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!