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Tag Archives: Almond butter

{Travel Snacks} Homemade Nut Butters

21 Jul

Sometimes, the food is the best part of the journey.

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One thing I never forget to pack when I am leaving home is my food. Whether it be for a long day of classes as a college student, a road trip for the weekend, or hours in the airport traveling across the country, I always remember to plan.

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

That is something I heard awhile back that always stuck with me. It is so very true. The times that I haven’t had time to plan my food for a long day away from the house, I always end up eating unhealthy, last resort foods after becoming too hungry. That is why I’m sharing with you an easy, travel-friendly snack that is a safe option no matter how far your travels are taking you.

I must admit, this is my favorite snack, even when I’m not traveling. It is my go-to food whenever I get those hunger pains mid-day. But when the theme this month for Recipe Redux was travel food, I knew immediately what I wanted to share.

Homemade Nut Butter. All kinds. With fresh, crunchy celery as dippers, or even apple slices. Could there be anything more delicious or refreshing? Is has those healthy fats along with protein to keep you satisfied.  The best thing about it, is they are airport safe! I take a little container of my nut butters every time I fly, and have never had a problem. What is the great result? Instead of eating those salty, oil saturated peanuts, I enjoy my healthy, all natural nut butter with some veggies or fruit!

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I have a couple of homemade nut butters on my site already, like my Pumpkin Pie Walnut Butter, my healthy version of Nutella called “Not-tella“, and my Almond Joy Butter. But I made two new, absolutely delicious butters to share with you today. Something I love to live by for most of my diet, keep it simple, yet keep it tasty. These nut butters are just that. Coconut Cashew Butter & Cinnamon Java Butter

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Cinnamon Java Almond Butter

– 1 cup almonds, toasted
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 1 tsp instant coffee powder
– 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Directions: Place nuts in food processor and blend until butter forms (this will take at least 5 to 10 minutes).

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Cashew Coconut Butter

– 1 cup cashews, toasted
– 1 tsp coconut extract
– 1 tsp coconut oil
– optional: 2T unsweetened shredded coconut, stirred into final product
Directions: Place nuts into food processor. Blend until butter forms (again, about 5-10 minutes). Add extract and oil and blend for about 10 more seconds. Keep in container.

*Neither of these butters need to be refrigerated if consuming within a week!

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Yum. And benefits?

Almond Benefits
1) Reduce Heart Attack Risk
2) Lower Bad Cholesterol
3) Protect artery walls from damage
4) Build strong bones and teeth
5) Provide healthy fats and aid in weight loss
6) Lower rise in blood sugar after meals
7) Alkalize the body

Cashew Benefits
1) Prevents Cancer
2) Heart Health
3) Increases Hair and Skin health
4) Beneficial for Bone Health
5) Good for the nerves
6) Prevents Gallstones
7) Aids in weight loss

Coconut Benefits
1) Fights viruses and bacteria growth in body
2) Fights yeast, fungus, and candida
3) Positively affects hormones for thyroid and blood-sugar control which leads to increase metabolism, energy and endurance
4) Aids in digestion
5) Absorbs fat soluble vitamins
6) Lowers cholesterol
7) Special fat called medium chain triglycerides (Research shows 2T a day allowed women not only to gain less weight but lower abdominal fat)

Sources: doctoroz.com, care2.com

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“Not-tella” and Banana Nut Muffin Butter

9 Jun

This may have been my greatest idea yet. I have been on a nut butter craze since this no sugar challenge. Also, with just eating healthier and avoiding bad fats, I have been loading up on all the delicious good fats, like homemade almond butter, avocados, and coconut oil! I am not exaggerating when I say I make homemade nut butter at least once a week. I dont know what happens. One moment, the jar is full..and a few days later, it has disappeared! :) I have also been eating an avocado a day–a new favorite food of mine!

So I went to go make my normal weekly raw almond butter, but then saw 2 ripe bananas that needed to be dealt with. Usually I just cut these up and freeze them (my favorite snack!), but today, a genius idea came into my mind.

I had wanted to make a sweet nut butter for awhile. Specifically, a chocolate one. But with no sugar allowed, I decided against it for awhile..until today.

What you’re about to see below is what I would like to call “Not-tella”. What kind of name is that you may ask? Well, this is surely not that name brand Nutella stuff..similar, but so much better. And did I mention it is so much healthier?! Ahh I think I died and tasted a bit of heaven when licking the spoon the first time. I could eat this whole batch. But I won’t. Let’s just hope it makes it through the week :)

I also made a batch without cocoa powder in it. This I would like to call banana nut muffin butter. Why? Well, it’s a nut butter, it has bananas, and tastes like a delicious, creamy butter version of banana bread!

If you try one thing tomorrow, this must be it. You will be SO thankful you did.

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Not-tella
-2 cups raw almonds (can use store bought butter–1 cup)
-1 large ripe banana
-1.5 T cocoa powder
Directions: Food process enough almonds to make 1 cup of nut butter (about two cups). This step will take awhile. Once blended into butter, add in 1 large ripe banana. Blend again. Add in cocoa powder. Blend once more. Enjoy! Keep refrigerated.

