown color, and begin to release a delicous “nutty” smell. They will likely take about 10-12 minutes, but could take longer or shorter, so keep an eye on them. Beware; once they start to color, they brown very quickly! Remove from the oven and cool before enjoying.

Store in a glass jar after cooling.

*Smaller or more dense nuts may benefit from a slightly cooler oven temperature. If you are roasting pine nuts, for example, use a 300 or 325 degree oven, and watch them carefully.Time may vary due to the size and density of the nuts.

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Photo: Glasshouse Images

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