Nut Butter

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Peanut Butter is probably my favourite and most used member of my store cupboard. If I need a quick pick me up, I spread it on rye bread or rice crackers. For a protein and energy boost to my morning porridge or in our homemade energy bars (recipe to follow), in it goes. I even add it to savoury stir fries or chicken dishes for a satay-style flavour. Sometimes, I put it in cheese sandwiches….only me? Okay. However (and I cannot believe I am typing this) sometimes, your good old trusty peanut butter doesn’t cut it. Finding exciting, different, good quality nut butter can also be difficult, and not to mention extortionately expensive. GOOD NEWS! Making your own nut butter is really easy and you can follow the same method using any type of nut or seed. All you need is a good food processor (or good patience!). You can use solely the nut with no oil required for a base recipe. Adding sweet flavours, such as maple syrup, caramel or chocolate nibs, can make a tasty spread or pancake topper. Meanwhile, savoury spices, including paprika, Cajun spicing, and chilli, provide a fantastic marinade for meat or fish…..enjoy experimenting!

 

Nut Butter base
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups any type of nut or seed or mix (e.g. peanuts, almonds, cashews, macadamia, sesame seeds, hazelnuts, brazils etc.)
  2. 2 pinches sea salt
  3. Optional sweet extras: maple, agave, palm, golden syrups, stevia sweetener, honey, cocoa nibs or powder, palm sugar, desiccated coconut, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla pods or syrup, espresso powder, salted caramel sauce or chunks, citrus zest.
  4. Optional savoury extras: chilli powder or flakes, paprika, cajun seasoning, cumin, pepper, curry powders, harissa paste, thai pastes, soy sauce, plum sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, spring onion, chopped garlic.
Instructions
  1. 1. Sprinkle salt over the nuts and roast in the oven at about 150 degrees C for 10-15 minutes. If your blender isn't that powerful, you may need to roast the nuts for a little longer and blend when warm to encourage the natural oil to escape, but be careful not to burn the nuts as this will create a bitter flavour.
  2. 2. Add the nuts the the food blender with any optional extra ingredients. Blend for 10-15 minutes stopping to scrape the sides down a few times. The length of blending will depend on how smooth you want the butter. It will have a powdery texture at first, but this will become smoother and stickier as the oils are released. I find for marinades, it is better to have a slightly crumblier texture, whilst spreads are better smoother and sticker. If you want a crunchy paste, you can add chopped nuts the to end of the blending process. If you are adding any fresh ingredients (eg. spring onion, garlic or fresh herbs) then add them towards the end of the blending process. If your blender begins to overheat, then stop blending, wait a few minutes for it to cool and begin again - this will also give the oil more time to incorporate into the mixture.
  3. 3. If you are using fresh ingredients then store the butter in a fridge, where it will keep for 2 weeks. If not, then you can store the butter in a sterilised, airtight container in a store cupboard or in the fridge for longer preservation. Natural oil seperation is expected - just mix prior to use!
  4. 4. Enjoy!
Working.Family.Food http://www.workingfamilyfood.com/

 

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