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Nut Butters for Daring Cooks

by Lauren | Celiac Teen on July 24, 2010

Have you ever wondered about the mysteries of your jar of peanut butter? What about the more exciting nut butters – almond, cashew, walnut? The truth is that they’re all made in the same way, often on a mass scale with additions that I shy away from. Nuts are sweet on their own, so I prefer to not add sugar. In fact, that’s why I’ve grown more towards natural nut butters – homemade or not. The process of making them though, I’ve always wondered about. I wanted to try the fresh kind my dad talks wistfully about. So, this Daring Cooks challenge came right on time (and I made it then, but didn’t have time to write it up before my trip – more on that later).

Actually making them is dead simple.  You don’t need a big long explanation, crazy ingredients, or anything too out of the ordinary.  Just a food processor and nuts.  A little bit of patience will also get you a long way.

The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.

For what to do with them, the possibilities are truly endless. You can use them in traditional Asian dishes, in sandwiches, or just throw them into things. That’s how I found this dish (both of them actually). You can also use them simply with apples or on crackers, highlighting the richness and comforting flavours of the nuts you use.

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

For the first one, I started with almonds. Delicious, simple, natural (ie – not roasted or salted) almonds. I could this whole bowl in an afternoon, as butter or whole.

I didn’t make very much – just enough to do what I needed, and this was it’s start. Almost an almond meal, but a few minutes away from becoming butter.

The butter. Wonderful, delicious, fresh almond butter. It’s only a bit grainier than your store-bought counterpart.

This on the other hand, is the sauce. That was the consistency I wanted, but just go with your gut. If you’re not sure, stop when it’s smooth and tastes good.

Also, say hello to my friend!  She is one of the sweetest, most genuinely themselves people I know.  (and she moved far far away the week after we made this dish – I hope you are soaking up the summer in your new home :) ).  She also modeled these dishes beautifully (thank you).

The almonds make a sweet and comforting green bean. I finished off the last of them after everyone else had had their fill. Second helpings like that are always the best.

Aah! The walnut-sage butter in the same sauce over pasta. It clung to the pasta, coating each morsel in this honest beautiful flavour. (The original butter – walnut-sage, is pictured at the very top of the post and it’s just as simple as it sounds. Walnuts and sage – a small amount of fresh sage for me, but cater to your palate. It is your meal after all :) ).

Now, if you were curious (or hadn’t heard on twitter), where have I been these past 3 and a half weeks? Europe. Or at least Scotland, London and Paris. I loved every moment of it. We ate well, I didn’t get sick, it was wonderful. Because I cannot possibly talk all about it (let alone the little bit of food I captured on film) in one post (or a side bit at the end of one), I’ll start to go through the thousands of photos and show you what I saw and how it felt. I don’t know how long it will be or what it will be exactly, but keeping in mind that this site is not just about the food (well, it’s mostly about the food), but about life as a Celiac Teen. Life includes the stories I share here and there, the food I eat, and the moments I experience. It can’t all be about the health issues and food. We have to live. So, I’ll see you back here (soon!), and we can relive my first experience overseas together, and maybe I’ll get the privilege of reading about yours.


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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary July 24, 2010 at 8:40 am

You did a great job with this challenge. Your pasta looks and sounds delicious. It sounds as though your holiday was a success. I’ll be back to read and see Europe through your eyes. I hope the day treats you well. Blessings…Mary

Zoe @ Z's Cup of Tea July 24, 2010 at 9:27 am

Welcome back! Nice modeling your friend did, too. When we were in the early stages of SCD, most of our baking was done with nut butters – muffins, cake, bread, you name it. (I actually have a recipe for bread made with almond butter on my blog.)

gfe--gluten free easily July 24, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Bravo, Lauren! Now I want to make homemade nut butter! Kudos to your friend. She did a lovely job. Love her dress. :-)

Can’t wait to see and hear more on your trip, dear!


Maria July 24, 2010 at 3:36 pm

I have never made my own nut butter. I can’t wait to try it!

Jenn July 25, 2010 at 7:56 am

Great post and what a delicious looking sauce! I can’t wait to see all of your wonderful pictures, and am so glad you got to “hop across the pond” for a little bit!! Looking forward to hearing about all of your exciting adventures from your holiday!

Kristen July 25, 2010 at 10:07 pm

The walnut sage butter sounds especially good! Love your photos, as always!

Doroteja July 26, 2010 at 12:49 am

Yay. My modelling turned out good. Haha.
I’m definitely going to be making this because it was very tasty when you made it, and because it’s vegan friendly to my (new) diet.
Can’t wait to read all about your adventures!

Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite July 26, 2010 at 5:08 am

You did a great job on the challenge Lauren! I can’t wait to hear all about your trip!

cheryl July 26, 2010 at 10:12 am

wow. walnut sage. now I’m hungry!
and I’m amazed at how your pictures have progressed over the years…how very impressive.

Jamie | My Baking Addiction July 26, 2010 at 10:35 pm

You did such an amazing job with the challenge! I need to experiment with some butters; I admit I have never made it homemade.

Shaina July 27, 2010 at 8:43 pm

I definitely need to try the walnut and sage butter. We have made almond butter, but the sauce looks divine. I can’t wait to try it.

Chelsey July 31, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Love nut butters of all kinds. I gotta try the savory nut sauces though. I saw a pic of you and Jenn on her site, how fun to meet fellow bloggers around the world. Can’t wait to hear more about your travels.

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