Monday, August 9, 2010


Cream cheese, butter, nutella, jam…typical spreads for the morning toast. However do you ever get sick of enjoying a nice piece of healthy multi-grain toast and realize that it is smeared with just fat and unhealthy spreads? “Nut Butter’s” are a healthy alternative to the traditional spreads that we are so used to. The name is a bit deceiving because nut butters actually contain no butter, and are made with real nuts, some sort of oil, and usually something like honey as a sweetener (or sugar – but never a lot!). Nut butters are extremely rich in protein, fiber and the essential fatty acids. They are loaded with minerals and antioxidants and can actually help with lowering the risk of heart diseases.

Nut butters are perfect for those with allergy worries, fat fears or calorie counting. The taste is the pure essence of the featured nut or seed, and just truly so enjoyable. They are often less smooth then the traditional Kraft Peanut Butter, but the texture and real flavour make it that much more exciting!

There are so many different nut butters available such as pistachio, walnut, cashew, pecan, almond, hazelnut, sunflower seed, soybean, and pumpkin seed. Nut butters should be stored in a cool place until opened and then refrigerated after that. Most nut butter’s ingredients will separate when not in use, so don’t be surprised when there is a layer of oil sitting at the top when you open it. Fear not – all you need is a little elbow grease to work it back in. Next time you are in you're grocery store or at a local market – ask for directions to the nut butter aisle, try one out! I guarantee it will be a great (and healthy) alternative toy our morning cream cheese or butter!!

Emril Lagasse’s Homemade Cashew Butter

- 2 cups unsalted roasted cashews
- 2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar (optional) or honey

- In a food processor or blender, combine the nuts, 2 tablespoons of the oil, the salt, and the sugar, if desired.
- Process on high speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula and process to desired smoothness, adding more oil, 1 teaspoon at a time, if a smoother butter is desired. Adjust the seasoning, to taste
- Transfer to a bowl to use as a dip, spread, or in other recipes, or place in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

photo credit: google images

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