Tuesday, April 30, 2013
If so, you can easily make your own almond butter using simple steps and ingredients that you can count on one hand.
I buy the three-pound bag of whole almonds at Costco, which equals out to be about nine cups per bag. I took two cups of almonds, lightly roasted them in the toaster oven and then switched them over to my food processor with a pinch of sea salt and a healthy sprinkle of cinnamon, stood by, scrapped down the sides of the container and watched my whole almonds turn into all-natural, preservative-free creamy almond butter.
By lightly roasting your almonds, they break down a little quicker in the food processor because they're already warm. You will have to stand by the food processor with a spoon or a spatula and scrape down the sides of the bowl, but it's totally worth it! The sea salt and cinnamon help bring out the flavor of this simple almond butter.
Make the recipe your own by adding a mixture of nuts, raw cacao nibs or maple syrup. I added maple syrup to my last batch and it turned out great, but I had to mix it in the food processor a little bit longer to get the almond butter back to a really creamy consistency.
Here's my recipe for Three Ingredient Almond Butter. Enjoy!
Three Ingredient Almond Butter
(makes about 10 to 12 oz. of creamy almond butter)
• 2 cups whole almonds, lightly roasted
• a pinch of sea salt
• a sprinkle of cinnamon
- Lightly roast your almonds in the toaster oven or the oven for about 4 minutes, until just lightly browned.
- Place the almonds, a pinch of sea salt and the cinnamon in the bowl of your food processor or high speed blender and turn on your machine. Depending on what food processor or blender you're using, it can take anywhere from 12 to 20 minutes for the almonds to break down and turn into a smooth mixture. If you have a high speed blender, like a Vitamix, it probably won't take as long.
- Store the almond butter in a sealed container at room temperature, but not for too long because this delicious mixture is free of preservatives. Your almond butter might harden up some if you place it in the fridge. I store my almond butter in an 8 oz. mason jar! Mason jars make everything look better (and cute).
Use on an almond butter and banana sandwich, on top of your morning bowl of oatmeal, add a spoonful to your smoothie or enjoy right out of the jar.
Check back later this week to see what else to do with your home made almond butter, maybe something like a healthy dessert!
Monday, April 29, 2013
Tonight I wanted to do a quick post about how to make one thing into another, which I know a lot of us try to do with leftovers or that poor half-eaten cucumber or head of lettuce sitting in the refrigerator. That is a "cheese stands alone" scenario if I've ever seen one. Burritos, wraps, salads and sandwiches are ALL easy options to turn one leftover meal here and a half-eaten vegetable there into one meal that is all that and the kitchen sink.
Yesterday I tasted some of the best guacamole that I've ever had the pleasure of snacking on. It was at a baby shower and this guacamole was more thin than chunky, which I really don't do when I make my own, but it had the best combination of lime juice, heat, onions, cilantro and avocados. It was green heaven on a crispy corn tortilla. I took some of that magical guacamole home with me and with some extra veggies made a taco salad. It was a pretty decent taco salad in flavor, color and size, enough that I had leftover salad as well. That's when I decided to go out and buy some tortillas tonight along with one of my go-to favorite non-dairy cheese substitutes, Wayfare We Can't Say It's Cheese spread in the Mexi Cheddar flavor. The local grocery store in West Yellowstone carries a variety of Wayfare products and the company is based just 90 miles down the road in Bozeman, Montana. I love supporting Made in Montana companies as well as the great message their company promotes to the rest of the world swirled in with that lovely soy-free vegan cheesy goodness in the We Can't Say It's Cheese spread! I took my Mexi Cheddar spread, some salsa, leftover black beans from one of last week's taco nights at another friend's house, my taco salad and guacamole and some sweet & spicy banana pepper rings and rolled up a Potluck Burrito for dinner.
The Potluck Burrito could easily translate into Potluck Quesadillas, Potluck Tacos, Potluck Sandwiches or Potluck Salad. The recipe is pretty easy – Take what you have in the kitchen or the leftover fragments of taco night (or Greek night, or Italian night) and place them in a tortilla, between two pieces of bread, on a bed of green spinach or even into a mystery casserole or quiche, toast, cook, grill, bake or toss and enjoy!
|Made right here in Montana|
|Bright, fresh taco salad topped with a generous spoonful of guac!|
You don't need to be going to a social gathering for an excuse to have a potluck for one! I try to waste as little food as possible and in turn have many potlucks for dinner. As we get closer and closer to summer and more work paired with more play, it is a good idea to even make yourself a list of meal options that you can make out of similar ingredients. This can help your budget from a monetary standpoint as well as your limited amount of time because sometimes we don't want to be in the kitchen cooking when we could be outside hiking, biking, running or lounging on a blanket in the sun. Like I said, these past two weeks have flown by and I can already tell that May is going to be another busy month of work and play.
It is pretty easy to master the art of making something into something else. So don't forget to ask yourself, "What's in my fridge that I can save from throwing away?"
Monday, April 22, 2013
Try mixing your favorite fresh and frozen fruits, almond milk or water, a handful of greens and maybe a few ice cubes and a dash of cinnamon in a blender. Start your day with all natural energy, vitamins, healthy fats and antioxidants!
You can also find out ways to volunteer or help out in your area for Earth Day. Or, keep it simple by taking a shorter shower, turning off the lights when you leave a room and remembering the 3 Rs - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
Mother Earth does so much for us that we can give back in small ways today and every other day to say, "Thanks!"
|Take a moment to take in the world around!|
Sunday, April 14, 2013
|I veganized the above recipe.|
I adapted my Berry Green Smoothie to fit with what I have in my fridge and to be dairy-free & vegan-friendly – It turned out to be pretty tasty. Now, you could probably drink the entire smoothie in one serving, but I broke mine up into two servings because this makes a generous amount of healthy greens, berries, fresh fruit and almond milk all blended together into one tasty package. There’s also something about drinking a smoothie out of a Mason jar that makes it feel more fun.
|Mason jars are more fun.|
Sunday, April 7, 2013
|chia seed/flax seed "egg"|