Monthly Archives: March 2012

Garlic Confit

This can very likely become the simplest, most revolutionary, most well-loved condiment in your kitchen.

I’m serious.

Okay, maybe not revolutionary (I’m certainly not the first person, or even one of the first 10,000 people, to make garlic confit). But let’s go with it.

If you like garlic, especially roasted garlic, then check out this little gem. Even if you think you don’t like garlic and think its flavor is too strong, still…check out this little gem.

If you’ve ever had roasted garlic before, then you have an idea of how delicious garlic confit can be. Garlic, when raw, has a very powerful aroma and an even stronger bite. It’s sharp; pungent, even. But when it’s slowly roasted, it becomes something else entirely. It becomes sweet, mellow, and soft.

But I dislike roasting garlic. Why? Because there’s this whole thing about the skins still being there when it’s cooked, and it seems difficult (at least, to me) to remove the softened cloves from the skins. My fingers get all sticky, and then the skins stick to my fingers, and I can’t seem to get them off and continue the task…and then sometimes the smaller cloves are too well-roasted (read: burnt) and are no longer usable. Maybe I just haven’t learned the trick to making this process easier, but to me, it’s annoying. And then, storing the roasted cloves is at best a very short-term event.

That’s where garlic confit is genius. While you have to peel the cloves beforehand (unless you “cheat” and buy one of those containers of already-peeled cloves, and I won’t judge if you do!), that’s the hardest part of the whole process. Once that’s accomplished, you just dump cloves and olive oil in a saucepan and let it do its thing for an hour, pour it all into a jar, and you’re rewarded with that rich, buttery, garlick-y gold that you can portion out for all sorts of dishes, and throw the rest into the fridge for storage.

Not that your jar will last long. Because once you discover all the delicious uses for garlic confit, you’ll be finding yourself going through your stash pretty quickly. (I’ve finished one jar within a week, and had to make another!) If you really don’t think you’ll use up this much confit before it goes bad, however, feel free to halve the recipe – just use the smallest saucepan you have.

What can you make with garlic confit? Anything that calls for garlic (and more!), such as:

- Throw a few cloves into your favorite tomato sauce

- Make vegan Cassoulet

- Smash a clove to spread onto a slice of gluten-free bread or toast

- Use in salad dressings

- Add depth to your Guacamole

- Throw it in with kale

- I haven’t tried it yet, but I bet a clove snuck into the dough for these crackers would be excellent

- Marinate your chicken with it

See? Possibilities are endless. I’ve been using it in place of raw garlic in a lot of my recipes, hence why I’ve gone through it so quickly. It’s convenient, and it’s just that good.

Do yourself a favor – take a bit of time and whip up a batch of garlic confit. You’ll be glad you did.

Garlic Confit (gluten-free, vegan, soy-free)

25-30 cloves of garlic, peeled

1 c olive oil

Put garlic cloves and olive oil in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until bubbles appear. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for an hour. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Pour into a jar or other resealable container and store in refrigerator for one week (I’ve read some stories that say it’s okay to keep it for up to two weeks – but if you want to err on the side of caution, one week is more conservative).

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free and 5-Ingredient Mondays over at The Daily Dietribe.

Peanut Butter and “Jelly” Munch

This past weekend, I spent a few hours in the kitchen, focusing on ways that I can bring you slightly healthier snacks and treats. Why? Because, dear readers, I care about you. You’ve been good, but sometimes, you need a little “something.” Something to munch on at 3 o’clock in the afternoon that isn’t just overloaded with sugar. All week, you’ve been good, and you’ve satisfied those afternoon “munchies” with green smoothies, crunchy raw veggies, and an occasional piece of fruit. But you want something a little more, without going overboard.

Well, friend, here it is.

Welcome Peanut Butter and “Jelly” Munch.

Sure, it looks unassuming in that photo. It’s not dressed up in fancy colors. There’s no drippy, caramel-y topping, and there’s not loads of chocolate. But don’t let that detract from the satisfaction this little snack can bring. Peanut Butter and “Jelly” Munch is a bit sweet, a bit salty, and has that peanut butter-y goodness that just hits the spot. Of course, there’s an additional treat – dried bing cherries, which serve as the “jelly” to the peanut butter. Best of all, it’s light and crisp. The perfect nosh.

