Wednesday, November 19, 2014

pudding three ways

i am a fan of pudding. it's not something i made often for a few years because i was no longer using cornstarch. i made chocolate avocado pudding for a while...really, on repeat for nearly a year. but then  avocados weren't in season and i found this recipe on food52 and was in love. well, i was in love with the taste and texture, but the use of cane sugar and a lot of dairy left me hesitant to make it as much as i wanted to (which, let's be honest, was every day).

looking ahead to christmas and visiting family in iowa got me thinking about what wonderful things i want to make that everyone can enjoy. first on my list was to rework the pudding recipe to be dairy and cane sugar-free. guess what? i tried three variations and they are all lick-your-lips good. best part, they are also very good for you. nutrient dense, guilt free, delicious treats are my favorite!

as with most pudding recipes, you will only be using the yolks. this, in my opinion, is no big deal because it gives me an excuse to make boccone dolce often. leave out the chocolate and make it for breakfast. SO good. but i digress...

back to pudding. since i was altering the food52 recipe, i started with chocolate pudding. i use the same basic cooking method as the original recipe.

paleo chocolate pudding

2 cans coconut milk

heat on stove until it begins to foam/boil, stirring frequently. this should take 5-7 minutes. while waiting:

4 egg yolks
1/3 C tapioca flour
1/3 C honey
1/2 C cocoa powder

mix in a blender, scraping down the sides/lid a couple times. be sure to get all the tapioca flour out of the bumps/crevices of the inside of the blender. ;)

sprinkle 2 T grass-fed beef gelatin into the blender and let bloom while the milk finishes heating.

once the coconut milk is ready, turn on the blender to its lowest setting and begin to slowly add the coconut milk. scrape down sides/lid and blend again. pour into individual cups, pie crust, or 9x7 - 9x13 pan. cover with a lid/plastic and refrigerate 3-5 hours.

top with whipped cream or whipped coconut cream or my honey sweetened hot fudge and enjoy!

non-paleo variation: this recipe works great with 3 C whole milk instead of coconut milk. if you don't have gelatin you can alternatively use one bag of dark chocolate chips (always check ingredients!), added after the milk is fully incorporated. if you are using chocolate chips, i would reduce the amount of honey to between 2 T - 1/4 C.

on to our second variation! i was staring at two overripe bananas on my counter, thinking about pudding, and craving the delicious concoction of my youth. you know the one...layers of nilla wafers, pudding, and whipped cream. granted, back in the day it all came from boxes and had little to no actual nutrients, but still. the memory lives on in my mind. i made the first version with whole milk because i was out of coconut milk ( does that even happen?!) but it works great with either.  this recipe is my new favorite. absolutely guilt-free. NO sweeteners outside of the bananas. plus, bananas are wonderful for you. and gelatin...don't even get me started on the benefits found there!

the banana pudding is mighty tasty on its own, but to fulfill this particular banana pudding craving there had to be some form of cookies to layer in the mix. i found this recipe for paleo vanilla wafers from "the iron you". after a little alteration, i had a winner. and when i say "winner" i mean don't-share-with-the-kids, mom-where'd-all-the-banana-pudding-go? winner.  ;)

banana pudding

2 cans of coconut milk OR 3 C whole milk

heat on stove until it begins to foam/boil, stirring frequently. this should take 5-7 minutes. while waiting:

4 egg yolks
1/3 C tapioca flour
2 ripe bananas

mix in a blender, scraping down the sides/lid a couple times. be sure to get all the tapioca flour out of the bumps/crevices of the inside of the blender. ;)

sprinkle 2 T grass-fed beef gelatin into the blender and let bloom while the milk finishes heating.

once the coconut milk is ready, turn on the blender to its lowest setting and begin to slowly add the coconut milk. scrape down sides/lid and blend again. pour into individual cups, pie crust, or layer with cookies in 9x13 pan. cover with a lid/plastic and refrigerate 3-5 hours.

