Hello from my kitchen! This week I’ve been going wild with a great new addition to my life; nut butter. It’s one of those awesome food stuffs that is easy to make but pays off big time in terms of effort to ratio. And it’s versatile. It’s basically an all round dream boat.
If you’ve never made nut butter before, this is all you need to know; you put roasted nuts in a food processor and give it ten minutes of hardcore blitzing. At first, the nuts are pulsed to tiny pieces, then they give up their oils and the pieces dissolve into a creamy paste. It’s a thing worth doing for the smell of hot, smashed nuts that fills your kitchen alone. But it’s also a great to watch and an even better to eat!
So what to do with it once you’ve made it? Lots of blogs suggest spreading it over toast or banana bread. While I like this idea, I was keen to try out some different, savory uses.
My nut of choice this week was my perennial favorite, pecan but all nuts are good here. I traded pecan butter for peanut butter for a twist on a nutty Asian noodle dish, which you can see above. All this took was mixing up the buttter with chilli, garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, and soy, then spooning it over some blanched vegetables and noodles. It was rad.
Nut butter loves to be involved with honey too. Lathered on the inside of a flaky Moroccan pancake, mixed with honey and thinned with a little water for spreadability, it’s amaze in a kind of baklava-esque way. Don’t forget about it at breakfast time too, mixed with yoghurt and honey on bananas.
Another dream was to make pecan butter brownies, but it went unrealised because I ate all the butter before I could get it together to make them. The brownies will happen next time, which will no doubt be very soon.
Some people add spices to their butter but I prefer to just add a bit of salt and include other flavours later on.
Pinch of salt
1. Preheat the oven to 200 C. Spread the nuts out on a big tray and roast for ten minutes.
2. Place the nuts in the bowl of your food processor and blitz until fine. Scrape the sides down. Continue pulsing until you have a smooth batter, pausing every thirty seconds or so to scrape the sides down.
3. Keep going until the oils come out and you have a batter. This is where you have a choice, you can either opt for a chunky, textured butter or you can pulse on for a shiny, smooth butter. I prefer chunky but do what you feel. Whatever you do, add a little salt at the end and pulse briefly to mix in.
4. When it’s done, spoon into a jar and keep in the fridge for up to a month.