Homemade Pistachio Butter

Homemade Pistachio Butter

For years and years, I’ve wanted to make pistachio butter.

Easy, Delicious, Homemade Pistachio Butter

Honestly. This idea has been on my mind since probably 2010. As a nut butter lover, I’ve always wanted to make pistachio butter, which is noticeably lacking from most grocery stores. And when you do find it, it’s noticeably much more expensive than most other nut butters.

DIY Pistachio Butter

So I’ve wanted to DIY pistachio butter since my undergrad days. Why did I never pull the trigger, you ask? Well, probably because I only had a $12 Food Network brand mini food processor and a very dull blender inherited from grandmother to work with.

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Nut Butter-Stuffed Chocolate-Dipped Dates

Nut Butter-Stuffed Chocolate-Dipped Dates

These nut butter-stuffed, chocolate-dipped dates are like a 14/10 on the amazing scale. 5 Ingredients. No fancy equipment or oven required. Insanely delicious sweet treat.

Easy Salty Nut-Butter Stuffed Dates with Chocolate

All you gotta do is crack open some dates, de-pit them, slather their insides with nut butter, squash a whole nut in there (optional, but recommended), dip in some melted chocolate, and finish with sea salt.

Chocolate-Dipped Easy Salty Nut-Butter Stuffed Dates

A short chill sesh in the freezer later, you have a treat that’s chewy, crunchy, creamy, salty, sweet, and chocolatey. It hits every desirable snack element in one swoop.

Scruptious Stuffed Dates with Chocolate and Nut Butter

Honestly, the result is far better than it has any right to be. It tastes like a snickers but without any artificialness or sugar overload. They’re actually kind of like a lazy version of my favorite-ever Sunbutter Caramel Date Truffles with Sea Salt.

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Banachos (Banana Nachos)

Banachos (Banana Nachos)

Sometimes I think I could live off of potatoes and bananas and things to dip them in. Seriously. I eat both pretty much every day and never tire of them. The best.

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One of my favorite ways to eat bananas is sliced up, topped with cinnamon, hemp hearts, oodles of nut butter, and/or granola. My sister coined this creation “banachos” and the name just stuck (at least in our circle).

Delicious Banachos: Banana nachos

This is less of a recipe and more of an idea. I want you to make banachos with whatever you like to eat bananas with.

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Puppy Chow Granola

Wednesday was not my day this week. Someone hit me while driving, then drove away quickly before I could get any of their information. Yay nice humans! This occurred on my way to a doctor’s appointment where I found I have something quite creepy that I think most people would have no appetite after reading about, so I might refrain from details. Let’s just say, I’ve been eating for many…your dog may have had the same thing. They’re common in dogs. Which makes the title of this post a lil bit ironic. Moving on.

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After my appointment, I went to the police station and filed a report about the hit’n’run. Then I went to Walgreens and tried to get my prescription but my insurance card wasn’t working and then I learned the prescription I needed was $3800 without insurance. Basically pocket change. Anyways, I was *done* with the day before 9am.

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Then I worked all day. And it was -34 with windchill. And then my mom’s car died so I had to go pick her up. By the time I ate dinner around 8, I was so wound up by the day that I wasn’t tired.

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So I decided to use my energy and soothe my grumpy pants by making cookies. And then I messed up the cookies. Ugh. Not what I needed.

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Luckily, ruining the cookies ended up being the best part of my day, because through this experience, I ended up trying to morph what I was using for said cookies into something edible. And then one thing lead to another, and suddenly I had created Puppy Chow Granola. This was certainly the highlight of my day.

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I ate the Puppy Chow Granola. For a moment, the world felt safe. I shared with my mom. She totally dug it, and she’s not very into peanut butter. We agreed that the stuff is INCREDIBLY addicting. And thus, I made another batch the very next day.

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So here is the result of my poopy humpday this week. It is peanut buttery and chocolately and sweet and oath and crunchy yet slightly chewy in all the right ways. It also has the word “Puppy” in the title, which is an automatic win.

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Make this stuff. Eat it. Try to practice self-control. Fail, eat it all, and make another batch. No one is judging you. Let it make you happy no matter what you find out is living in your intestines. Enjoy!

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Bake Time: 20-30 minutes

Level: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter or other nut butter
  • 3/4-1 cup  (depending on how chocolatey you like it) dark chocolate chips or approximately 6 ounces Baker’s or other dark chocolate
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey (optional, but helps to the granola form clusters & clumps)
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanuts (optional, I left em out, but they would be a nice crunchy addition)

Directions:

1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit.