paleo vanilla wafers

3 egg yolks
1 t vanilla extract
3 C almond flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t kosher salt
1/3 C virgin coconut oil, melted
2/3 C raw honey

preheat oven to 350. mix all ingredients in a food processor until well combined. spread dough on a silicon baking mat on a sheet pan. bake for 15 minutes (more or less, depending on your oven). allow to cool on the silicon mat for 5-10 minutes before moving to a cutting surface (FYI: your silicon baking mat would NOT be a cutting surface). use a pizza cutter to 1"-2" squares out of the vanilla wafer sheet.

to assemble banana pudding, layer cookie pieces in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. cut up one banana into thin slices and layer on top of the cookies. pour 1/3 of the pudding over the top of the cookies. make another layer of cookies, layer sliced bananas, pour 1/3 of the pudding, etc. cover and refrigerate. serve with whipped cream or whipped coconut cream and try not to eat the whole pan.

so, this probably should have been three separate posts, but i only have one picture right now and the basic pudding recipe is more or less a master recipe so i'm just going to keep going. 

as much as i love chocolate pudding and banana pudding, this coconut pudding may be my favorite. i can't wait to make some incredible paleo pie shell and make a coconut cream pie. yes, this will happen soon. the downside to making super-delicious things is that sometimes (okay, most of the time) i am so busy enjoying the food that i forget to take a picture. or, maybe my kitchen is a complete mess and there's not enough counter space to get a photo. i plead the fifth and throw another yummy pudding recipe at you as a distraction...

coconut pudding

2 cans of coconut milk OR 3 C whole milk

heat on stove until it begins to foam/boil, stirring frequently. this should take 5-7 minutes. while waiting:

4 egg yolks
1/3 C tapioca flour
1/4 C honey
1 t vanilla

mix in a blender, scraping down the sides/lid a couple times. be sure to get all the tapioca flour out of the bumps/crevices of the inside of the blender. ;)

sprinkle 2 T grass-fed beef gelatin into the blender and let bloom while the milk finishes heating.

once the coconut milk is ready, turn on the blender to its lowest setting and begin to slowly add the coconut milk. scrape down sides/lid and blend again, this time adding in 2 C unsweetened shredded coconut. pour into individual cups, pie crust, or in 9x7 - 9x13 pan. cover with a lid/plastic and refrigerate 3-5 hours. a little honey sweetened hot fudge on top is sublime.

that's all for now, but there have to be more variations. pumpkin? raspberry? i will let you know if i come up with anything else worth making. for now, enjoy your pudding!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

grain-free pumpkin gingerbread muffins

fall is nearly upon us.'s still over a month away, but school starts this week which is putting me in an autumn state of mind. leaves will begin to change colors, temperatures will begin to cool (at least for all you non-california folks), jackets and sweaters will come out of hiding...and pumpkin-everything will soon be everywhere. i am quite excited about that last bit because my love for pumpkin is a year-round affair.

muffins have been a hard sale since going paleo. my first experiments with almond meal were overly moist, muffins made with coconut flour were either too dry or too eggy, and, although we consumed every last one of anything i made, we were all left wanting my perfect, gluten-and-sugar-filled muffins of yesteryear. the following recipe is the result of playing around with a couple almost-there paleo muffin recipes and have become one of my favorite things to bake.

i have become a big fan of tapioca flour because it takes otherwise sad paleo baked goods and gives them the right amount of fluff and binder to border the edge of "normal" treats. these muffins are a nutrient packed food that is wonderful for an occasional weekend breakfast or as a grab-and-go weekday option. this makes 24 muffins if you measure out the batter well, so even if you have four children you can enjoy them for more than one sitting. ;)

grain-free pumpkin gingerbread muffins

1 C coconut flour
1 C tapioca flour
1/2 C coconut sugar
2 t baking soda
1 T cinnamon
1 T ginger
2 t ground cloves
1 t nutmeg

whisk together dry ingredients, then add:

1 can pumpkin
6 eggs
1/2 C unsweetened applesauce
1/4 C molasses
1/2 C coconut oil or butter, melted

whisk until everything is combined. with a large cookie scoop, divide between 20-24 cupcake holders. bake for 20-25 minutes at 350. allow to cool slightly before eating. once completely cool, these muffins release the best from cupcake liners of any paleo muffin i have made.

i just realized these are also nut-free, so should be pretty universally edible. ;)

Friday, August 1, 2014

curry nachos...with or without grains

there was a restaurant in downtown oregon city that andy and i loved. their lamb shank was fall-off-the-bone delicious and they had this unusual but great appetizer...curry nachos. long story short, we moved, they went out of business (hopefully not because we moved!), and i had to replicate the recipe. it is surprisingly easy and tastes exactly as i remember it at cypress.

curry nachos

1 lb ground turkey
1 T curry powder
salt and pepper

brown the turkey, adding the curry powder as it cooks. season to taste with salt and pepper.

here's where the grain/no-grain option comes in. on two baking sheets spread out either one bag of tortilla chips (my favorite is trader joe's organic white corn) or cut baby peppers in half (some may need to be cut in quarters, depending on the size) and remove seeds/membranes. for the size of this recipe you would need to cut most of a 2-lb bag of baby peppers.

preheat your broiler (i like mine on high). sprinkle the curried turkey on top of your "chips". shred monterey jack cheese on top and broil for 2-3 minutes, until cheese bubbles and begins to brown. remove from oven to cool for a couple minutes before topping with:

2 roma tomatoes, diced
3-4 green onions, finely sliced
1/2 bunch of cilantro, minced

serve with plain yogurt on the side (this is a condiment not to be left really makes all the flavors come together). this feeds my whole family of six well. the chip version does not save (soggy chips are gross) so if you aren't making food for a small army you may want to scale back...or invite friends over! ;)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

raw chocolate coconut "brownie"

one last recipe for today. i can't believe i haven't shared this before now, but i can't find it so must not have. i was probably too busy eating. and then too busy working out to counteract all the eating. i digress...

i'm a sucker for good, dark chocolate. add in just enough sea salt and you have found my kryptonite. add in coconut and i'm as good as done. these raw brownies have all that and more. i must avoid making them to save myself from eating the whole pan. the. WHOLE. pan. i could go on and on, but i'm just getting hungry so will just give you the recipe. ;)

raw chocolate coconut "brownie"

1 1/2 C almond butter
4 1/2 C unsweetened, shredded coconut
1 C raw cacao powder
3/4 C raw honey
1/4 t sea salt
1 t vanilla

mix all ingredients in a large food processor or stand mixer (i have found my 11 C kitchen aid food processor freezes up with this large an amount, so i always use my stand mixer now). press into a 9x13 pan and refrigerate. allow to come to room temperature for easier cutting. ENJOY!

flourless chocolate cake

do a google search for "flourless chocolate cake" and you will come across many options...most laden with white or powdered sugar. do a search for "grain-free brownie" or "grain-free chocolate cake" and, i'm not going to lie, you will find many results, but, perhaps like me, be disappointed by the resulting taste and texture. i love an ooey-gooey brownie as much as (possibly more than) the next person. other paleo, grain-free brownies i have tried have been a let down...too much coconut flour leaves them chalky, too much almond flour leaves them overly moist, too much tapioca starch leaves them higher on the glycemic impact than i prefer. one major thing i have learned over the last couple years is the mix of alternative flours you use is very important. this recipe, however, uses NO alternative almond flour, no coconut flour, no tapioca starch. skeptical would be a kind word to describe how i was feeling when i found and made this recipe, but i had just made almond butter and my food processor was already dirty so, why not? once i tasted the batter i was feeling more hopeful. i have, however, in the past had delicious grain-free batters that turned into disappointing baked goods, so i held my breath and final judgements until the end.