Next time you’re looking for a bit of a treat – whether it’s to cure that afternoon slump, to delight the kids after school, as a substitute for granola for breakfast, or as an accompaniment to your stay-at-home movie night – try out some peanut butter and “jelly” munch. It might just become your new favorite.

Peanut Butter and “Jelly” Munch (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, refined sugar-free)

1/4 c peanut butter (I used Justin’s. Can substitute Sunbutter for peanut-free)

1/4 c brown rice syrup

1 t vanilla extract

1/4 t kosher salt

3 plain brown rice cakes (1 1/2 cups), crumbled (I used Lundberg brown rice cakes, make sure yours are gluten-free)

3/4 c dried bing cherries, unsweetened, lightly chopped

1/4 c Medjool dates, chopped

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a microwave-safe bowl, add the peanut butter and brown rice syrup. Heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until warm enough to stir easily. Stir in vanilla extract and salt.

In a medium bowl, combine crumbled rice cakes, dried cherries, and dates, and stir in peanut butter mixture. Toss to coat evenly.

Spread out on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes, stirring 2-3 times throughout process, until mixture is crisp. Allow to cool. Store in an airtight container.

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.

Winner of Pure Alaska Salmon Giveaway!

The winner of the Pure Alaska Salmon Sampler is comment #85 – Kathleen Conner, who said she’d love to make the lemony salmon burgers on Pure Alaska Salmon Company’s website! (I don’t blame her – yum!) Congratulations, Kathleen! Send me your mailing address and I’ll have the sampler sent to you.

For everyone else, be sure to check out Pure Alaska Salmon Company’s products in stores and online!

Giveaway: Pure Alaska Salmon Company (Cilantro-Lime Salmon Salad in Avocado Cups)

Disclaimer: I received a sample of Pure Alaska Salmon Company’s products for free in exchange for a review. This in no way influenced my review.

This giveaway has ended! Congratulations to commenter #85, Kathleen Conner!

Salmon is a favorite in our home. We don’t eat it as often as we should, because honestly, it’s not inexpensive. We live in the landlocked Dallas area, far, far away from the Pacific Northwest, where healthy, nourishing salmon is abundant. So while I know we’re supposed to get a healthy dose of those fatty acids found in oily fish such as salmon, we generally only end up eating it about once or twice a month.

We do try to eat some other canned oily fish as well, namely tuna (the no-salt-added, soy-free varieties), and I am a fan of kippers and sardines. They make good last-minute sources of protein and pack well in a lunch. But until now, I’ve shunned canned salmon. I didn’t like the smell or the texture (and I’m definitely NOT a picky eater). So when Shirley of Pure Alaska Salmon Company contacted me about her canned salmon, I was up front with her about my opinions. She called me her “challenge”. I was willing to try the salmon out – after all, it was supposed to be a high-quality, straight-forward product. Nowadays, I’m limiting my reviews of products to only those I feel positive about, those that fit into our diet and healthier way of eating. Since the ingredients in Pure Alaska Salmon Company’s products are only salmon and salt (in the salt-added varieties), this fit the bill nicely. I was game. Of course, I arranged to get some samples to give to you as well, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

Pure Alaska Salmon Company is owned by the Zuanich family, who resides in Alaska and has been in the fishing industry for generations. Their company is committed to bringing consumers sustainably harvested, healthy, delicious wild salmon. Wild salmon is preferred to farmed salmon because of its superior nutritional content and sustainable, eco-friendly harvesting practices. Also – did you know they dye farmed salmon pink with artificial coloring? Only wild salmon is naturally pink because of their diet. Wild-caught Alaskan salmon is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin D, and calcium, as well as a great source of protein. Mercury levels are also very low in wild Alaskan salmon, so it’s a safer choice.

I was delighted to see that the samples sent to me included a dozen cans of various types of wild Alaskan salmon, both “red” (sockeye) and “pink”. I couldn’t wait to try them out. Even though my previous experiences with canned salmon were less than ideal, I love trying new things!

Needless to say, my opinions have changed. The first can I opened was the ThinkPink salmon, which is a pink Alaskan salmon that has a milder taste and can be substituted for canned tuna in just about any recipe. The texture is excellent – there are large chunks and fillets in the can (not like the mushy, near-shredded texture I associate with canned salmon). I was happy just to take bites of salmon straight from the can.

But then, after eyeing the avocados that needed to be eaten, an idea struck me. What if I used the avocados as a cup for a salad? Then you could enjoy a creamy bite with the salmon salad, without a ton of mayonnaise or other heavy dressing so often found in traditional seafood salads. And just like that, as I pulled the rest of the ingredients from the refrigerator, this salad was born.