2. In a large microwave safe bowl, combine peanut butter and chocolate. Melt in the microwave using 30 second intervals, stirring between each.

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3. Pour rolled oats into bowl with chocolate/peanut butter mixture. Add syrup or honey. Mix (a wooden spoon works well for this)until oats are evenly coated with chocolate/peanut butter.

4. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Place in oven for 20-25 minutes, until slightly hardened. If desired, turn granola with a spoon halfway through bake time.

5. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes. Transfer back to bowl and add powdered sugar. Mix well until all granola is coated lightly with powdered sugar. EAT!

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Walnut Butter Brownies with Cherries

The other day I took a first attempt at the brownies that #broketheinternet: The Black Bean Brownie. I made mine Almond Joy-ish. They were good, but I still prefer my brownies bean-less. That said, they were still nommy, I scratched something off my enormous baking bucket list, and now I’m on a brownie kick. Giddy up.

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So less than a week since then, I have another biggg yummy batch of brownies at my disposal. This batch was inspired by two things: 1) The December Recipe Redux Challenge. 2) My favorite brownie combo of all times (chocolate + cherry + walnuts).

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This month The Recipe Redux turns 42 months old. Congrats ! So their challenge was to “Grab a book and Cook,” meaning grab the closest cookbook, open to page 42 or 142 and redux the recipe. Pretty fun, huh?! Well, while searching for ornaments from the depths of my basement, I came across some of my grandma’s ancient cookbooks. I was also lucky enough to uncover some of her notebooks full of her own recipes, which are so invaluable I could cry. She was a brilliant innovator, cook, and creator, with ideas and food hunches far beyond her time. More on this in another post. Anyways, I picked up and was immediately amused by her yellowing, original Betty Crocker Cookbook. Oh my gosh, it has all the classic, unhealthy butter old-school desserts you could ever want as well as some comments that would probably offend most working women of this generation. When I hit page page 42, a recipe for “Cocoa Brownies with Walnuts” stared me back in the face.

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I have to admit I was thrilled to have an excuse to make another batch of brownies. Making them the other day really reminded me how much I love them. The brownies in the Betty Crocker Recipe were full of butter, sugar, eggs, milk, and refined white flour. Mine are a bit revamped and given a modern, semi-sophisticated twist by using walnut butter as a fat, which I made by pureeing walnuts into a nut butter in my food processor to avoid spending $14 on a jar of walnut butter. #win #DIY.

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The walnut butter provides healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats, as well as all the Omega’s you could ever want or need from a brownie. You know how much I love those #MUFAs and #PUFAs baby. I also reduced all the eggs/excess sugar/refined flour in the original recipe, replacing white flour with oat flour, and lowering the sugar without loosing flavor. Melting Baker’s chocolate is the KEY to delicious brownies, and adds a ton of flavor and a delicious fudginess that simply can’t be beat, so I added that to the original recipe, kept the cocoa powder (because as I discuss here, it’s practically a superfood), and added chocolate chips for more chocolate goodness and texture, and more walnuts and dried cherries, for flavor, texture, and simply because chocolate + cherry = one of my all-time favorite combinations.

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The end result was a fudgy, delicious, gluten-free and vegan brownie that could satisfy any chocolate craving in a single square, but won’t leave you feeling icky or gross. I really ended up loving the walnut butter as the fat, as it gave it a nice, nutty flavor that made the brownies intriguing to the palate, and feel super grown-up and fancy without tasting like it was trying too hard.

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These wonderful chocolate nuggets are perfect for the holidays, or really anyday. Because Katy Perry says you should make it like your birthday *~*everyday*~* and I have to say I totally agree with her. My mantra as of late has been “be as nice to yourself as you would to your friend.” So #treatyoself with yummy, healthy food every day, and do things that make you happy. Today for me this means, brownies, hot chocolate, my pups, and watching Throwdown with Bobby Flay on YouTube. Hope your day is as awesome as mine. Happy holidays and happy eating!

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Prep Time: 30 minutes

Bake Time: 30 minutes

Level: Easy

makes on 9″ square pan of brownies, roughly 12 servings 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup walnuts, divided into 1 1/4 cup to make butter and additional 1/4 cup to mix in
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4-6 ounces Baker’s chocolate (depending on desired chocolate-y-ness)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds or flax seeds
  • 1 cup oat flour or other flour (I make oat flour by processing one cup rolled oats in a food processor until a powder forms)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place 1 1/4 cup walnuts and a tablespoon of water in a food processor or blender and puree until a thick nut butter forms. When it looks like peanut butter, it’s done. Transfer to a large bowl and add brown sugar. Mix well.

