Preparation time: ~30 minutes
Calories: ~30 per 1tsp
Well, it’s been a boring few days. As much as I love “lounging around” in bed I’m not accustomed to having to do it non-stop for days on end. Still – I’m pretty much better. I can stand up straight, I can walk without falling over and I’m back at work today. I’m still going to take it easy for a bit, and I’m definitely going to be doing back exercises every day, as well as trying to be a little more active and exercise more regularly. I certainly don’t want a repeat performance of that intolerable pain any time soon.
I haven’t been able to cook anything during the time I’ve been laid up so I can’t wait to get back into the kitchen. Luckily I had a couple of things which I prepared earlier but hadn’t got around to writing about yet. The churros from last post, and of course, the nut butter today. Nut butter is fantastically fun to make, and for anyone who hasn’t made it before I strongly urge you to give it a go. You will of course need a food processor, but aside from that, all you need is nuts. You don’t have to necessarily use almonds of course. You can use hazelnuts, peanuts, macadamia nuts… pretty much any one you like, or even a mixture. Watching the transformation of textures as the nuts are being processed is absolutely fascinating, and I’ve done my best to try and capture the various stages below.
You can make roasted or raw nut butter. The type you make is entirely dependant on your own tastes. If making raw then simply omit the initial stage of roasting in the oven. The “recipe” is extremely simple, although I will document it below anyway for ease of reading and I hope you enjoy it. It’s one of these things which is extremely satisfying to make and can be used for a great many things in baking and food preparation.
PeanutAlmond Butter Jelly Sandwich anyone?
I mentioned my wife’s birthday a week ago or so, which prompted a hail of well-wishes. I feel like I misled you though because I didn’t actually mention the date. Her birthday is actually today – happy birthday dear! Your kind comments were nonetheless appreciated by her then though. Sadly, our plans of a celebratory crayfish meal – something we have been enjoying together on her birthday every year for the past 6 years or so, and by her with her family back home in Sweden for far longer – were wrecked. IKEA seems to have stopped selling them for some unknown reason. They do sell crayfish in my local supermarket in the fish section; I have no idea where they’re from but they’re absolutely miniscule (the same sort of size as shrimps). The ones traditionally caught in Sweden, and also now imported from China and Thailand are of a different variety it seems. Having a meal with little shrimpy crayfish wouldn’t be the same sadly, so instead we’re going to have some fine tournedos steaks, roasted vine tomatoes, herby, buttery mashed potatoes and a green peppercorn sauce. After that will be the “pièce de résistance” – the birthday cake, which she requests each year, which I will be posting shortly too.
Have a great day everyone!
Almond Nut Butter
- ~400g Almonds (depending on how much you wish to make)
- 1tsp Salt (optional)
You’ll also need
- A Food Processor
- Start off by spreading the almonds out onto a baking tray and roasting in the oven for 10-15 minutes at about 180 degrees Celsius, shaking them from time to time to ensure they don’t burn. If you’re making raw nut butter then skip this step and move directly onto step 2.
- Transfer the almonds and salt (if used) to your Food Processor and start blitzing. After a couple of minutes you’ll have ground almonds.
- Keep on processing. After about 5-7 minutes you’ll start having a dry paste. You’ll need to stop the food processor periodically, both to allow it to cool down (blending nuts non-stop for 15 minutes will heat up and put a strain on the mixer motor), and also to push the almond paste down from the side of the bowl. Finally you will reach the “butter” stage. The consistency will be smooth, spreadable, and oily. Blend until your desired consistency is reached.
- Wash and dry a suitably sized jar or container thoroughly. Transfer the nut butter into the jar, seal and store in the refrigerator. Enjoy!