Nut and seed butters are getting lots of love from nutritionists touting their nutritional value. When eaten as part of a healthy diet, you’ll benefit from cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated and polyunsaturated (good) fats, omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E, plant sterols and fiber, a positive and pleasurable addition to your diet but the price can be painful.
Peanut butter is an inexpensive and certainly kid-friendly source of protein but peanuts are a legume, not a nut. Besides legume allergies, peanuts are not considered acceptable on some nutrition plans like paleo and low carb.
What about the expense of pecan butter, hazelnut butter, cashew butter or the most popular, almond butter? It’s crazy! If you can find them. Some “gourmet” brands are $15 for eight ounces. Pardon me but I have to say it – that’s nuts! So let’s make our own. It’s really easy and for purists the only cost is the nuts.
Here’s how to make any kind of nut butter: Get some nuts, about 2-3 cups. Warm them in the oven and take them for a spin in your food processor or blender, keep scraping it down until creamy. You may need to add a drizzle of neutral flavored oil for dryer nuts (pointing at almonds). Tada!
DIY ALMOND BUTTER
Time: 20 minutes Yield: One cup
What You’ll Need:
2 cups dry roasted unsalted almonds
1 tablespoon neutral oil, like canola or vegetable – see note
Special Equipment: Quality food processor or high speed blender
Preheat oven to 225Â°. Place almonds on a baking sheet and into the oven until fragrant, about 10 minutes. This warms the oils and make them easier to blend. But keep an eye on them because burned nuts are bitter nuts. Place the warmed almonds in the food processor and take them for a whirl. Process, scraping down the sides frequently with a spatula. If the nuts seem so dry they’re not blending add one teaspoon of oil at a time until it comes together. When the butter is creamy to your liking, add a pinch of salt and blend it in. If it seems a little liquid it’s because it’s warm, just pop it in the fridge.
Note – Use melted coconut oil for a great flavor twist. You can also add honey in place of oil.
My favorite add-ins for almond butter are two tablespoons of maple syrup and one teaspoon of cinnamon. Try that on French toast. Oh, baby!
What to do with this wonderful stuff?? Upgrade your PB&J sandwich, add it to smoothies, smear it on sliced apple for a delicious snack sweet as candy, make a pinwheel from a tortilla, nut butter and a banana. Make a morning habit of almond butter on whole grain toast with local honey and you’ve got the breakfast of reduced allergy champions.
What do you think would happen if we took little scoops this decadent nut butter and froze them and dipped them in chocolate? I think I would never look at peanut butter cups again. You?
Frugal Food contributed by Patti Diamond from Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! www.divasonadime.com. Join us on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom.