Posted by: karascrumbs | May 28, 2012

Flavored Nut/Seed Butters

I have had a hard two weeks; hence the reason I haven’t posted anything in a while.  I just don’t have the time.  Schoolwork is taking over my life.  I finished one final this week.  It was in food and beverage.  So if you want to know what coffee/tea/beer/or wine to drink with something, just ask, I may be able to help.  I’m glad it’s done, but unfortunately I still have four more to go and two huge projects to finish.  So as much as I would love to whip up something new in the kitchen, I decided I can’t take the time to and should instead put my time toward schoolwork.  I have three weeks of classes left and then three weeks of break.  I cannot wait for a break!!!  However, my lab class has been surprisingly fun the past two weeks.  We have been fabricating chickens.  We get a whole chicken and we have to break it down into the wings, breasts, legs, and thighs and remove the wishbone.  It was the thing I dreaded most on day 1, but now it is my favorite thing and I want to do it everyday.  Weird!  So the last two weeks I have brought home lots of chicken for my parents to eat.  And a few sides to go with it.


In other news, lately I have been on a huge nut/seed butter kick and so I thought I would share a few of my favorite combinations.  A few months ago I wanted to buy a jar of pecan butter, but I couldn’t justify spending $8 for an 8oz. jar.  So instead, I bought a bag of pecans and made double  the amount for cheaper.  The pecan butter was so delicious.  So it got me thinking- what other nut butters could I make?  So I started making various nut/seed butters and various flavor combinations.    I’ve been making a new batch almost every other week.  It certainly is cheaper to make your own butter and it’s really easy too; as long as you have a food processor.  Just hit the on button and in a minute or two you have butter.  Nothing compares to fresh ground nut butters warm out of the processor.  Usually only about half of my batch actually makes it into a jar and into the refrigerator.  It’s so hard to pass up that warm gooey goodness.  Honestly, I enjoy nut butters best by themself on a spoon.  However, they do pair well with several food items and are quite tasty when used in baking.

Nut/Seed Butters
-Vanilla Ginger Walnut  (my current ultimate fav)
-Apricot Walnut
-Date Pecan
-Cinnamon Almond or Pecan
-Rosemary Cayene Almond  (super good on flax seed flatbread)
-Strawberry Almond
-Pumpkin Almond  (surprisingly good with pears)
-Figs went well with both pecans and almonds (a little cinnamon is a nice addition)
-Raw 3 nut (raw walnuts, pecans, and almonds make a very nice mix)
-Garlic and Cumin Tahini (or sunflower seed is good too; makes a nice dressing for meats/vegs/salads)
-Sunflower seed  (sometimes I stir pumpkin seeds in; spices like garlic and cumin also work well here)
-Vanilla Coconut
-Raw Almond
-Raw Walnut
-Raw Pecan

I like almond butter raw and creamy.  I like walnut and pecan butter raw, but thick and slightly crunchy.  I like sunflower seed butter and tahini toasted, creamy, and with a hint of salt.  When I make sunflower seed butter I use raw sprouted salted seeds that I toast for a few minutes first.  I only add oil to sunflower seed butter, they don’t seem to have enough oil themselves to get started.

If I’m not eating it straight off the spoon, there are other ways that I enjoy these butters: on crackers or flatbread, chicken/turkey, vegetables (cooked or raw), fruit, Larabars/homemade bars, muffins/breads/cookies/scones.  I’ve also added a spoonful to smoothies and soups.  Sometimes I make a protein mix by stirring protein powder, chopped seeds or nuts, and chopped fruit or dried fruit with a tablespoon or two of butter.  If you add milk, it makes it more like a pudding.  Some of the flavored butters taste good when used in baked goods.

For the most part, I make the butter and then I add flavors, mix, taste and adjust.  If you would like a more specific recipe, leave a comment and I’ll be glad to give details.  I’m sorry I don’t have pictures, but nut butters don’t make for the most exciting pictures.

Despite my hard two weeks, I did decide to take one day off on Saturday to have some fun and enjoy myself.  I had a wonderful day with my best friend Amy.  I went to see another chef demonstration and Amy went with me.  This demo was by one of my idols: Alex Guarnaschelli.  It was by far the best chef demo I have seen yet.  She was amazing.  So personable and entertaining.  She answered a ton of questions, mostly about Chopped.  And I got her autograph!  After the demo we went to a local park, Hartwood Acres, for the first annual Pyrofest, America’s largest firework festival.  Oh my gosh, it was cool.  It was over six hours long and featured five live music acts and six firework displays choreographed to music.  There were even daytime fireworks.  It was a beautiful day and so much fun.  It was a great show.  I really hope it comes back next year.  I had a wonderful fun day, but now it’s back to homework.  (just three more weeks, just three more weeks, I can do it!)





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