Posts tagged ‘nut/seed butter’
I am finally getting over 2 1/2 weeks of the “crud” going around, and the lingering cold has really put a dent in my cooking. Besides soups and on-the-go meals from our local health food store, I haven’t been inventive in many meals. However, this chocolate hazelnut spread pulled me out of the slump…it’s creamy, chocolately goodness and rich, nutty flavor made my taste buds sing and I knew I was on the track to recovery.
Oh, the healing powers of chocolate! But please, if you think that’s a bunch of bologna, I’d rather you keep it to yourself so I can keep on indulging
I’m quite comfortable with making homemade nut butters (ie. nut butter madness post), yet it’s been a while since I posted a new flavor combination. I also realized I’ve never posted a chocolate nut butter….what???? It’s about time!
Hazelnuts + chocolate are a lovely combination…does Nutella ring a bell? I try and stay away from those processed ingredients and partially hydrogenated oils in actual Nutella, so why not whip up a batch of my own? Plus…homemade always tastes better. I won’t say it tastes exactly the same as Nutella but why would it when you are using real and healthy ingredients?
One word — deliciousness!
Chocolate Hazelnut Spread aka “Healthy Nutella”
Gluten-free, Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free, Grain-free, Dairy-Free
2 1/2 cups raw hazelnuts
2 Tbsp coconut oil (or other neutral oil)
1/3 cup coconut milk (I used the canned variety)
5 Tbsp cup unsweetened cacao or cocoa powder
1/4 cup coconut sugar (or other granulated sweetener)
2-3 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp pure stevia extract (or could increase the granulated sugar by 2-3 Tbsp)
a rounded 1/4 tsp sea salt or to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Add hazelnuts to a large baking sheet and roast for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned and some skins have loosened around the hazelnut.
3. Place the roasted nuts in the center of a damp kitchen towel (use an older towel or dark colored one). Bundle it up and rub the nuts for a couple minutes to loosen the skins. Pick out the “skinless” nuts and place into the bowl of a food processor. Repeat until most of the skins have come off and add the remaining nuts to the processor (it’s ok if there are stubborn ones that are difficult to remove).
4. Process the hazelnuts for 5-6 minutes or until you achieve a creamy nut butter. You may need to stop and scrape the sides of the bowl every couples minutes or so to help it along.
5. Add the oil and process for a minute or so until smooth.
6. Add the remaining ingredients and process again until fully incorporated and really smooth, this took me another 5 minutes. Taste the spread and adjust salt and sweeteners to taste if desired.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups of nut butter. Store in jars or containers in the fridge.
Enjoy with a
large spoon, spread on toast or use in your favorite recipes. “Nutella” Ice Cream (Dairy-free) coming soon!
Another no-bake treat coming your way! If you can’t tell, I’m ALL about nuts and seeds these days. I can’t get enough almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, pistachios, peanuts and pepitas…high calorie or not, nuts have been my go-to snack, baking ingredient and add-in around my kitchen.
I found myself adding a handful of walnuts, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds to a huge bowl of cooked quinoa that was also sprinkled with nutritional yeast. Yep, that was my quick lunch one day. No judging, please…it’s better than eating 12 of these treats for lunch with a glass of almond milk, right?
I guess this recipe could be called “salted mixed nut candy” or even a brittle, but the word “cluster” makes me giggle so I went with that.
I even enjoyed these goodies roughly chopped over a salad of grilled chicken, mixed greens, raspberries and blue cheese for dinner one night…YUM. Just like candied nuts but homemade and refined sugar free!
Salted Mixed Nut Clusters
1/4 cup chopped, sliced or slivered almonds*
1/4 cup chopped pecans*
2 Tbsp chopped walnuts*
2 Tbsp unsalted pistachios*
sea salt to taste (I used a medium pinch)
2/3 cup granulated sweetener (palm sugar, sucanat, etc)
1 Tbsp liquid sweetener (maple syrup, agave or honey)
2 Tbsp coconut milk
2 Tbsp creamy nut butter (peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower butter – use one that is more liquid than solid for easy incoporation)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp flaxseeds
Flavor variation ideas: add 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon or ginger, a couple shakes of cayenne for a sweet and spicy treat or even 2/3 tsp garam masala spice for an exotic flair.
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper and set aside.
2. In a dry skillet, toast all nuts over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Stir frequently and watch carefully to avoid burning. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with sea salt, toss and set aside to cool.
3. In a medium saucepan, add sweeteners and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes until granulated sweetener dissolves. Stir frequently to avoid burning.
4. Add in coconut milk, nut butter and vanilla and stir until smooth. Increase heat to medium-high and let boil for 1-2 minutes until slightly thickened.
5. Remove from heat. Stir in toasted nuts and flaxseeds and let cool for about 2 minutes or so until mixture starts to thicken.
6. Drop by tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet, drizzle with remaining mixture and let cool until hardened.
