DIY: Fancy Nut Butters

Posted on May 7, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Health, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

If there’s one thing I love, it’s a good, flavorful nut butter. And I will happily fork up the cash for it(don’t assume I haven’t paid $10+ for a single jar). But that’s not always the most wallet friendly way to eat, even if the cost per serving is relatively low. And sometimes the flavors you want just aren’t out there. Or maybe they haven’t arrived at a store near you(Justin, I’m looking at you here). That’s when you need to know to make your own. With that, I’m happy to announce the newest additions to my recipe page: nut butters.

Chocolate Nut Butter

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon nut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sweetener
  • Vanilla flavoring

In a small dish, combine all ingredients and stir.

Cinnamon Raisin Almond Butter

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon liquid sweetener
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

In a small dish, combine all ingredients and stir.

Cookie Dough Cashew Butter

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/3 tablespoons cashew butter
  • 1 teaspoon agave
  • 1/2 tablespoon chocolate chips
  • Vanilla flavoring

In a small dish, combine all ingredients and stir.

Vanilla Peanut Butter

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/3 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons liquid sweetener
  • Vanilla flavoring

In a small dish, combine all ingredients and stir.

The benefit of all these recipes is that they use pantry-friendly ingredients and require no food processor. Of course, I also have recipes for nut butters that start from scratch. I’ll be sure to add those over the Summer(when my food processor isn’t stashed underneath my bed).

Ginger Green & Black's Chocolate And Dark Chocolate Mint Alter Eco

Ginger Green & Black's Chocolate And Dark Chocolate Mint Alter Eco

Otherwise, I’ve been eating chocolate still. Lots and lots of chocolate. Why choose between Green & Black’s ginger and Alter Eco’s dark chocolate mint when you can have both? Beats me.

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

And oatmeal with the aforementioned vanilla peanut butter. I don’t actually measure out the ingredients–I eyeball it based on how hungry I am. But I wanted to give those for a good starting point. Feel free to change it up to fit your taste!

1/2 Honest Foods Apple Ginger Bar

1/2 Honest Foods Apple Ginger Bar

And 1/2 of an Honest Foods apple ginger bar I found in the fridge when I was feeling snackish. This was SO GOOD heated up in the microwave; it became like the topping to an apple crisp–Yum!

This morning, the plan was to go to the gym first thing. But I wasn’t feeling it. New plan? Make cinnamon raisin almond butter.

Oatmeal With Cinnamon Raisin Almond Butter

Oatmeal With Cinnamon Raisin Almond Butter

Vanilla Siggi With Organic Raspberry Conserves

Vanilla Siggi With Organic Raspberry Conserves

If you haven’t tried siggi’s, well I can only tell you what you’re missing then. It is so smooth and creamy in texture, and the speckles of vanilla bean = pure love. But none of their flavors are sweet enough for me on their own 😦 Which might be OK if they had a little added fat to make them richer but they don’t. Fruit jam to the rescue(and a little almond butter snuck in their as well).

I hope you whip up some nut butter for your Cookie Friday. I’m sure a shmear of cinnamon raisin almond butter on this cookie would be perfect. Now I really must start my day! Lot’s of paper writing to do I’m actually looking forward to. What, what?

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Recipe Test: Midnight Chocolate Cupcakes

Posted on April 25, 2010. Filed under: Book Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

As I’ve mentioned several times, Book Pub Co. sent me the vegan dessert cookbook Sweet Utopia to read and review. I talked about my first impression here, but this weekend I got to test my first recipe. What a fun task that was! I immediately eyed the midnight chocolate cupcakes for my cousin’s 3rd birthday party today. I confess to making the following substitutions to the recipe:

  • All-purpose gluten-free flour and xanthan gum for the flour
  • Teeccino in place of the the coffee
  • Almond milk for the soy milk
Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream And Crumbled Cupcake

Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream And Crumbled Cupcake

Two cupcakes suffered an, err, unfortunate oven accident, but their crumbs were still good for eating, so I made a cake and ice cream sundae with So Delicious vanilla bean ice cream. I am such a cake and ice cream person at heart. I can’t wait for the Summer since the grocery store near my home sells these ice creams for a dollar less than the Whole Foods near my school 🙂

The cupcake was impressively moist and “cakey”; I wouldn’t have thought that would be easy to recreate without eggs. The moisture must come from the fat ingredients, which seemed to work well. Overall, I think this recipe relies on a lot of sugar to be good(there are at least 4 sources of it), when in fact this makes an impressive cake all its own and doesn’t need to distract with sweetness. I would definitely give this one a thumbs up.

Red Delicious Apple

Red Delicious Apple

I snacked on a red delicious watching Sherlock Holmes. In truth, I was paying more attention to my work and didn’t see most of the movie. I just like having British accents playing in the background. Can I get a white noise CD like that?

Oatmeal With Turbinado Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Turbinado Peanut Butter

And I fashionably finished off the night with oatmeal and peanut butter. This one almost tasted like Garden Grille‘s, except the chunks of sugar didn’t dissolve and made this really crunchy. I’ll discover you yet!

Chocolate Frosting

Chocolate Frosting

I think the best thing is when you get to wake up and first thing make frosting. Run? Coffee? Breakfast? That can all wait. Chocolate first.

Midnight Chocolate Cupcake With Frosting

Midnight Chocolate Cupcake With Frosting

Perhaps surprisingly, I wasn’t a fan of this frosting recipe. It came out so thick, it was like fudge! It just wasn’t very spreadable or much more than melted chocolate. It would make for a good ganache filling, but it certainly didn’t come out like a “frosting”. I have to say, it was super simple to make, though. Believe it or not, I didn’t eat a cupcake for breakfast.

Oatmeal With Plain PB, Siggi's Orange Ginger Yogurt With Chocolate Chips

Oatmeal With Plain PB, Siggi's Orange Ginger Yogurt With Chocolate Chips

That’s more nutritious. I topped oatmeal with some 365 brand peanut butter(see, I practice what I preach). I also tried my very first Siggi! I chose the orange ginger flavor, since it sounded so exotic, and topped it with the vegan chocolate chips(you would too if you’d been handling them for 2 days). It was good, but it was a tad undersweetened for me; maybe I just have a sweet tooth to rival Averie’s. But what a fun flavor. And it’s so thick! Love it.

Are you a cake, brownie, or cookie person? I’m all about the cake, which is why cupcakes seemed perfect for this birthday party. I just love the light and airiness to the dessert! If I want something dense and chewy, I’d rather just eat a chocolate bar.

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