Good things to eat

Posts tagged ‘nut butter’

Five Years Later

 

It’s true, this blog turns five years old today!

5 year

 

As ledgend has it, it all started when I took a food writing class and one of our assignments was to start a food blog……you know….just to learn how to do it, set it up and the like.

I wonder how many people from the class still have theirs?

I’ll admit I’ve been a little lax with it over the last year, maybe two years, but not because I don’t like it.  It’s more a case of just running out of food to write about……or is it?

The real truth?  My computer is really really old and slow and drives me crazy, because believe it or not, writing a blog is kind of involved.  Adding pictures and formating and all that stuff.  So when your computer it crap, it is very discouraging and a great deterrent.

I know, just get a new damn computer!  I really suck at that.  I have tried so many times and just always chicken out, so worried I will get the wrong thing.  This one may be really slow, but at least I know how to use it!

Anyway……….

 

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The very first blog was called ” Can you really make pasta with a Juicer” and was featured right here on February 19th, 2011.

So I thought how better to commemorate the occasion than by seeing if I can “Make nut butter in a juicer”?

Natural nut butters are very expensive in the store.   Admittedly, so are nuts, but not as expensive as the pre-squished ones!  So why not make your own?

Well, sometimes because it is easier said than done.

I’ve tried making it a few times in Vitamix, the Cadillac of blenders.  I think on the right setting Vitamix might even be able to do your taxes!  But for nut butter, it grinds it well enough but because of the shape you really lose a lot of product that gets gummed up down in the blade area.

So then I tried the plain old food processor.  This seems to work well on most occasions, but on this one, something went wrong.  Perhaps it was because I was using frozen nuts?  Not sure what the problem was, but it just simply didn’t want to stick together and become creamy.

 

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So after grinding away at it for way too long, I looked up and spied the juicer sitting there.  I know that the juicer comes with a “blank” attachement, the same one I used to make the pasta.

I scooped the nuts out of the food processor and stuffed it down the feeder chute of the juicer……..

What came out……was even more dry and unpleasant than what had been at the bottom of the processor.

 

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But that’s the thing about food blogs, they don’t always have to be about the successes.  Sometimes it is good to share one’s failures as well.  You know, to spare the reader the same misfortune.

I tried to eat it anyway……but it really wasn’t very good.

 

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The point of all this?

Blogging is fun.  Who ever would have thought that any ol body, any ol where, can write about whatever nonsense is going on with them, and someone, some where WILL read it!!

Marvelous!

Happy Blogaversary to me!

 

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Hazelnut butter

Don’t you find that any of the groovy “natural” nut butters in any of the stores are outrageously expensive??  Why not just make your own?  It’s actually quite easy.

Today I’m using hazelnuts because it’s what I happen to have, but pretty much any nut will do.

If you want to make the really natural “raw” version, then you need to soak the nuts for at least 12 hours, rinse and then follow the rest of the instructions.

But if you want the version that tastes more like store bought, you will have to roast the nuts first.

Place nuts on a baking sheet and put into a 350 oven.

Toast the nuts

Once they are toasted let them cool and then add to the food processor.

Start it up and let them grind.  It chops the nuts and at first it will seem like nothing will happen but just let it keep going. 

 It will take about five minutes or so and then the nuts will release their oils and it will look more like the nut butter you are used to.  If you like “chunky” nut butter stop sooner, but if you like smooth, let it go awhile longer.  It’s THAT easy!

At this point it is up to you how you would like to proceed.  I just like mine plain, but you could add a bit of a sweetener of some kind or some salt.  Or in the case of this hazelnut butter, you could add some coco powder and you’d have some home made “Nutella“.

Hazelnut butter

Place in a clean jar or container and keep it in the fridge.  It will last for a good few weeks, just remember to stir before using, because like all natural nut butters, it will separate and the oil will rise to the top.

Makes a wonderful snack!

 
 
 

“Cookie Free” cookies

The Chef comes across a lot of people with “special dietary needs” in his line of work,  people with a lot of allergies, or needing gluten-free or vegans and the like so he is always looking for new and interesting things to offer them.

He told me about this one poor guy. He had Celiac disease   and was a technician with a big touring show that spent a week or two in each town and was at the mercy of whatever the local catering had to offer him.  He begged the Chef for some decent food because in the last town he’d been, all they could think to feed him was chunked ham, mayonnaise and grapes.  Three times a day!!

So the poor guy was just thrilled when the Chef served him up all kinds of gluten-free delights.  In fact he was so happy, he took pictures of everything and put it on his own blog!

The point of the story is that just because you have a food sensitivity or issue or even personal food belief, you do NOT have to be limited to ham and grapes!

I was clicking around and came across this recipe that intrigued me so.  The recipe is called “Hummus Balls”  ( click here for the original recipe ) because they are cookies made from chick peas!

The beauty of these are that they can accommodate may food issues.  They are gluten-free, dairy free, egg free and Vegan!  And then depending on the sweeter and chocolate chips you choose to use they can be diabetic friendly too!   And with the chickpeas and nut butter in them, they are chock full of protein! 

That is the only people they won’t accommodate though, the nut allergy people.  But often people with any of those other issues use nuts as an important part of their diet.

When I tried making them I must have put a bit too much almond butter in ( it was the end of the jar so I just put all of it in without measuring ) so the batter was a bit to squishy to handle and roll into balls.  I just used the two spoon “drop cookie” method and they worked out just fine!

I will definitely try them again and be more diligent to get them into balls.

Chickpea cookies

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