It’s a great, super-speedy appetizer salad, perfect for a first course or a light lunch. I opted to eat it along with a bunch of mixed salad greens for dinner the other night, and it was lovely, fresh and bright.

Cilantro-Lime Salmon Salad in Avocado Cups (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

1 7.5 oz can of Pure Alaska Salmon Co. salmon (I used their ThinkPink Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon)

Juice of 1/2 lime

1/2 t olive oil

1/2 green apple, diced

1 T green onion, minced

1 T cilantro, chopped

1/2 t fresh serrano pepper, minced

1/8 t ground cumin

Pinch or two of smoked paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

2 avocados, sliced in half, pits removed

In a medium bowl, gently toss the salmon, lime juice, olive oil, apple, green onion, cilantro, serrano, cumin and paprika until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss again.

Scoop salmon salad into the “cup” made by the removal of the pit in each avocado half. Serve with additional smoked paprika sprinkled on top, if desired.

Makes 4 appetizer-sized servings.

photo courtesy of Pure Alaska Salmon Company

Oh, yes, the giveaway. Don’t think I forgot about you. Pure Alaska Salmon Company has agreed to give one of my lucky readers a sampler pack, which includes a dozen cans of their Redhead and ThinkPink canned salmon. What a great way to stock your pantry with some healthy, easy, delicious options. How do you enter? Here’s how:

  • You get one entry by leaving me a comment below telling me what you’d like to make with canned salmon.

You can get additional entries by doing the following:

  • “Like” Pure Alaska Salmon Company on Facebook and leave me a comment telling me you did so,
  • “Follow” Pure Alaska Salmon Company on Twitter and leave me a comment telling me you did so,
  • “Like” Tasty Eats At Home on Facebook and leave me a comment telling me you did  so,
  • “Follow” Tasty Eats At Home on Facebook and leave me a comment telling me you did so,
  • Post an update on Facebook or Tweet about this giveaway, tagging Pure Alaska Salmon Company and Tasty Eats At Home.

This giveaway will end at 11:59 PM CDT on Sunday, March 25, 2012, so act quickly! No purchase necessary – just your comments, and bonus likes and follows!

Best of luck to you!


Review: The Essential Gluten-Free Baking Guide Part I

Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of The Essential Gluten-Free Baking Guide Part I for free in exchange for a review of the book. This in no way influenced my review.

Want an icebox peanut butter swirl brownie? Yeah, I thought you did. Who wouldn’t? These babies are a fudgy, dense brownie with a delicious peanut butter topping, not too sweet, not too rich, but definitely enough to satisfy any cravings you might have. They’re gluten-free and vegan. They’re also one of many delicious creations by Iris Higgins (of The Daily Dietribe) and Brittany Angell (of Real Sustenance), the co-authors of the newly released book, the first in a two-part series, The Essential Gluten-Free Baking Guide Part I.

I’ve been waiting to receive a copy of this book for a long time now. I heard about it via Facebook and Twitter from Iris and Brittany for a while, as they would share just how many hours they’d been working on various recipes in their kitchens. I met them at the Dallas Gluten-Free and Allergen-Free Expo last October and the topic of the cookbook came up in conversations then. I also was lucky enough to get to test a few recipes for the book – gotta love that! But all of this talk made the anticipation grow that much more. When I finally was able to read through the book for the first time, I was so excited.

Let me tell you a bit about this book. It’s basically like a gluten-free baking bible. Iris and Brittany spent many, many (many, many, MANY) hours toying with each gluten-free flour, trying to understand its properties. They performed many tests in their kitchens, and learned how each one tastes, how it bakes, how it provides structure or lightness or moisture to a gluten-free baked good, and they learned. They did what so many of those of us that attempt to bake gluten-free long to understand – they defined what the flours do and how to use them. The countless hours they spent learning and experimenting contributed to this two-part book series, which is a wealth of gluten-free baking knowledge.

As I was reading through, I felt so many light bulbs go off. I would find myself saying “oh!” several times, and stopping to make notes on my own personal recipes so I could remember how a certain ingredient would act, so I could try to tweak things for myself. This book was so exciting in that regard. I couldn’t wait to pick a recipe to try, either. I already knew the recipes they shared were good – I simply wanted more.