oh. my. goodness. JOY. when this rich, chocolate pan cooled off i found myself in cake heaven. light and airy, not eggy, not overly sweet. a near mary poppins of baked confections. extra bonus? the ingredients aren't hard to find/make. i made this recipe three times while visiting friends in oregon over spring break. that's three times in ONE week. when you find a good thing you must share it, right?! ;)

this recipe is originally from the healthy home economist and is called a brownie. the picture they posted is most likely cut from the middle of the pan. i have found if you want more of a brownie texture, cook it less. for a lighter, less gooey cake texture, mix the liquid ingredients more and bake longer. for my oven this means 24 minutes leaves a gooey center (will have a little wiggle in the middle when you take it out) and by 28 minutes the whole pan raises to cake stature (still a little give, but more solid). do NOT over bake. the recipe also works wonderfully baked in individual ramekins (baking time 15-20 minutes, depending on the size you use). i have changed very little...i use less maple syrup than the original recipe, found honey works fine as a substitute, and omit the chocolate chips, but otherwise have stuck to the above linked recipe.

flourless chocolate cake

1 C almond butter
6 eggs
2/3 C grade B maple syrup or honey
1 T vanilla
1 C raw cacao powder (organic cocoa powder is also fine)
1/4 t sea salt (originally called for 1/2 t salt, but my almond butter is already salted)
1 t baking soda

blend almond butter, eggs, sweetener, and vanilla in your food processor. add cacao powder, salt, and baking soda and blend again, scraping sides down to be sure everything incorporates well. spray or oil a 9x13 pan and bake at 350 for 24-28 minutes. allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

this is delicious on its own, served with a scoop of your preferred ice cream, or with fresh fruit (think raspberries or strawberries). it is also very tasty with dark chocolate chips/chunks and walnut pieces scattered on top before baking...sprinkle with a little sea salt after removing from the oven (oh man, that last one was gooOd).

lamb gyro burgers

i love a good gyro. it was one of the first things i consumed when i traveled to NYC with my two youngest sisters a few christmases back. after 11pm, food cart in midtown...i could have inhaled two or three.

nowadays, i haven't had a real gyro in what seems like forever. the wonderfully soft, delicious, wheat-laden flatbread has kept me away. a couple months ago, i found ground lamb for a really good price and decided to experiment. i could capture all the flavors i love in a burger, i was just sure of it. the result was wonderful that i have made it two weeks in a row. the second time *could* have been because we inhaled the first batch so quickly i never got a picture... ;)

when lamb is raised properly and cooked right, the taste and health benefits can't be beat. look for grass-fed lamb. this high protein and vitamin B-12, omega-3 rich meat option should be making a regular round in your menu.

lamb gyro burger


2 lbs ground lamb
1 red onion, diced
2-3 oz feta cheese, crumbled (avoid the extra chemicals and always buy the block, crumbling what you need)
2 eggs
1 1/2 t dried oregano
salt and pepper

mix all ingredients, form into patties, fry in a large skillet with olive oil. allow to rest at least 5-7 minutes before serving with tzatziki and fresh tomato slices.

tzatziki sauce

1 C plain yogurt
1/2 english cucumber, diced
4 sprigs fresh dill, minced
salt and pepper

stir all ingredients together. chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.

can't have dairy? you can get by with leaving out the feta in the burger and use a coconut or almond milk yogurt or non-dairy sour cream substitute for the tzatziki (though i never suggest using a soy alternative).

