Have I mentioned I am not a chef? Not even close.
When my husband asked my parents permission prior to proposing, (ooh, more alliteration) my mom replied, “you know she can’t cook right?” Talk about a marriage disclaimer. Thanks mom. Truer words, however, at the time, were never spoken. I could barely make a box of Kraft dinner. I seriously measured the water and salt and followed the instructions on the box to the letter. The results were never as good as what other folks mac n cheese tasted like, but they knew how to adlib (yes, boxed mac n cheese was my idea of food). That was scary territory as far as I was concerned.
I can read a recipe. I can follow directions (sometimes with great success). I am getting far more adventurous when it comes to making things to eat. I owe a huge amount of thanks to Diane Sanfilippo for showing me, through her recipes, not personally, the simple ways things can be prepeared and how to change things to your own personal taste. I bought Practical Paleo, both of her 21 Day Sugar Detox books and then the second edition of Practical Paleo once it was released. Honestly, I found these books to be worth their weight in gold. They are a combo of cookbook and textbook and easy to understand for the non-sciencey type. They are kitchen confidence builders.
Let’s get back to my flailings in the kitchen.
I like things to be simple (read: easy) if I’m likely to revisit a recipe.
Oh, and I’m a little on the cheap side. Ok, maybe cheap isn’t the right word. What something costs and what it’s worth are two vastly different things. Quality will win if it means smaller amounts but with a health bang. Healing and maintaining my Leaky Gut is always on my radar. I digress ever so slightly.
Nut butters. In a word, yummy. By the spoon kind of yummy. With a sliced apple kind of yummy instead of a bag of potato chips. Let’s be serious though. They are costly and I don’t have all kinds of disposable income to order all the fancy brands and flavours I see online. Some of the store-blought brands have some less than desirable oils and sugar and salt in the mix. So, the thrifty side of me is willing to invest some time standing by the food processor and whipping up my own. No need for an expensive high-powered blender such as a Vitamix or Blendtec to make this either. A basic food processor will do the trick. Just your time and aren’t you worth it?
So, the un-recipe of my almond butter goes like this. . .
- 3 cups whole almonds
- 6 – 6 1/2 tbsps melted coconut oil (depending how fluid you like your almond butter)
Process almonds on high until broken into small pieces and resembles coarse meal. Add your coconut oil 1 tablespoon at a time. You may need to stop and scrape the sides of the food processor a few times. At about 3-5 tablespoons of oil, it seems to go through a stage where it turns into a big ball of thick pasty glop and you may begin to panic at this point. Fear not, stop, scrape the sides yet again and add another dose of oil. Then, magically. . . it transforms in to a wonderful, slightly chunky, quicksand like consistency butter. Start to finish is less than 30 minutes.
This will make about 2 1/2 cups of almond butter.
I store mine in glass wide mouth Mason jars. In warm weather, it stays nice and spreadable and in cold weather, the coconut oil content solidifies slightly.
Baking this stuff into muffins and cookies is wonderful. Just dial the oil/butter/ghee you add into those things back ever so slightly because of the oil content of this butter. Your stuff may be too runny otherwise and baking times could be affected.
If you need me, I’m slicing a Granny Smith apple for dipping. . .