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December 14, 2021
Our twins have taken a liking to peanut butter but many of the supermarket ones are filled with added sugars, preservatives and unhealthy fats. I decided to make my own and it really is so easy. WarningFood allergies affect 5% to 10% of people and some nuts are common triggers, causing mild to deadly reactions and anaphylactic shock. But for the majority, nuts are a super healthy part of a balanced diet.
Full of high protein, fibre, and healthy fats, nuts also have plenty of other nutrients like Vitamins C, E, B6, B7, omega-3 fatty acids, folic acid, niacin, magnesium, zinc, copper, and potassium, manganese and selenium. As well as flavonoids, phenols, polyphenols, and other substances, they work together helping protect your cells.
Too much cholesterol can harden your arteries and lead to heart disease and stroke. Almonds, walnuts, and other tree nuts can help to lower it when it gets too high. Your body makes most of your cholesterol, but you get some from the food you eat, though nuts have little or no cholesterol, and people who eat more nuts (in moderation) have healthier hearts.
Avoid MouldNuts sometimes get mould that can transfer to the butters. Store nuts in a cool, dry place and discard any mouldy, shrivelled, or discoloured ones. Storing nuts in the freezer can also help preserve them.
The recipesFor the recipes below, all nuts need to be laid out on a lined baking tray and roasted at 160⁰C before placing in the food processor. Heating the nuts before blitzing them makes them softer and also releases the natural oils which makes the blitzing process easier and quicker. I also think roasting the nuts intensifies the flavour.
When the nuts are in the food processor, scrape down the sides regularly to make sure all nut butters are smooth. This process can take between 5-10 mins depending on the food processor you’re using. I use the Magimix cuisine 5200XL which is very fast. You will see the nuts go through stages from whole, to crumbs, clumps, dry ball and then smooth and creamy.
The quantities below make a jar of butter so adapt quantities to make more or less. The nut butters will keep best if placed in the fridge, (they can also be frozen).
Ingredients:420g raw peanuts1 tsp sea salt (adjust to taste)
Roast the nuts as above for appx 3-5 mins, turning them halfway, keeping an eye on them so they don’t burn. Then tip them straight in the food processor with the salt and blitz, stopping and starting to scrape down the sides. Once you have a smooth and creamy consistency transfer the peanut butter to a jar.
Ingredients420g raw almonds
Almond butter is one of the most popular after peanut it’s a great source of biotin -vitamin B7. It helps your body process fat, sugar, and protein, and also helps stabilise blood sugar levels. Roast in the oven at 160⁰C for appx 6-8mins, turning halfway and checking so they don’t burn. Once roasted place in the food processor and blitz until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a jar.
Ingredients:420g raw cashews1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Cashews are technically not nuts, but the seeds of a type of apple, it’s a great source of copper, which helps nourish tissues and blood. Roast the cashew nuts for a few minutes turning halfway. Cashews seem to roast quicker than other nuts so keep an eye on them. If using a vanilla bean, slice lengthways through the middle and scrape the seeds out. Place the cashew nuts and seeds (or paste) in the processor and blitz until smooth and creamy making sure you scrape down the sides often. Once ready, transfer to a jar.
Ingredients:420g raw hazelnuts120g dark chocolate1 tsp sea salt (adjust your taste)½ tsp vanilla essence
As the hazelnuts have skins on it’s best to remove these before blitzing. Roast the hazelnuts as above for appx 4-6 mins. While the nuts are roasting, melt the chocolate in a bain-marie on a low heat or in a glass bowl over a saucepan with water in. Once the nuts are roasted, place them in a clean dry tea towel and rub them to remove the skin, don’t worry if a little is left on. Then place them in the food processor with the melted chocolate, vanilla and salt. Blitz as above, scraping down sides until you have a smooth and creamy consistency. Transfer to a jar.
Gaby Van Clarke
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