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

new costume projects

being in a new place has taken way more adjustment than i anticipated. this fall we passed on doing the first show with kirby's new ballet studio, academy of classical ballet. after some begging in january, we agreed to do the spring show...kirby dancing and me costuming.

with my kids in school for the first time this year (there's a whole 'nother post about that one of these days...) and my brain finally settling down from the move, i have been working on a more elaborate form of costume than i was doing in oregon. hand-painting on satin and organza, applying swarovski crystals, burning and layering scores of petals, creating a glitter layer (from extra fine glitter and mod podge) to paint on a purchased costume, and lots of trimmings. it was a fun, but time-consuming project which leaves me excited to see them all on stage in a couple of weeks.

butterfly queen

tulip princess

water lily and thumbelina

swanhilda fabric (guess i didn't take a picture of the finished costume) and the aftermath of painting feathers

indian chicken salad

i love curry. LOVE. over easter we were back in portland and had a picnic with my brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and niece. my sister-in-law picked out a very yummy looking indian chicken salad from the whole foods deli. we were excited about it...until we got to the cashier and realized the one pound she had gotten was going to cost almost $15. ouch! my recipe rivals the inspiration and i made around three pounds of this deliciousness for under $10. score.

indian chicken salad

2.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast (i used one bag of frozen, thawed from trader joe's)
1 T curry powder
1-2 t kosher salt
1/4 t pepper

i picked up the ingredients for this dish the same day i wanted to eat it. because i didn't have time to let the chicken thaw on its own (and no longer use the microwave for thawing), i placed the bag in my large stock pot, opened the bag, and filled the bag and stock pot with hot water. after the chicken was thawed (10-15 minutes) i held a small part of the resealable top closed while pouring off all of the water. then i dumped all the spices into the bag and massaged everything around until the chicken was coated. then i lit my grill (or you could heat a pan on the stove, but the taste from the grill was so much better). after the grill was fully heated i grilled the chicken breasts, roughly 5-7 minutes per side. once finished, i let the chicken rest 10-15 minutes before dicing. this is a good amount of time to prep the rest of the ingredients for the chicken salad.

5-6 green onions, sliced, all white and green parts (you can dice the larger white rounds, if desired)
2 large carrots, shredded on a box grater (or food processor large shredding disk)
1/2 C currants (raisins would work here, but i liked the smaller size of the currant)
1 C plain yogurt (you could use mayo, but i had run out and didn't have time to make more)
1 T curry powder
salt and pepper, to taste (probably 1-2 t kosher salt and 1/8-1/4 t of fresh ground pepper)

dice chicken and stir all ingredients together. taste, adjust seasonings if necessary, and ENJOY!

Monday, March 3, 2014

carrot cake waffles with maple raisin cream cheese spread

a local grocery store had 5 lb bags of organic carrots on special this week. i normally keep many small bags of frozen carrots in my freezer to add to soups and sauces along with the occasional muffin, but after grating my way through all five pounds i had an irresistible urge for carrot cake. a quick google search later and i was looking through a couple promising recipes. since we have been mostly paleo for about two years now (you've noticed the evolution of my food posts, right?) i have become familiar enough with how acceptable flours work, compliment each other, and their limitations to use the existing carrot cake pancake recipes as a launching pad to develop my own waffle version. it turned out really well (wishing i had made a double batch so we had more leftovers) and i can't wait for you to try it!

carrot cake waffles

6 lg carrots (approx 2 1/2 C - 3 C)
1 C blanched almond flour
1/2 C tapioca flour
1/3 C coconut flour
1/4 C - 1/3 C coconut sugar
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 t sea salt or kosher salt
1 T cinnamon
3/4 t ginger
3/4 t nutmeg
1/2 t cloves
12 eggs
1 C unsweetened almond milk
1/2 C butter, ghee, or coconut oil, melted

in a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. you can whisk the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl, but who wants the extra dishes? i whisk the eggs and almond milk and add the melted butter after those are incorporated. heat your waffle iron to medium and serve warm with cream cheese spread (seriously, don't skip it!). makes 16-17 waffles using 1/2 C batter for each waffle.

if i was going to make this recipe a little larger, i would go 1.5X and use a whole can of coconut milk for the liquid. leftovers can be stored on the counter (a few days), in the refrigerator (a week), or in the freezer (months, if you can make them last that long).

the topping i created was based on traditional carrot cake. i mean, cream cheese frosting is a standard, right?! some people put raisins and walnuts in their carrot cake. next time i will probably add walnuts to the mix. obviously this is the part of the meal that is not paleo, but it's worth the teeny-tiny cheat. trust me.

