Tag Archives: homemade

Almond butter for my nut-butter habit

Standard

No, dear blog! I haven’t forgotten about you! Unfortunately, junior year has been difficult. More than difficult. There’s just so much going on! Classes are hard (although, I enjoy them), winter rowing has started (UGH. It’s all indoor conditioning. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love rowing and in a way, I love the winter season because you get so much faster. But it is very, very physically and mentally demanding) and of course, violin every morning before school! In addition to that, I recently got my driver’s license, which is an awesome thing, but practicing took up so much time. So fair to say, stress has been on my plate. Ironically, I just had to create a Public Service Announcement for my health class about stress. The irony.

With stress comes those sudden urges to make food. Seriously. I mean, I’m not making cupcakes every night or cookies every weekend. But, once in a while, if I have a few minutes, I’ll make something simple and sweet that satisfies that cooking craving.

Screen Shot 2013-12-21 at 4.55.16 PM

So one night, I noticed two things. 1. I had a lot of almonds. 2. I was out of peanut butter.

The rest is history.

5 great benefits to homemade nut butter-

  1. it’s fun
  2. it’s simple
  3. you can add in whatever you want (sweet or savory? Honey or salt? Cinnamon or…more salt?)
  4. it’s cheaper (get a thing of almonds from Trader Joe’s for about $5 vs store- bought almond butter for $7-$10_
  5. It’s healthier. Many store bought nut butters have oils added in. In other words, it isn’t made from JUST nuts. For example, a certain huge peanut butter producer also includes sugar and palm oil in their product. Not that this is bad, it’s just unnecessary and not all that great for you. At home, you can choose whether to include some oil or to just blend the nuts and eat.

You get the idea.

So without further ado, here is the simple approach to making homemade almond butter.

Need:

  • 2 cups almonds
  • cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 tbs veggie oil (also optional. I didn’t use any because I like raw almond butter, but for those who want a smoother consistency, adjust amount of oil to your liking.)

Directions:

Pour everything into a food processor and let it go. It’ll take a while for it to get to it’s true butter consistency. First, a powder will form. Then it’ll get crumbly. Then a ball will form. That ball will stay together for a while, but it’ll eventually break up. It’ll start to stick to the sides, becoming more and more buttery. Don’t stop it yet! Don’t fret, you’ll know when it’s done. It’ll be that creamy consistency that you love.

Screen Shot 2013-12-21 at 4.55.08 PM

*Note: Make sure to scrape the sides down every once in a while so that no crumbs are left out.

Scrape into a jar and enjoy on toast or in muffins or plain with a spoon (that’s my favorite way). This recipe makes about 1.5 cups of almond butter (I think? maybe 1.25). But anyways, I don’t have exact nutrition facts, but they are around 180 per 2 tablespoons and 7 grams of protein if this is made with no oil. Enjoy!

 

Advertisements

Roasted Chick Peas (aka Garbanzo Beans)!

Standard

Snacking…

My biggest issue…

It’s so difficult not to snack! I get up to practice violin early, but I also get up hungry, but it’s not time for breakfast. Bam. Peanut butter. Middle of school: snack. Lunch. Snack before rowing. THEN I get home….is it dinner yet? If it’s not, then I usually reach for the mixed nuts or wasabi peas…which aren’t bad, but they aren’t great.

So I decided to try something new. Weeeee. New recipes. And so I saw this one that had to do with chick peas. And it was really similar to these snacky little chick peas I had on the way home from San Diego. Problem is, I didn’t like them much. They were in a bag at the airport and probably had been sitting there for a couple weeks or something. They were supposed to be crunchy and devourable. Well, they weren’t. So I decided to make them MY way. And I succeeded in making them devourable. My family and I almost ate the whole batch…and we’re three people…

These little dudes right out of the oven are crunchy, tangy, and warm. They’re healthier than popcorn or mixed nuts (they’re beans…) but even more satisfying.

This recipe is from: SteamyKitchen.com

Yields 2-3 servings, feel free to double or triple the recipe to make a party batch

Ingredients

  • 1 15 oz can of garbanzo beans
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Creole, cumin, red pepper…whatever spices you want

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Drain and wash the chick peas. They have a slimy packaging liquid, so get rid of all that.

Lay out on  a baking sheet lined with a paper towel. Rub them gently between two paper towels to dry, and to get the skin off. Don’t fuss if you can’t get the skins off every single one. Just try to get most of them. Use your fingers if you need to, they come off pretty easily. Make sure all those chick peas are dry.

Remove the paper towels. Sprinkle olive oil on the chick peas and toss as to coat them lightly. Bake in the oven 30-40 minutes until they are crunchy and some are browned. They should NOT be dark brown. They should be slightly more golden that original, but seriously. Don’t wait to take them out of the oven until they’re caramel colored. Only sliiiightly darker.

Once extracted from the oven, sprinkle with salt and seasonings and toss. Let cool slightly, and eat!

IMG_3871    IMG_3872