For Banana Nut Variety: Leave out cocoa powder. Add 1/4 cup chopped almonds after all blending is done (for a banana NUT muffin taste!)

For Almond Joy Variety: Add 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut with banana and blend. You can also add coconut extract if desired. For a non-banana almond joy recipe, check this post out.

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Blend the nuts into butter first

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Add chopped banana and blend

 

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Banana Nut Muffin Butter Variety!

Banana Health Benefits:
1)High in potassium which prevents muscle cramping
2)counteracts calcium loss
3)Helps overcome depression because of Tryptophan
4)Heightens your mood, relieve PMS, and cause relaxation
5)High in B6 which prevents swelling and aids in weight loss
6)Rich in pectin which aids in digestion
7)High in fiber
8)Makes you more alert

Almond Healthy Benefits:
1)Relief from respiratory disorders
2)Aids in hair, skin and dental care
3)Improves digestion
4)Can relieve coughs
5)Good for those with diabetes
6)Heart Healthy

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake

17 Apr

Another delicious, healthy shake. I love them. It’s my favorite part about working out, knowing that I get to have something like this after! Or, sometimes as my dessert at night I fix one too, as it tastes just like a good ole’ milkshake!

I experiment with all different kinds of flavors as I have one almost every day. Maybe a little shake obsessed? Well when it’s high-protein, all around healthy, yet absolutely delicious, why not be?!

Call it a smoothie and have it for breakfast, call it a post-workout shake and have it after time at the gym, or call it a milkshake and have it for dessert! It’s so versatile. You can add more carbs and calories if needed to refuel or wanting it to be a little richer as a dessert, or you can make it lighter to have as a quick breakfast on the go! Either way, you won’t be sorry you made it:)

Today, I made this after a morning workout. Yes it was in the morning, but yes, I was craving something chocolate and sweet! So I made this :)

Chocolate. Peanut Butter. Touch of Coconut on top. What more could you ask for?!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake
-1 scoop whey protein powder (either vanilla, chocolate or peanut butter)
-1 cup almond milk
-1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
-1/2 frozen banana
-2 T peanut flour
-1 T cocoa powder
-1 T nut butter
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 packet stevia
-sprinkle of salt
-ice as needed for texture
Directions: Blend altogether. You can add a sprinkle of guar gum to it if you want an extra thick shake like I sometimes do and eat it out of a bowl with a spoon!

Making Your Own Nut Butter

15 Apr

I’ve posted before about specific recipes for different flavors of nut butters I’ve made, but I’ve gotten a lot of questions as to how to even go about making homemade nut butter!

So I’ve decided to dedicate today to showing you all the steps in making it:) It seems appropriate since just yesterday I made a huge container of fresh, homemade almond butter. It was heavenly. There is just something about the homemade stuff. Something that tastes so much better than the store bought butters!

And guess what? Not only is it easier, just requiring whatever nuts you desire plus the food processor, but also very healthy without all the extra added oils and sugars, and cheaper than store bought!

Yesterday, I even took it a step further and split it up into two containers, making a chocolate caramel almond butter, and a coconut vanilla one. Talk about delicious creations. I was eating it by the spoonful!

But first, let me take you step by step as to how to make it!

Step 1: Toast almonds (or whatever nut you are using) in oven on broil, watching very closely until they are slightly browned. I emphasize watching closely, because I have burnt many batches of good nuts myself by taking my eyes off of them for just a quick minute!

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Step 2: Place toasted nuts into food processor.

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Step 3: Turn food processor on, and let those babies grind and grind and grind!

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First it’ll just look like chopped nuts, like above. Then, it’ll become finely processed like an almond flour type consistency.

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After a couple more minutes of food processing, it’ll finally begin to look like butter! You may have to stop a couple times to scrape down the butter from the sides, and then proceed to process again.

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Finally, you will be done! And you will have an excellent, creamy, homemade butter!

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This is when you can get creative and add in your own flavors of liking:) I split my batch up this time, and put a tablespoon of cocoa powder and a teaspoon of caramel extract.

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And the other half, I put vanilla and coconut extract in, with just a little bit of unsweetened shredded coconut! So delicious:)

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Hope you can now go and make your very own nut butter!:)

Overnight Oats

13 Apr

I decided to join in on the overnight oats parade.

Haha, but seriously, it’s definitely the most popular breakfast among so many people these days! Yet in hot, sunny Florida, warm oatmeal has just never been my kind of breakfast..at least most days.

But sometimes, a warm, comforting, big bowl of oatmeal tastes just right. Especially after it’s been absorbing all the delicious flavors while sitting overnight in the fridge. Mmmm.

And if you’re in a rush, having it in a jar makes it all the more convenient to literally, grab and go.If you’ve got time at home to eat, then take that baby out, microwave, add whatever toppings seem good at the moment, and enjoy!

For me, the other day I was in a chocolaty Peanut Butter kind of mood. But then again, what’s new? That’s basically my mood 24 hours of the day, 7 days a week. What? I’ve got a sweet tooth:) Good thing when you eat clean, you can have your chocolate and live healthy too!