maple raisin cream cheese spread

1/2 C raisins
8 oz cream cheese, neufch√Ętel cheese, or strained yogurt*
1/4 C maple syrup
1/4 t vanilla

in a food processor, chop the raisins alone. after they are all in small pieces, add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

i will add 1/2 C chopped walnuts the next time i make this, mixing in by hand at the end. *to make strained yogurt, place two heaping cups of plain, whole milk yogurt in a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth or paper towels over a bowl (to catch the whey) and cover in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

the world's best (and healthiest) french onion dip

last year i went all out for the super bowl. sure, it was the only time all season my family had sat down together to watch football, but it was also a very good excuse to make all those wonderful junk foods people consume while watching sports so, what the heck. ;)

i found this recipe here originally, but with some tweaking, it turned into what is featured below.

french onion dip

2 C plain yogurt, whole milk if you have it
1 large red onion, diced
4 T butter
1/2 t kosher salt
1/4 t black pepper
1/2 t curry powder or turmeric
1/4 t celery salt

the day before (12-24 hours before) you want to make the dip put a strainer over a bowl and line with paper towels or cheesecloth. place the yogurt in the strainer and let the whey drain off. you are making the healthiest, most probiotic rich sour cream! you're welcome.

when you are ready to finish making the dip, melt the butter in a pan and add the diced onion. cook over medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes, stirring often so the onions soften and caramelize and don't brown or burn. allow the onions to cool for 20-30 minutes after they are finished cooking before adding them and all the seasonings to the strained yogurt. once everything is mixed together, taste, adjust seasonings (may need to add more salt or curry/tumeric) and consume with great fervor...with or without a sporting event on television.

chewy chocolate chip grain-free cookies

today is may 14, 2014, and i am editing this recipe. if you previously grabbed this recipe, i suggest throwing out the old one and swapping it for the updated version. can't. stop. eating... ;)

cookies have always been my obsession. i can't get enough cookie dough, if i am stupid enough to make it, and like my cookies slightly under baked so they remain chewy long after they cool down. they are like lay's potato chips in that i can never have just one. or two. or ten. my near-famous recipe (full of wheat and sugar) is here, but for our health (and my waistline) we have mostly abandoned that delicious concoction for this new, grain-free variety.

chewy chocolate chip grain-free cookies

old recipe picture above, new recipe pictures below

1 C dates or raisins
1/2 C almond butter
1/3 C unsweetened vanilla almond milk or coconut milk
1 t vanilla
1/2 t baking soda
1 C blanched almond flour (again, i use anthony's almonds brand because it is the least expensive)
1/4 C mini chocolate chips

in a food processor, chop the dates/raisins and almond butter until smooth. add choice of milk, and flaxseed meal and process. add the baking soda and almond flour. i like to put the chocolate chips in the food processor, as well, but some people like to mix them in by hand. **note: if you make these cookies directly after making your almond butter (i mean, come on, the food processor is already dirty...) your chocolate chips will melt. you can always chill the dough and stir in more before baking or just roll with it. the result is delicious either way** do whichever method you prefer, then use a medium cookie scoop to place dough on a cookie sheet. these will not spread so you can place them 1"-2" apart without any problem. after all the scoops are on the sheet, smash the cookies down with the bottom of a cup (wet with water if dough begins to stick), fingers, or spatula. **note: taking out the flaxseed meal from the original recipe, i no longer smash these cookies**

bake for 10-15 minutes at 350. let them get a little golden before you take them out of the oven. allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. store in a container with lid or airtight bag.

as with nearly all paleo treats we have had, these are not the "real thing" but they are close enough to satisfy my craving in a healthy way. my husband even stated with amazement last night, "these are REALLY good!" i guess some of my attempts at treats have left him skeptical. ;)

occasionally i make this recipe with a few alterations. i add:
2 eggs
1/2 C coconut flour
1 t vanilla
1 t baking soda (instead of 1/2 t)
1/2 t kosher salt
and omit the flaxseed meal

the result is a little more cakey, but a little higher in protein. i prefer the original version, but like having the option to make it either way.

