Monday, 31 December 2012
MAPLE CINNAMON ALMOND BUTTER: FOR A GREAT START TO A NEW YEAR
Well hello, 2013.
I'm not typically one for new year's resolutions. This is primarily because I find the timing of the well-intentioned yet often quickly forgotten goals to be rather arbitrary; when you think about it, every day is a new year from that day a year ago. Nevertheless, at the close of each December our new calendar year rolls around and we are obliged to think of, name, and commit to actions or changes for the year ahead.
Whether or not you are one for new year's resolutions, I urge you, above all else, please, at the very start of 2013 resolve to do this: Make this maple cinnamon almond butter. It will change your life.
Have a food processor? Great! Go make this maple cinnamon almond butter.
Don't have a food processor? Small deterrent. Borrow your friend's. Or your neighbor's. Your professor's, or your uncle's. Maybe your boss has one. Or you can borrow one overnight from your favorite local eatery. Be resourceful. Get a hold of a food processor. Then go make this maple cinnamon almond butter.
Not a fan of nut butters? Easily mended. Go make this maple cinnamon almond butter. Don't know what to do with it? The possibilities are endless! Spread it on toast. Top it off with banana slices. Spread it on an apple. Stir it into your oatmeal. Dip some dark chocolate into it. Add it to a smoothie. Or--my favorite--eat it with a spoon.
Nursing a post-New Years Eve hangover? No problem! This maple cinnamon almond butter basically makes itself. And it is a totally satisfying, sweet, and nutritious snack. Your body will thank you!
Body in need of some TLC (really--whose isn't)? Grab a spoonful of your homemade maple cinnamon almond butter! Almonds are packed with nutrients, supplying our bodies with particularly high levels of protein, magnesium, vitamin E and potassium. Magnesium helps regulate the functions of our veins and arteries, which results in the improved flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients. Potassium is imperative in maintaining healthy blood pressure and heart function. On top of these benefits, almonds contain high levels of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and have been shown to decrease spikes in blood sugar levels after eating.*
Oh yeah, and have I mentioned how insanely delicious this nut butter is? Win-win.
While I wish I could take credit for this concoction, it is the brainchild of Ashley from the great Edible Perspective. It is hands-down one of my favorite foods that I made in 2012. I hope it will be one of yours in 2013.
*Information from www.whfoods.com.
Maple Cinnamon Almond Butter
slightly adapted from Edible Perspective
Makes about 3/8 cup. If you have a 7 cup food processor or larger, I encourage you to double the recipe.
1 cup (125 grams) raw almonds, as fresh as possible**
1 1/2 Tbsp. 100% pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1. Preheat oven to 325°F / 162°C / Gas 3.
2. In a large enough bowl, pour maple syrup over almonds and mix until thoroughly coated.
3. Line a baking tray with parchment paper (not wax or foil!). Spread almonds on tray so none are overlapping.
4. Roast for 15-20 minutes, until the maple syrup turns from liquid to little hardened crystals. Stir a few times during roasting.
5. Let almonds cool for 5 minutes.
6. Put almonds in food processor and blend until the nuts turn into a smooth 'butter'. This could take anywhere from 5-15 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
7. Add cinnamon and salt and process again until combined.
**The second time I made this nut butter, I used almonds that had been sitting in a sealed plastic container in my dark kitchen cupboard for a couple months. Much to my confusion and consternation, the nuts refused to turn into butter. It was as if they had dried out over time and their natural oils completely dissipated. You shouldn't need any additional oil to turn whole nuts into nut butter. For this to work properly, I urge you to use the freshest nuts possible.