2. Cut Baker’s chocolate in a small microwave safe bowl and melt in the microwave by heating in 30 second increments, mixing between each increment, roughly 1-2 minutes total, until smooth and melted. Set aside and allow to cool to cool slightly.

3. Place almond milk and chia seeds or flax in a cup and allow to thicken, at least 10 minutes.

4. In a large bowl, combine oat flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder. Whisk together well.

5. Once chocolate has cooled slightly (lukewarm is fine), pour into the walnut butter and brown sugar mix and mix well until chocolate is well combine. Add flour/cocoa mixture to the bowl and slowly add the almond milk mixture. Mix gently until well combine into a batter.

6. Add chocolate chips, dried cherries, and additional 1/4 cup walnuts. Pour into a lightly oiled or parchment lined 9″ baking pan.  Top with even more walnuts if you’re as walnut crazy as I am.

7. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan, and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted and removed in the center of the pan. EAT.

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For more Page 42 challenge posts from fellow members of The Recipe Redux, click around below !

Salted Maple Vanilla Cashew Coconut Butter

….the name says it all. Basically everything luscious and wonderful all in one glorious place: a homemade jar of nut butter and very soon your mouth.

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Cashews have been my thing lately. Well, truly, they’ve always been up there on my top 5 fav nuts (along with walnut, pecans, pistachios, almonds, peanuts) for snacking and as a flavoring agent, but lately I’ve recently discovered just how ridiculously versatile they are from a culinary prospective. I’m very excited to start using them in new ways ~ ! Unfortunately for me, my pantry/fridge are almond empty and so I couldn’t make several of the things I’ve been itchin’ to try. So I took what I had once again, and created this concoction.

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The name makes it sound all fancy-smancy because I used the word “salted” but really this is a pretty basic nut butter. I made cashew butter, and instead of adding vegetable oil for viscosity the way many peanut butter recipes call for, I added coconut oil for smoothness, and for the additional flavor and nutritional boost. I thought vanilla would compliment the *~*tropical*~* flavors nicely, and decided to go with maple syrup for a touch of sweetness instead of sugar, and added salt because I really love a good sea salt. (I’m all about the pink Himalayan, hbu?). All of these flavors together was like a really great group bonding session. Everyone brought out the best in one another, and the result was a mild, smooth, sweet-salty, rich nutty delight, with a coconut after-kick.

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Homemade nut butters are fun and truly not very complicated to make. I like them because you can personalize them to your own tastes (I like things crunchy and a little bit salty, and not too sweet) but you can tweak them however you please and see exactly what goes in them (no hydrogenated palm kernel oil for me plz!). All you need is a few basic ingredients, a food processor or blender, and like 10 minutes. 60-80 if you’re highly distractible and have needy dogs and want to take photos for your blog and are having hopeful breakthroughs in what you should do with your life, like I did. Hello friends, I’m crazy.

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Anyways, I’d like to warn you: this stuff is addictive. I made it a lil crunchy because that’s my style. If you ask me, when it comes to nut butters once you go crunchy you never go back. This particular nut butt is absolutely magnificent on top of toast and bananas and on toast between bananas and smeared on chunks of chocolate or with pretzels or crackers or straight from the jar on a spoon or on my fingers (let’s be honest). No matter how you consume it, it’s pretty wonderful. It shall take you from the humid tropics of your backyard in Wisconsin or your tiny studio East Village apartment to a warm yet breezy climate controlled beach in the middle of paradise. Get out the drink umbrellas for your smoothies, children, today’s gonna be a good day 8-).

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Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Level: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)

Directions:

1. Place raw cashews in a food processor or blender. Grind until a fine powder forms.

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2. Add coconut oil at room temperature (semi-solid) into the food processor. Continue blending until contents reach a nut-butter consistency. If you want thicker butter, add less coconut oil; if you want it runnier, add more. I stopped the grinding when it was chunky because I like chunky nut butters, but if you like it smooth, keep blendin’ til you get the smooth butter you desire.

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3. Add vanilla, sea salt, and maple syrup (optional) into the nut butter and stir gently with a spoon or spatula.

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4. Place nut butter into an airtight container or lidded jar and store at room temperature up to a few weeks. You can also put it in fridge but please be aware that it will cause it to harden a little bit (it will soften as it warms again to room temp).

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5. Enjoy on anything and everything! #healthyfats #PUFAs #MUFAs #yummys

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