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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Simply Nutsense

Drop everything you're doing right now.

OK, don't drop your computer, and if your holding something valuable then don't drop that, well, actually, don't drop anything. Gently put everything down, and then continue reading.

So as end-of-year present for my teachers, I decided to make nut butters.

All different kinds of nut butters. 

But, why would anyone make nutter at home?

Simple. Non-peanut and flavored nut butters cost a fortune and a half, some nut butter have insane additives, and when it comes to taste, store bought nut butters don't hold a candle to homemade ones. 

I went to Whole foods and bought out there nut section. (Along with some coconut chips, white chocolate chips, and coconut flour.)

 So anyway, I had 5 successful nut butters in total; White chocolate almond, cinnamon cashew, chocolate peanut, salted peanut, and salted mixed. White chocolate almond was the best hands down. 

That could easily just be because I am a sucker for white chocolate and love things to be sweet, sweet, sweet.

White Chocolate Almond Butter
1 lb. dry roasted unsalted almonds
1/4 white chocolate chips

Place almonds in a food processor and process until smooth and slightly drippy, stopping to scrape down bowl as necessary. Once at buttery consistency, add white chocolate chips and process until smooth. 

Some blogs I've read say that almond butter takes quite a few scrape downs, but I guess I lucked out. My food processor is Hamilton Beach 10 cup capacity, which I got a Target for less than $45!

I guess it's either a pretty good processor or my almonds were just in a really cooperative mood.
 Yes, you will try to get every last drop out of the processor and lick that spoon clean. Why? It's good.
 So next up, I tried to make a cinnamon toasted, honey and brown sugar pecan butter. No, it was not a mistake that it was left out of the successful nut butter list. Sigh...
 I sampled a pecan and it was absolutely heavenly. Sweet, but not too sweet, with just the right amount of crunch. I was so excited to make a nut butter out of this.

I excitedly popped them all into the processor and whirled away.
 I had to stop it pretty often to scrape the bowl down, but didn't think much of it.
 But eventually, I realized it just wouldn't blend. Looking back at it, I suppose it was the fact that the pecans had a sort of crust from the ingredients they were toasted with.

It tasted great, but was in no way a "butter," so I guess I'm stuck with it.
 Oh well...
The heart moves on.

Next up, we have the cashew butter. This was pretty simple too.

Cinnamon Cashew Butter

1 lb. dry roasted unsalted cashews
1t cinnamon (add more if you really like cinnamon)

Place cashews in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Add cinnamon and process until well blended and smooth.
 Another success. I took this picture after I put in the cinnamon and before I blended it in. Amazing-ness.
 Another fail. I *cough* tried to make soy nut butter in case anyone had a nut allergy, but it would only blend to a fine powder.

No further.

I really should've figured this one out, because soy nuts really aren't much like regular nuts used to make nut butters. But seeing soy nut butter in stores, I figured it would be a no-brainer. It wasn't.

So AFTER I was stuck with my soy nut powder, I looked up how to make soy nut butter, and found a link to a blog called Hungry Hungry Hippie, who explained it step by step.

Apparently I was supposed to soak the soy nut first. But guess who didn't do that? Me.

So, in a (very) feeble attempt to salvage my soy-catastrophe,  I added water. Yeah, I actually thought that would help.

I didn't.
 So I shoved my soy nut crumble back into that bag, and surprisingly, I took more volume than the original nuts did, which means my, um, "thing" I now have in my refrigerator is really low in calories.

So maybe I can use it in some kind sauce?
 Anyway, onto more crucial things. Chocolate.

Chocolate Peanut Butter
1 lb unsalted (I could only find salted, so that's what I used) dry roasted peanuts
1-2 tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder (Ghirardelli. It's worth the extra $2 a jar.)
1-3 tbs. granulated stevia (depending on how sweet you like it)

Put peanuts in food processor and process until smooth and slightly drippy. Peanuts blend into a butter very easily, but be warned, it form a ball towards the beginning. It's not a sign of the end of the world, it's just a sign of peanut butter making. Once you reached peanut butter, add in the cocoa powder and stevia and process until you're back to peanut butter.

You will never pay $10 a bottle for chocolate pb ever again.
The classic.

Salted (or unsalted) Peanut Butter

1 lb. salted (or unsalted) dry roasted peanuts

Put in a processor and blend until smooth. That's it.
I didn't really feel a blast of mixed nuts from this, but it was still good.

Salted (or unsalted) Mixed Nut Butter
1 lb. salted (or unsalted) mixed nuts

Again, put the nuts in the processor, turn it on, and wait until you have the urge to turn it off and spread it on something. (I get it.)

My nut butter are modeling for us (how considerate!) When I was done blending everything, I just plopped them in some 5 oz. Sur Le Table jars, which I got for $8 for 4 jars.

It never hurts to have your teachers like you.


-Kelly M.

Q of the day: What is your favorite type of nut butter?

1 comment:

  1. Hey, thanks for visiting my blog! I was reading your About Me page and I'm glad to meet another Wii Fit-er. Do you do the hula-hooping on the Wii Fit, or use a real hula hoop? Anyway, I enjoyed reading about your attempt to make the nut butters. I never even knew these things existed until entering the blogworld. And I certainly wouldn't attempt to make them. I'm the eater, my husband's the chef. :)