Friday, 10 January 2014

Cashew Butter

Let me introduce you to my latest addiction…

I made this batch of cashew nut butter today and oh my goodness, I had to physically stop myself from eating it - there was a total risk of getting a nut induced hangover from the sheer quantity that was being consumed!

This is so amazingly easy to make and contains 2 ingredients (really only 1 ingredient, but the pinch of salt really makes the dish!)

Gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, soy-free, sugar-free, this nut butter makes a great alternative to the classic almond or peanut butters, and it has a natural sweetness which makes it appealing to kids and adults alike. It will also work really well in baking and is great on toast (as my kids will attest to) or just straight off the spoon (as I will attest to!!). It would also be amazing spread onto sliced apple or pear for a nutritious afternoon snack.

Cashew nuts not only taste amazing, but they have a host of health benefits too. They are high in Oleic Acid which is one of the components of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat such as that found in olive oil. They are also a great source of magnesium which is very important for bone health (calcium takes all the credit for that, but magnesium is also super important). Magnesium is also a natural anti-depressant, and is fantastic for the health of your nervous system.

With all those health benefits, I may just go and indulge in another spoonful!!

Cashew Nut Butter

Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, soy-free, sugar-free

2 cups raw cashew nuts
1 pinch of salt (about 1/4-1/2 a tsp - you can alter according to your tastes)

1. Preheat oven to 150C.
2. Place cashew nuts on a baking tray in an even layer and roast gently until just golden (about 10 minutes)
3. Place nuts and salt in a high-speed blender.
4. Blend on high until a smooth butter forms. You may have to stop it a couple of times and scrape the sides of the jug. The longer you blend for, the more smooth and creamy this gets. I did it for about 5 minutes which resulted in an amazingly smooth blend. If you don't have a high powered blender it may take a little longer, and you may want to stop the blender regularly to ensure the engine doesn't burn out.

Note: You can omit the roasting step if you prefer your nuts raw. Simply blend until butter forms. I prefer them lightly roasted as this helps to develop a gorgeous richness to the final flavor.