How do you like your popcorn? Plain, buttered, or full on seasoned? Lately, I’ve been eating it with a (not so light) dusting of nutritional yeast and taco seasoning, and I’m going to tell you, my popcorn’s never tasted better. But then I got to thinking, why stop at popcorn? Why not nuts? Continue reading
“Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos.”
― Don Kardong
So Dave asked me if I would make him some sort of snack for pre-workouts and to refuel him through his day at work (sometimes his job alone is a workout). He was sure to specify, that he’d like for it to be healthy, have no added sugar, and (of course) taste like a cookie… Uh-Ya… No problem :-/
Did you know that February 5th was World Nutella Day?… Until recently, me either… It wasn’t until I noticed a pattern of recipes emerge (some using the spread, some making their own homemade version of it), that I became aware something was up.
In my pre-vegan days, I loved Nutella… And I’ll be honest, sometimes I still miss it, but not because I want to eat it out of the jar with a big spoon (not that I’m saying that ever happened ;-)). No, I miss it because bouncing around Pinterest I keep getting inspired by these great ideas that use it as their feature ingredient. Just because I’m vegan, doesn’t mean I don’t want to join in the chocolaty hazelnut fun! So, like many before me, I began my DIY Nutella journey.
Do a quick search on chocolate-hazelnut butter and you’ll find that just about every food blog has their own version of this spread. I’ve tried quite a few, and some are very good too, but there seems to be one glaring oversight. Not every kitchen is lucky enough to have a food processor, yet I can not recall seeing one recipe that did not require the use of this gadget. I decided that needed to change.
Thinking back to my Nutella days, recalling textures and flavours, I came to the conclusion that Nutella is not much more than chocolate hazelnut ganache. That’s when everything just fell into place, and I came up with the idea to combine store bought hazelnut butter with chocolate ganache… mmm, chocolate ganache. Can’t go wrong with that 🙂
Easy Chocolate-Hazelnut Butter
1/3 cup Non-Dairy Creamer (I used So Nice)
1/2 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
5 tbsp Hazelnut Butter, well stirred (I used store bought)
2 tsp Agave Nectar
1/16 tsp Salt
In a saucepan, over high heat, bring creamer and salt to a simmer. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips. Stir until smooth. If needed, return saucepan to burner and warm over low heat, stirring constantly (be careful not to burn the chocolate).
Add hazelnut butter and agave to chocolate mixture. Stir until thoroughly blended and smooth (again, returning to heat if needed).
Spoon into container (with a tight fitting lid) and place in refrigerator to cool. Do not cover (to prevent condensation residue).
After about an hour in the refrigerator, you will probably notice the mixture had separated a bit. Give it a good stir, and it will smooth back out. Cover and return to refrigerator.
Let the spread set for several more hours or over night.
Store in the refrigerator.
Makes about 1 cup.
Sometime last year, I had this great recipe idea that required macadamia nut butter. As it turned out, pure macadamia nut butter was a tad harder to find than I had anticipated. Eventually I did stumble upon some, but I could have saved so much time and travels had I just bought the nuts and made my own. Hind sight is 20/20, eh?
There were a few failed attempts before my first successful batch of nut butter. The recipe itself didn’t fail (there is no actual recipe to fail), it was completely my fault. Had I known, however, what to look for and expect , those batches would have tuned out just fine. So for all you nut butter enthusiasts (I know you’re out there ;-)), here’s my little guide to DIY nut butter… or seed butter, there’s no reason they can’t work too.
Which nut or seed butter is your favorite?
DIY Nut Butter
A couple of things to know before we get started…
The nuts and your machine may become warm during this process. Don’t worry, this is normal.
This might seem obvious, but if you’re nuts are in shells, remove them.
It’s not essential, but I prefer the flavour of toasted nuts (instructions here). If you decide to toast your nuts, allow them to cool before processing.
2 1/2 cups of nuts will yield approximately 1 cup of nut butter. It’s ok to double or even triple the amount, but processing time will increase with the work load.
Let’s make some butter!…
Place nuts in food processor and start blending.
The contents will go through four distinctive stages.
First it will look like chopped nuts.
Quickly followed by the second stage, when it becomes nut flour. At this time, stop the machine and add salt if wanted. (I add 1/4 teaspoon for every 2 1/2 cups of flour).
Turn the machine back on and watch for stage three (be patient, it might take a while), when the flour clumps into a ball or mass. At this point, it kind of looks like the solid layer of separated nut butter. Keep blending.
The forth stage (when the butter is done), will be smooth and liquidly.
It take about 10 -12 minutes of processing time to get to the final product. Don’t give up!
Store your nut butter in the refrigerator.
Mix and match nuts to create your own butter variations. Get creative and have fun!