Sunday, May 05, 2013

DIY single-serving gourmet nut butters

Single-serving nut butters in under 5 minutes
I am in love with gourmet nut butters; eaten hedonistically by the spoonful, they can make a bad day good. Slathered on whole grain bread, they transform lunch into a veritable party on your palate. Jem's Raw Nut Butters are a personal, special occassion favorite, but I also adore more mainstream brands like Peanut Butter and Company, especially Dark Chocolate Dreams. But let's face it: these treats are costly, and you'd have to be nuts to buy them every day.

Potential gourmet nut butter fodder: your inspiration may be different
Last night, I bought some almond butter and my current obsession Maca Powder [much cheaper on Amazon, BTW, than I paid at Whole Foods]. As they sat next to my ramekin collection, I thought about how easy and practical it would to whip up single-serving sizes of gourmet nut butters. Tonight, craving some recovery protein after today's Broad Street Run 10-Miler, I began experimenting. Here's what I came up with. [Photos below are before blending]

Date-Maca-Maple Almond Butter
Date-Maca-Maple Almond Butter 
This was my favorite. The acidic-berry-sweetness of the maca is so unbelievably luscious mashed into the mellow, earthy almond butter.
  • 2 T almond butter
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1 date, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla

Cinnamon-Raisin-Maple Peanut Butter
Cinnamon-Raisin Peanut Butter 
Want your kids to idolize you? Use this and thinly sliced, ripe bananas in their lunch sandwich tomorrow, on whole-grain bread. A classic combo, divine on toast for breakfast.
  • 2 T peanut butter
  • 1 tsp raisins, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • Dash of cinnamon, to taste
Fluffernutter Butter
Fluffer-Nutter Butter 
Sure it's for kids, but I love it, too, especially as a dip for apple or pear slices. It works as a sandwich spread, too.
  • 2 T peanut butter
  • 1 tsp Ricemellow Creme or other vegan marshmallow
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla

Chocolate Peanut Butter
Chocolate Peanut-Butter
Feel free to substitute hazelnut butter, but this is much more economical.
  • 2 T peanut butter
  • 1 tsp cocoa or raw, powdered cacao
  • 1 tsp agave nectar

To make these, simple blend all ingredients well in a ramekin with a spoon. You can use any nut butter [eg, cashew, almond, peanut, soy] and you can basically add anything that is compatible. My simple advice is: taste! If you want to make larger batches, or if you are lucky enough to own a Vitamix like my F-stop, do check out my pal Julie Hasson's excellent primer here.

Nut Butter-Compatible Add-In Ideas

  • Chopped, dried banana, apricots, apples, raisins, dates, figs or cranberries
  • Cinnamon
  • Garam Masala or Cayenne [In tiny quantities]
  • Canned pumpkin [Yes, really! Try a spoonful with cinnamon and nutmeg as a carrot dip]
  • Maca Powder
  • Agave Nectar
  • Maple Syrup
  • Brown Rice Syrup
  • Cacao, Cacao Nibs or Cocoa Powder
  • Ricemellow Creme or Vegan Marshmallow
  • Vegan Mini-Marshmallows
  • Vegan Chocolate Chips
  • Vanilla or Chocolate Vegan Protein Powder
  • Crumbled Vegan Graham Crackers
  • Dried Coconut
  • Acai Powder
  • Vanilla, Coconut, Almond, Rum or Banana Extract
What combo will you try first?

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FoodandLoathing said...

Why are you trying to make my addiction to nut butters even WORSE? There are some really great ideas in here, but I fear if I ever made any, it wouldn't possibly make it onto bread or into a bowl for fruit-dipping. ;-)

Andrea said...

Before I read the post I was afraid you were telling us to make the single-serve nut butters, which is so hard in large appliances. But mixing already-made nut butters with lovely add-ins is a whole other possibility, and I'm in! I especially like the date-maca-maple-almond butter. (The chocolate recipe, btw, is a repeat of the fluffer-nutter.)

foodfeud said...

I thought the fluffernutter pic was banana. How do you think the fruit would hold up if it were premixed and not eaten right away? Thanks for the reminder about foods on Amazon - I always forget that cheaper option (easier too than hauling groceries back from the store.)

urban vegan said...

All fixed, Andrea. Note to self: do not write blog posts after running a 10-mile race.

urban vegan said...

Do you mean mashed banana (a great idea, BTW!)? If so, I think it'd be okay for a day or two as long as you refrigerate. But I think the dried fruits would be fine for a week if left in the fridge.

Joey said...

Vegan marshmallow spread? Wha...? I need to set-up some UK-US vegan import business sharpish.

In the meantime, the maca option for me please!

Sarah said...

Thanks for this! I was recently pondering this possibility because someone (cough, grandma) exposed my kid to nutella and she loves it. I thought, I bet I can make a cheaper vegan alternative with cocoa powder and hazelnut butter. Can't wait to try all these!

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