easy wraps, erin-style

to keep my kids from getting bored with their limited lunch options, i decided to try a couple paleo wrap recipes. after a little trial and error, a few alterations, and dozens of wraps later, i landed on this recipe as my new go-to.

easy paleo crepes/wraps

1 C blanched almond flour (i buy anthony's almonds brand almond flour from amazon because it is the most cost effective one i have found)
1 C tapioca flour
1/4 C coconut flour
1 can coconut milk (trader joe's is inexpensive and does not have any preservatives)
2 eggs

place all ingredients in a blender and mix well. heat an 8"-9" pan over medium heat. spray, butter, or oil your pan and pour in 1/4 C of the batter, swirling as you pour to spread the batter into an even circle. let cook until the top looks glossy and the sides begin to color, 2-3 minutes. flip and cook the other side, 1-2 minutes. cool on a rack and repeat with the rest of the batter. 

i think this recipe makes around 24 wraps, but i can't remember. i store them in a 9" round glass dish with a lid, on the counter if they will be consumed quickly or in the fridge if we will take our time. ;) they are WONDERFUL sprinkled with cheese and used to make a quesadilla-like grilled sandwich or for an egg burrito.

i usually double this recipe and it fits in my kitchenaid blender. if i want to only make 1 1/2 times the recipe, i opt to use half a can of water instead of having half a can of coconut milk left over.

easy, addictive almond butter

there are worse things you could be addicted to than almond butter. as a recovering peanut butter addict, i thought i would never be able to part with the delicious legume spread. store-bought almond butter was definitely not enticing was hard as a rock, difficult to stir without the aid of a stand mixer, and "ehhh..." as far as taste was concerned. then i decided to finally make my own almond butter and my whole world changed.

not only is this incredibly easy to do, but the results are, in my opinion, better than the fresh ground almond butter you can buy (costing an arm, a leg, and your first born child) at whole foods.

i typically use two pounds of almonds at a time, which amounts to four cups of almond butter. i have four children (and a strong, personal addiction). being mostly grain-free, we eat it with sliced apples and bananas, celery, and occasionally spread it on waffles and wraps (both recipes i need to post).

almond butter

preheat your oven to 350. spread 1-2 lbs of raw almonds on a baking sheet and roast for 12-15 minutes. i like to go until they just start to color and i can smell them. let cool for 5-10 minutes and then dump all the nuts into your 11 C (or bigger) food processor. it would be wise to have ear covers or ear plugs for the next step because it is LOUD for the first few minutes. process the almonds until everything is sticking to the side and not going anywhere. scrap the bowl, break up clumps, process again. repeat a couple times. by the third scraping, you should be able to let it continue to chop and mix until the oils begin to release and the almond meal starts turning into paste. this will take a few minutes. i like my almond butter very smooth, so i let it process until it is creamy. keep going until you reach the consistency you prefer. add 1 1/2 t - 2 t of real salt (redmond brand is what i have) or sea salt and mix for another minute. taste and add more salt, if desired. scrap almond butter into a container with a lid and consume copious amounts with sliced apples, celery, or (my personal favorite) straight off the spoon.

i have seen other recipes that include honey, a little cinnamon, and vanilla, but i don't need to make it more addictive than it already is. ;)

four cups of almond butter cost $11-$13, depending on where you get your raw almonds.

1/4 C of almonds has 132 calories, plus all these nutrients (all percentages of DVI)...

biotin: 49%
vitamin E: 40.2%
manganese: 26.5%
copper: 25.5%
vitamin B2: 17.6%
phosphorus: 15.9%
magnesium: 15.4%
fiber 11.2%

and 162 mg of potassium

(for more information than you ever wanted to know about almonds, go here)