Makes about 12-18 clusters, depending on size you prefer
*Use your favorite combination of nuts and seeds in this recipe to suit your tastes – walnuts, sunflower seeds, pepitas, peanuts, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, etc can all be used!
I hope everyone is enjoying (or surviving) the summer heat!
It’s hot here. Plus, there’s no air conditioning in my apartment so I refuse to turn on the oven in the middle of the day. I would much rather stick my head in the fridge…that might have something to do with the fact that these little squares are waiting for me
No bake, quick and oh-so-delicious — these dense little blocks satisfy not only my craving for chocolate but any decadent dessert or after-meal treat. They can also stand in as a speedy afternoon pick-me-up when you need a little burst of energy and/or to quench a midday sweet tooth.
Did I mention they are chock-full of healthy fats, fiber, protein and antioxidants (you gotta give it up for raw cacao!).
The base of these fudgy bites are homemade coconut butter (though a store bought version works here too) and your favorite nut or seed butter. Tailor these filling squares to your liking with various extracts, nut/seed butters and add-ins. The addition of dried fruit would be delicious – cherries, raisins, apricots, cranberries, goji berries, banana or dates would be delicious!
Raw Cacao-Coconut Fudge Bites
12 oz unsweetened shredded coconut (or about 1 1/2 cups coconut butter)
1/2 cup of your favorite nut or seed butter, or combo (I’ve used both almond and peanut butter)
1/3 – 1/2 cup raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder but would not be raw or even carob powder for caffeine-free)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla
3-4 Tbsp agave (honey or maple syrup can be subbed) and/or stevia or your favorite sweetener to taste
3 Tbsp flaxseed meal (ground flaxseeds but can be subbed for your
2 Tbsp chia seeds
optional: for a protein boost, add 2 scoops of good-tasting chocolate or vanilla protein powder (be sure you like the flavor!)
optional add-ins: 1/3 – 1/2 cup chocolate chips, chopped nuts and/or or dried fruit of choice
2 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
2 Tbsp raw cacao nibs
1. Line a large loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside (Can use small or large pan for different thickness).
2. In a food processor, add coconut and process for about 10 minutes or until the coconut turns into a butter. See my post here on to make homemade coconut butter.
3. Add in nut butter through sweetener and process for another minute until smooth (the more liquid sweetener used will result in more of a fudgy texture)
4. Add in flaxseed meal, chia seeds and protein powder (if using) and process for 30 seconds. Stir in add-ins at this time, if using.
5. Pour into prepared pan and refrigerate until hardened, about 30 minutes. Cut into squares/blocks and enjoy!
Makes 20-30 squares (depending on size)
Tip: I put these in the freezer to harden and tried to cut them and they didn’t cut as easily. I think hardening in the refrigerator next time would be my preference, but I was impatient
I’ve been on a BIG cereal kick these days…going through one box of peanut butter puffins and/or granola a week by myself has been routine. I think all the sugary and carb goodness is catching up with me so I kicked it into gear and created a more healthy alternative for my everyday snack/meal.
This recipe can easily be deemed “chilled dessert soup with a crunch” but considering my recent love affair with cereal, I felt the current title was more appropriate. Not to mention, I first made this after a morning run and it was the perfect high-protein meal that was both filling and refreshing!
The crunch from the cacao nibs, walnut and pecan pieces along with the buckwheat groats makes this quick and easy “cereal bowl” squash any craving for a bowl of puffins or granola. I am not saying I will be staying away from cereal but eating a box (or more) per week might be overkill, what do you think? No need to answer that
This is one of those recipes too that you can tweak to your liking — change up the nuts, fruit/avocado, protein powder, extracts, and toppings and you can make a ton of different variations. Add in a tablespoon of two or cacao or carob powder for a chocolate-ly punch or make a coffee-inspired version by subbing some of the milk for your favorite coffee. Decisions, decisions!
Recovery Crunch Cereal Bowl
1 cup ice cubes
1 cup non-dairy milk (I’ve used unsweetened almond milk and coconut milk)
1/2 avocado, 1/2 frozen banana or 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
1 scoop of your favorite protein powder (I used 1/2 chocolate Vega performance and 1/2 scoop vanilla whey)
splash of pure vanilla extract (almond would be good too)
2 Tbsp raw buckwheat groats
1 Tbsp cacao nibs
1 – 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts (I used 2 T)
1 – 2 Tbsp chopped pecans (I used 2 T)
optional: drizzle of honey, agave or maple syrup to taste (depends on sweetness of protein powder)
optional: 1/2 Tbsp of your favorite nut or seed butter (if using, blend with milk/ice/protein)
optional additions: chia seeds, fresh or frozen fruit chunks (frozen blueberries would be yum!), flaxseeds, shredded coconut, 1 tbsp cacao or cocoa powder, ground cinnamon, etc.
1. Blend ice, milk, avocado/banana/mango, protein powder and vanilla until smooth.
2. Pour into a bowl, top with remaining ingredients and enjoy!