Homemade Almond Butter

If you have 20 minutes to spare, almonds and a food processor, you need to make this!

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I was craving almond butter to spread on some apple slices, but unfortunately I didn’t have any left in my pantry. I did have raw almonds however. After eyeing my food processor for a few moments, I tried it out: raw almonds in, sweet and creamy butter out. This is perfection!

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Here is what you need:

  • 1 cup almonds

Here is what you do:

  1. Place the almonds in your food processor. Process with the ‘S’ blade. I gave my machine a one minute break after each 3 minutes of processing so that it would cool off. This also gave me a chance to scrape down the sides of the bowl. It took 20 minutes of processing for me to get a nice butter consistency. This will give you 1/2 cup butter.

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That’s all there is to it! The resulting butter is creamy, sweet and so satisfying. There is no way I will ever buy any nut butter ever again. And, I’m super excited to try to make hazelnut butter, walnut butter, sunflower seed butter, macadamia butter and all the combinations in between. I think I’ll also try to add spices or cocoa powder to some. A glorious and delicious future to come!

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I really enjoy how simple and cheap this is. It was perfect and so fast! The almond flavour was intense, and I was surprised to see how sweet it was. There is no comparison possible between this fresh almond butter and the store-bought kinds. Let me know if you make your own nut butter and what’s your favourite!

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Product Review: Mycryo Powder

A few months ago, my mom brought back a bottle of Mycryo powder from a chocolate fair. I had seen this product at the Montreal Vegan Fest, as well as the Salon des Métiers d’Arts, but always thought it was some fancy product that only fancy chefs used. Well, it’s not.

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At first, I was a little bit concerned because on the bottle it says that it’s perfect for meat and fish. Hum. Oh well! It’s also great for pan frying mushrooms: it gives them a nice golden color. It works really well for stir-fries: it keeps everything from sticking, while not being overly greasy. It’s also perfect to work with ingredients that have a subtle flavour: it has no noticeable flavour and will really let the freshness and original flavours of your produce shine.

I also love that only a small quantity of this will help cooking: this means that this bottle will last forever! I usually shake this a few times on a heated pan and then cook my vegetables as usual. This is a great alternative to olive or coconut oil. Made with powdered cocoa butter, it’s supposed to have less fat and calories. Well, no mater if this is true, I love that you can easily use it both for savoury and sweet recipes. The taste is so mellow that it really takes no place in the flavour palette of your recipes. It will work equally well for cooked apples or potatoes.

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Will I buy this for myself? Well at 19$ for 550g, it is comparable to olive oil. It is not organic, nor fair trade. Even though I think it is a fun product to try out, it really is not a staple for me. I’ll probably finish this bottle and go back to using other oils. Anyways, let me know if you have tried this and what you think of it!

 

Kitchen Gardening: The Best Lettuce

A few months ago I presented our aquaponics system. We have been growing and trying different kinds of seeds to see what worked best, and we have recently been quite successful with lettuce.

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This was quite exciting because we have a lot of trouble growing lettuce from seeds. They always end up being weaklings and die off before we can even call them lettuces. This time however, we just sprinkled some lettuce seeds in our system, hopelessly waited, and it worked! Beautiful lettuce leaves, fresh and exceptionally local as they come from our own kitchen. How fun!

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I served this with a simple dressing, and it was delicious! The texture was soft, and the leaves melted in our mouths: it was actually quite similar to butter lettuce. It was the best lettuce we ate in a while! Great, great, great! We’re off to sprinkle some more seeds!

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Here is what you need for the simple dressing:

  • 1 tbs pistachio oil
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp tamari sauce
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • salt, pepper to taste

I added some tomato, cucumber, black beans, and served this with rice. It was really good! I can’t wait for the new lettuce to be ready.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries, from scratch

I love chocolate covered strawberries because they are easy to prepare, always look impressive and are perfect for warm weather. I was craving these, but unfortunately, I didn’t have any chocolate in the house. I did however have some cocoa powder and some cocoa butter (go figure!). So, let’s make some chocolate from scratch!

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Here is what you need:

  • 1/2 cup cocoa butter (I usually buy this as a big solid chunk. I cut it up in smaller bits to measure.)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (adjust until sweet to your taste)
  • dash of salt
  • 12 big strawberries, washed and dry (it is important that they are dry: the chocolate will not adhere to wet strawberries)
  • Optional (to decorate): coconut flakes, colored sugar, matcha powder, powdered nuts

Here is what you do:

  1. In a small sauce pan, put all the ingredients and heat up on medium heat.
  2. Mix with a spoon or spatula to help the ingredients combine until you have a smooth and shiny chocolate sauce.
  3. Carefully, transfer the sauce to a deep container. It must be large enough for you to dip your strawberries in.
  4. Prepare your serving plate by cutting parchment paper to cover it. Prepare your decorations as well.
  5. Dip each strawberry in the chocolate and let the excess drip off. Place on your lined plate and sprinkle your decorations on before the chocolate sets. Repeat until all the strawberries are well covered in chocolate. You can use a spoon to spread it evenly. Place your strawberries in the fridge to help the chocolate set and take them out just before serving. Enjoy!

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This recipe is really great if you don’t know what to bring over for a dinner or pot luck. They are easy to make, you can personalize them and they are sure to please everyone! It’s also great to make your own chocolate sauce because you can adjust the sweetness level as well as add any extra ingredients. Let your imagination go crazy, and let me know what you put on your strawberries!

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