Of course, I chose the chocolatey, peanut buttery brownie you see above.

Were they good? Oh yes. The kids adored them (we have picky eaters in the house, but everyone can agree on chocolate and peanut butter!). I was glad to have some help in devouring them, as I didn’t need to be left to my own devices. It does help, however, that these are icebox brownies. Desserts in the freezer are out of sight, so they’re not tempting me every time I walk in the kitchen. They weren’t completely out of mind, though – I could still find my way to them if I needed a sweet treat.

I can’t wait to receive Part II of this two-part series. Part I covered flours such as almond, coconut, amaranth, quinoa, garbanzo bean, and millet flours. I am a big fan of almond and coconut flours, with quinoa being close behind. Part II will cover sorghum, buckwheat, teff, cassava and potato flours. I also use many of those flours, so it will be exciting to see what Brittany and Iris have to share.

Whether you’re a seasoned gluten-free baker or new to the gluten-free lifestyle, you’ll be sure to appreciate these books.


Review: Eat Like A Dinosaur by The Paleo Parents

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Eat Like a Dinosaur for free in exchange for a review of the book. This in no way influenced my review.

Have you heard of The Paleo Parents? Stacy and Matt are the Paleo Parents, and they have an incredible blog where they share healthy, kid-friendly recipes. I adore their creativity and the way they really engage their boys when cooking and preparing meals. Their boys love eating whole foods and helping in the kitchen. They definitely have something going with this – and apparently, they thought so too, because they just released a book about it!

Eat Like A Dinosaur: Recipe & Guidebook for Gluten-Free Kids is an excellent book to help parents and kids alike transition to a healthier, whole foods, paleo-style way of eating. The book includes not only some instructions for parents, but a great story for kids. The 100 recipes (each of which is accompanied by a photo) are marked with images of the top eight allergens (an egg, shellfish, nuts, etc) so both kids and parents with food allergies can navigate easily – but honestly, so many of the recipes are free of all allergens, it makes things so simple! All of the recipes (which look delicious to me!) even have steps that are marked with a handprint, which notes that kids can perform that step. It’s truly a great way to bring the whole family together in the kitchen.

While I can typically come up with easy, paleo-friendly main dishes without much thought (most of our weekday meals are some sort of meat+veggie variation), treats and baked goods don’t come as easily. (And if you really want buy-in from kids in the long term, it doesn’t hurt to have a healthy treat!) That’s where Eat Like A Dinosaur really shines. They share recipes for Anytime Cookies (cookies with no added sugar, so they’re healthy enough for anytime!), Applesauce, Graham Cookies, smoothies, and these waffles.

They call these Frozen Waffles, because they can go in the freezer and can be rewarmed in a toaster. How convenient is that? You could have waffles in the middle of the week – sounds like a winner to me!

But how do they taste?

Amazing. They’re subtly sweet (no added sweeteners or sugars!), they’re crisp, and they’re fluffy inside. I’m sold. I can’t imagine needing another waffle recipe.

Of course, I’ll continue to make more of their great recipes from this book. I can’t wait to make 50/50 Bacon Burgers (because the idea of bacon IN my burger sounds amazing!) or those Anytime Cookies. I will also return to the book for healthy lunch ideas – not just for the kids, but for my husband and me as well!

I definitely encourage any family with food allergies or just looking to transition to a healthier style of eating to get a copy of this book. It’s definitely worth it – even for the waffles alone!

Cooking Locally and Seasonally at The Balanced Platter

Over at The Balanced Platter today, I’m talking about eating locally and seasonally. Check it out. Often, when I talk to people about getting this “local box” from Greenling (a company that delivers local and organic foods to the Dallas/Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Austin areas), I am asked about what is included in that box. The next question inevitably is “What do you do with all of that produce? I’d never know how to cook (insert vegetable here).”

The answer? To some degree, I experiment. Of course, I also “google”, if I’m either stumped or have never encountered a certain vegetable before. Someone, somewhere, has cooked it – I promise!

But just so you can see what I do, here’s a rundown of how I cooked the “local box” I received in the photo above:

White button mushrooms and green garlic: I put half of these in the food processor along with some onion and the green garlic and made a “paste”, which I then sauteed a bit, and incorporated into some ground grassfed beef, almond flour, an egg, and some spices to make burger patties. They were delicious and the family had no idea there were mushrooms in their burgers!

