Our grandparents and great grandparents grew up on a variety of different homemade condiments that provided them with an excellent sources of natural vitamins and nutrients. Most of these condiments were made from scratch using locally sourced, seasonal fruits and nuts. As a result their diets were rich and diverse and so they did not require multivitamin pills or nutrient supplements to remain healthy.
Most millennials have missed the bus on being able to enjoy such homemade goodies. However all hope is not lost as certain condiments can still be very easily re-created at home, with little to no effort. Condiments are the biggest sources of sugar and salt consumption in the modern home. Small effort towards smarter eating can go a long way in preserving and nurturing good health.
Nut Butters are great for the following reasons:
- Excellent source of good fat and cholesterol
- Packed with essential nutrients and vitamins
- Its organic, raw, vegan, gluten & sugar free – everybody can enjoy it!
- Easy to make at home and store
I tried a couple of variations before I came down to 3 combinations that work incredibly well
Cashew & Coca Nut Butter: My personal favourite, I find this nut butter to be more flavourful than regular chocolate spreads. The recipe is extremely flexible and easy to adapt to what you have in the kitchen. You can replace the coconut oil with canola or any other mildly flavoured oil. I prefer a neutral flavoured honey, however certain flavours like those from Under The Mango Tree work equally well. The amount of coca powder you add is directly dependent on how much of chocolate flavour you want in your butter, I suggest start with just a teaspoon and then add more if required. In case you cannot find salted cashews, roast regular cashews in the oven at 90’c for approximately 10 minutes and then allow to cool down to room temperature. Add about a half a teaspoon of sea salt when grinding the nuts.
Ingredients: Roasted salted cashews (1 cup), good quality organic honey (1 tablespoon), raw unsweetened organic coca powder (1 teaspoon) & Coconut Oil (3/4 tablespoon).
Peanut Butter with Sesame Seeds: Peanuts and sesame seeds make for a powerful combination. They have all the necessary protein, fats and vitamins people with physically intensive lifestyles need. If you are training for a marathon, participating in cross-fit or simply have a job that requires you to have a lot of physical energy, this spread is an excellent pick-me-up midday snack. You can choose to eliminate the sesame seeds if you’re not a fan, however I would recommend leaving them in at least once. Add them once the butter has reached your desired consistency and incorporate using a spoon, not the processor.
Ingredients: Roasted salted peanuts (1 cup), good quality organic honey (2 tablespoons), Sesame Seeds (1 teaspoon) & Coconut Oil (1 tablespoon).
Almond, Cinnamon & Honey Nut Butter: This is the trickiest butter to make at home and I wouldn’t suggest trying it unless you have a heavy duty grinder / food processor and a lot of patience. The butter takes about 20 to 25 minutes to reach a smooth consistency, depending on how powerful your appliance is.
A lot of people suggest adding brown sugar to it for extra sweetness but personally I feel any good quality dark honey does the job better. Cinnamon & Almonds are a classic combination, however if you are not a fan you can always use raw coca powder instead.
Ingredients: Roasted Almonds (1 cup), good quality organic honey (2.5 tablespoons), cinnamon powder / all spice mix (nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, etc.) (1 teaspoon) & Canola Oil (3/4 tablespoon).
- Grind the nuts in a food processor / food grinder for a couple minutes until it resembles coarse sand.
- Add honey & oil and continue grinding until smooth / desired consistency.
- Add the powders & salt and grind for another 30-40 seconds until fully incorporated.