For so many of us when there are foods you avoid, either out of necessity or by choice, there are always very specific foods and recipes that you have to just give up longing for. The torture just becomes to much. As someone that generally avoids dairy, in more than very small amounts, I can assure you that the longing feeling I have in my heart for that stretchy pull of good cheese in a homemade mac and cheese or a slice of pizza loaded with the ooey gooey good stuff – those are quite hard to replicate. I am absolutely not a fan of the “faux cheese” alternatives, for so many reasons, mostly because I highly suspect there is very little actual food in there, so I generally just abstain. It’s fine. You just get over it. No really, you do.
How-to Make Homemade Nut Butters
I am so excited about this next post in the Tutorial Tuesday series. It has been quite the undertaking sampling, soaking, dehydrating and playing with different flavors but it is so easy and so totally worth it to make your own homemade nut butters. OK, so I may have gone a little overboard, but hopefully all of your nut butter questions have now been answered.
Besides the simple how-to instructions, I wanted to include some insight as to why I recommend soaking your nuts and seeds, how to also dehydrate them after you have soaked them and all of the various times for doing so. Plus, you will find some various flavor combinations that I love and even a nut-free sunflower seed butter recipe. Hope you guys enjoy.
Basically if it’s a nut (and even many seeds) and you like it, you can make a butter out of it. I have sampled so many different types of nut butters and the sky is the limit. I wish I could afford to buy enough of each of the nuts pictured to sample making nut butters with all of them for you guys, but that is certainly out of the budget when buying organic. So for this tutorial, I just went with a couple of my personal favorites. Almond, cashew, pecan, hazelnut (in a homemade nutella) and I even made a nut-free sunflower seed butter for you.
To Soak or Not To Soak.
Why I Choose to Soak: Most nuts, seeds, grains and beans are covered in natural chemicals – enzyme inhibitors and toxins – that protect them while growing, both from sprouting prematurely and also from predators. These nutritional inhibitors and toxic substances are enzyme inhibitors, phytates (phytic acid), polyphenols (tannins), and goitrogens. Once harvested, those same chemicals, the major one being phytic acid – are indigestible to the human body and must be broken down before consumption. When food containing phytic acid is consumed, the acid combines with important minerals like calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the intestinal tract and blocks their absorption which inhibits our digestive systems’ ability to break the nut down properly.
The very simple process of soaking releases these chemicals, helping you to absorb your food’s essential minerals and nutrients. Additionally, by soaking the nuts with the removal of these nutritional inhibitors and toxic substances, the flavor and taste is much more ideal and appealing.
To summarize: Soaking nuts and seeds makes them easier to digest and improves their flavor. Read the rest of this entry »
Before you jump ahead and read the ingredient list on this cake and get pissed at me for adding a vegetable to your dessert – please, please hear me out and give it a chance! This cake is life changing. It is creamy, thick, rich and so decadent.
I know I tell you guys this all of the time, but the true litmus test to a successful gluten-free dessert or baked good that I create – is the reaction of my husband. As a man that literally can and will eat just about anything, the gluten-free treats that I get so excited for are oftentimes totally unappealing to him. He likes traditional sweets, the sweeter the better – that man most times would prefer a cookie from a tube, than a less than perfect homemade gluten-free cookie fresh from the oven. The same also goes for (and usually more-so) the vegan creations I develop. I can’t blame him though – he literally can eat anything, no food intolerances, no responses or reactions. Just a stomach of steel!
The thing is, when I can create something gluten-free, that isn’t made with refined sugars, that uses an alternative to cream and butter that he actually goes nuts for – nothing makes me happier and that’s how I know I’ve created something amazing. He really loved this one and he cannot stop talking about it, he actually ate a piece for breakfast today. That’s a WIN!!
I’ve been obsessed with cashew cream cakes a while now, I love the versatility and how it appeals to all eaters, vegan or not. The No-Bake Vegan “Cheesecake” I made last summer is something I have made for many of our friends and every single one has always been impressed that the creaminess is all from soaked cashews.
This cashew cream cake has the perfect amount of subtle mint flavor, both from the fresh mint and the mint extract and the chocolate of the crust and the chocolate chips on top compliment it so well. I love serving it with a little whipped coconut cream on top. Plus, rather than the beautiful green color coming from an artificial dye, it comes from some fresh baby spinach! Whether you want to believe it or not, there isn’t a bit of flavor from the baby spinach – just a beautiful, fresh and natural green hue. Read the rest of this entry »