Sweet potatoes: These were made into my maple sweet potato puree - a staple in our house.

Mustard greens and collard greens: On two separate occasions, I sauteed a bit of bacon, chopped the greens, and added them and some vegetable broth to a large saucepan and simmered for about 10 minutes. A bit of salt and pepper, and they were good to go. If I wanted to, I could have added onions and made them more traditional like I did here, or I could have gone vegan and made collard greens with mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes.

Spinach: This was added to green smoothies throughout the week.

Turnips: These were made into a turnip mash – peel and dice, and simmer in salted water. Drain and mash, adding (non-dairy) milk and “butter” as desired. Just like mashed potatoes. I’ve also made turnip-rutabaga mash, combining the two vegetables together, when rutabagas have arrived in my “local box”. I served this mash with my crockpot pot roast (using up more of the green garlic!) and it was so satisfying.

Brussels sprouts: These were used in the mustardy braised brussels sprouts recipe I cooked from Wheat Free Meat Free.

Oranges and Grapefruit: These were simply eaten out of hand. I love citrus as an afternoon snack.

That’s it! I actually rather enjoy trying to figure out what to do with the produce that comes in this box each week. It’s an adventure. And if by the end of the week, there’s anything that’s been left unused, it either can go into a soup (like a creamy chicken soup), or I also enjoy dicing them up and incorporating them into some scrambled eggs for breakfast. I’m a sucker for any vegetable+egg combo.

The big key for me in successfully using up all of this produce is to plan my meals around it and other items I already have in my freezer and pantry. (If you want to know more about how to meal plan, Amy over at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free has some great tips and tricks in her Meal Planning Made Simple series.) Then I’m making the most of what I have, and I can plan to eat the more fragile produce first, and make plans for the hardier stuff later in the week.

Do you buy and cook local and seasonal, or are you striving to increase your local eating this spring? Share your thoughts, tips and tricks in the comments!



Blueberry Buckwheat Donuts with Lemon Glaze (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

Remember donuts? Those sweet, light, fluffy fun circles that went so well with a cup of coffee? For many of us on a gluten-free diet, donuts are just no longer part of our routine. They’re just not an option.

But what if I told you they could be part of your life again? While I was not a big donut person before I went gluten-free, I tried something new – I opted to bring donuts back as part of our gluten-free lifestyle as a lovely weekend breakfast treat. But I wanted them to be so good, you’d never guess they were gluten-free. After all, my kids and husband don’t eat gluten-free, so I have to convince them that my baked goods are just as tasty as what they can get down at the corner bakery. It’s a challenge for me, and one I faced gladly.

These blueberry buckwheat donuts are a healthier (because they’re baked) breakfast treat that’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and full of sunny flavor. They’re also made with whole grain flours (buckwheat and brown rice), so there’s a bit more nutrition on these treats than a typical donut. What I loved most, however, was that they were light – something hard to come by in gluten-free baked goods!

If you don’t have a donut pan, don’t fret – these can be made in a muffin tin as well. You may wish to increase your baking time slightly to compensate.

Blueberry Lemon Buckwheat Donuts

½ c non-dairy milk (I used homemade cashew milk)

2 T chia seed meal

2 eggs

1 T olive oil

1/3 c sugar

1 t vanilla extract

1 t lemon zest

½ c freshly ground buckwheat flour

¼ c brown rice flour

¼ c arrowroot flour

1 t baking powder

¼ t baking soda

1/8 t kosher salt

½ c blueberries

2/3 c powdered sugar

Juice of 2 lemons

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a nonstick donut pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together non-dairy milk and chia seed meal until there are no lumps. Add eggs, olive oil, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest and whisk until well combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk dry mixture into wet until combined. Gently stir in blueberries.

Spoon batter evenly into donut pan and spread out. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the donut comes out clean. Allow to cool for a few minutes in the pan. Remove and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes more on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice until there are no lumps. Allow to come to a simmer on low heat, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat.

Dip each donut into glaze on both sides and return to wire rack to allow excess to drip off.

Makes 6 donuts.

Do you have a recipe that’s so good, no one would guess it’s gluten-free? Submit it to the Udi’s Look Again It’s Gluten Free Recipe Contest on Facebook! You could win a 3 day/2 night trip for two people to California, a gluten-free cooking class at Le Cordon Bleu, or Udi’s shopping bags with Udi’s coupons!

Also, check out Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community for a wealth of gluten-free living tips, tricks, recipes, and more!