This provides a breakfast that is high in protein and fiber. One that will keep you satisfied all morning and not reaching in the pantry for snacks continuously. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! For so long I would skimp out on this meal or not eat one at all..so bad! If you aren’t eating breakfast, I highly recommend that you begin today. And this is a great place to start. A healthy, quick and easy idea:)

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Overnight Oats Base
-1/2 cup oats
-1/2 cup Chobani Greek yogurt (flavor of choice)
-1 cup almond milk
-sweetener of choice and a touch of salt

-For my chocolate version-
-2 T cocoa powder
-2 T agave
-1 T chocolate peanut butter
-1 tsp cinnamon
-Toppings: Chocolate Fiber One cereal, 1 T homemade almond joy butter(recipe on site)

Directions: Place all ingredients in a jar except for the toppings. Screw lid on and shake until all combined. Let sit in fridge overnight. In AM, either cook in microwave and place toppings on, or just enjoy cold and immediately put toppings on. Enjoy!

Almond Joy Butter

18 Mar

Wait, an almond joy in a spreadable form? Yep, I believe I created it. And I even added a little extra ingredient to make it healthier:)

Are you a peanut butter or almond butter lover like I am? Sometimes people rule it off as a “bad” food, because of the fat in it..but surprise! Our bodies actually need healthy fat to function to it’s fullest potential :) So instead of ruling it out of your diet, let it count for those grams of healthy fat that your body wants and needs!

Nut butters are so healthy, especially when getting the all natural kind that don’t have all the preservatives and sugars in it. And guess what? This one has none of that. All freshly grounded and food processed right here in my own kitchen. Here are some of the benefits!

Benefits of Almonds
-Reduces risk of heart attack
-Lowers bad cholesterol
-Helps build strong bones and teeth
-Provides healthy fats and aid in weight loss
-Lowers the rise in insulin after meals
-Provides good brain function
-Alkalizes the body
Benefits of Coconut (too many to list all!)
-Helps prevent obesity
-Improves heart health
-High in dietary fiber
-Low glycemic index
-Reduces sweet cravings
-Improves digestion
-Gives energy boost

Okay so you’re probably thinking by now, I don’t care about all of this, I heard the word almond joy and just want the recipe! Haha, well here you go :)

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Almond Joy Butter
-1 cup of freshly ground almond butter (or about two cups of raw almonds)
-1/2 of one big, very ripe banana
-1/2 cup unsweetened coconut or 1/4 cup coconut butter
-1/4 cup almond milk
-agave or stevia to sweeten as desired

Directions for making your own almond butter: Toast the two cups of almonds in the oven (about 5 to 10 minutes). Place almonds in food processor and turn it on. This will take awhile depending on the strength of your food processor. Be patient! It will grind down to small bits, then a powder, then begin to slowly clump up. You will have to knock the almond puree down from the sides several times (like i said, making your own nut butter requires patience). Keep blending until almond butter texture is achieved (about 10 minutes of processing).

Directions for rest of recipe: Place coconut in food processor and blend until butter form. Add banana and almond butter (if you used store bought almond butter, you can blend all three together in any kind of blender). Add almond milk to achieve desired consistency (more for a thinner texture). Sweeten to your liking with agave or stevia. Enjoy!

Homemade Maple Walnut Butter

11 Mar

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Is it just me or is any kind of nut butter absolutely amazing and addicting? They make every kind of variation nowadays! Creamy peanut butter. crunchy peanut butter. creamy almond butter. crunchy almond butter. coconut butter. chocolate peanut butter. pb2. hazelnut nut butter. You name it, and you can usually find it at least somewhere online or in stores! But what I haven’t seen much of is other kinds of nuts being made into butter. I mean, I know it exists, but peanut and almond butters are definitely the most frequent. So, when I got to go home this past week, and opened up the pantry to huge containers of raw almonds, walnuts, and pecans..a great idea came to me. Walnut butter.

And so my kitchen fun began :) I took out my food processor, toasted some walnuts, and made what I think could possibly be considered a little taste of heaven in my mouth! I went through the whole batch in just the one week I was home! So much richer tasting then almond butter, but oh so good.

Then I got an even more brilliant idea. One of my favorite flavors when eating those chocolates from the box has always been maple walnut. So what did I do? Add a touch of maple syrup and bam! This was definitely a little spoonful of heaven :) Hope you think the same as you try it!

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Maple Walnut Butter
-2 cups walnuts, raw
-2 T maple syrup
-touch of salt

Directions: Toast walnuts in oven (or toaster oven) on 350 degrees until slightly browned. Watch closely, as once they start browning, they burn easily! Then remove from oven, and place in food processor. This will take some time, this step may start to seem tedious, but be patient, I promise it’s worth it! Turn the processor on, and let it begin to grind the nuts. First the nuts will turn into little chopped pieces, then begin to look like powder, then finally begin to clump up. Just keep processing. It will start to run up the sides of the processor, and you will have to turn it off and scrape the butter down from the sides many times. (like I said, patience is key) :) Altogether it should take about 10 minutes. After it is FINALLY a nut butter consistency you are happy with, add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and a touch of salt, and mix just until combined. See, just one necessary ingredient really, how simple?! Enjoy!