I loved combining new flavors and gluten free ingredients to create this delicious recipe. Now I’m curious to know, what do you enjoy most about trying something new?

For your chance to win a $350 William Sonoma gift card to purchase a Kitchen Aid Mixer or other gluten free cooking tool of your choice, complete these two steps:

1. Share the Udi’s Look Again, It’s Gluten Free Recipe Contest with your friends (be sure to include a direct link to your social media post)
2. Tell us that you’ve invited your friends to enter the Look Again, It’s Gluten Free Recipe Contest AND tell us what you enjoy most about trying something new below

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Udi’s Gluten Free. The opinions and text are all mine. Official BlogFrog Sweepstakes Rules.

This post is linked to Friday Foodie Fix at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang.

In My Gluten-Free Kitchen at Celiacs in the House Today!

Head on over to Celiacs in the House today to check out her latest and greatest series, In My Gluten-Free Kitchen! Today she is featuring my kitchen, so be sure to take a peek!

Happy Friday!

Vanilla Almond-Walnut Butter

Are you in need of a little indulgence?

Thought so.

Good thing this nut butter is packed with lots of healthy fats and is naturally sweetened with a few dates, so then you can eat a spoonful and know you’re not totally throwing caution to the wind – you’re feeding that sweet tooth and getting a bit of nutrition too!

I’ve lately been on a bit of a “let’s clean up our diet” kick. Not that I don’t normally eat a good amount of healthy, whole foods. For the most part, I do. I’m a veggie fanatic, and I’ve been drinking up lots of green smoothies, eating lots of greens, and enjoying winter-friendly veggies such as sweet potatoes and winter squash as much as I can. We’ve also done a better job lately of eating only grass-fed or pastured meats, and so roasted spatchcocked chicken and pot roast have been on our menu recently as well. But there have been things going on in my kitchen that I haven’t blogged about that aren’t so health-centric. For instance, I’ve been trying my hand at macarons lately. (They’re finicky, so I think I need some more practice before they’re blog-worthy.) And these donuts showed up in my kitchen the other day (you’ll get the recipe for those soon, don’t worry!). There have been other creations as well, most of which involve sugar or something sweet, and most of which have ended up being consumed (sometimes in excess) by yours truly. This little habit of mine has caused some serious sugar cravings, and it’s gotten my system a bit out of whack. I definitely don’t feel my best when I get too heavily involved in eating lots of baked, sugary goods – even if they’re gluten-free.

So this week, I took a little break from all of that. I’ve been on a little cleanse, eating raw foods - lots of veggies, a bit of fruit, and some nuts. But the other night, I wanted a little treat. I’d soaked and dehydrated a bunch of almonds and walnuts to snack on throughout the week (using this method), so I decided to throw them in the food processor and make some nut butter. Adding a few Medjool dates and a bit of vanilla bean and this turned into a decadent little treat, perfect for spreading on celery, apple slices, or just eating off of a spoon (which is what I did).

And then I promptly hid it in the refrigerator so I wouldn’t see it, so I can keep myself from eating it all.

Have you ever made your own nut butters? What unique combinations, if any, have you made?


Vanilla Almond-Walnut Butter (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Raw, Refined Sugar-Free)

1 c almonds (soaked and dehydrated)

1/2 c walnuts (soaked and dehydrated)

1 t coconut oil

4 Medjool dates, pitted

1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

Pinch salt (optional)

Place almonds and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor. Grind the nuts until they form a paste or a butter. At first it will turn powdery or grainy. Keep processing, and it will eventually form a ball and start to ”clump” to one side of the bowl. Then, as you continue processing, the nuts will finally start to release oils, and it will begin to really look like nut butter. (The total time required depends on the fat content of the nut you’re using. You have to be patient – stopping early will only result in grainy, not-quite-nut-butter.) Once the nut butter starts to smooth back out, add the coconut oil (or another oil, if you prefer). Once completely smooth, add the dates, vanilla bean, and salt (only if your nuts aren’t that salty) and process until smooth again. Scrape nut butter into a jar and store in refrigerator.

Are you new to gluten-free living, or are you interested in support for your gluten-free lifestyle? Check out Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community – it’s a great free resource. You can ask questions in the forums, gain advice from other members, and attend Live Chat sessions where amazing topics are discussed!

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free and Wellness Weekends at Diet, Dessert and Dogs.