Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cashew Honey Butter

Cashews are my all time favorite nut. I could eat them every day of the week. Of course, they're also one of the more expensive nuts. I have always had expensive taste. I was reading a blog post the other day on how to make homemade peanut butter, and I thought that Honey Cashew Butter sounded fabulously tasty. So, I tossed some cashews and honey in the food processor and started experimenting. I ended up with a perfectly delicious, delightfully simple cashew butter. As my daughter would say, "Nuuummy!" The great thing about homemade is the control you have over it. You can make it chunky or creamy, liquid or more solid, in bulk or in smaller amounts. You also have control over the ingredients- I used coconut oil, nuts, and honey and that was it. This gives me a great, tasty, healthy snack that I can give my daughter and not think twice about whether it's really good for her or not. I tried to find unsalted nuts, because I think that might taste just a little bit better, but was only able to find incredibly expensive ones. So, I settled for "lightly sea salted" ones. I still love the way it tastes, but would really like to try it without it sometime. My first batch I made perfectly creamy, stored it in the pantry, and put it on pancakes.

The second batch I actually made a little stiffer (less oil) and keep it in the fridge. This is nice because I can just scoop chunks of it right out of the jar and put it on the high chair tray for the munchkin. It is much less messy than sticky peanut butter that way. It's still able to be spread as well, you just have to microwave it for a few seconds.
Do some experimenting yourself to come up with your favorite balance, and enjoy the control of homemade!

Heart Health:

Nuts- Nuts are rich in Vitamin E. This antioxidant vitamin is thought to help prevent heart disease. They also contain amino acids and B vitamins, which are cardio-protective.
Cashews specifically have the same type of fatty acid (oleic acid) that is found in olive oil and is considered very heart healthy.

Coconut oil- Although a saturated fat, it is composed mostly of medium chain fatty acids, which actually increase good cholesterol and help protect the heart. In some studies, coconut oil was also found to lower cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as prevent the oxidation of cholesterol (which leads to atherosclerosis- the depositing of fats on the artery wall) (http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/latest-studies-on-coconut-oil  http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/article10132.htm)

Honey is often considered a super food, and is nutrient dense and full of enzymes- a great choice for sweetener whenever possible. Local, raw honey has even been suggested to help with allergies. 

 Honey Cashew Butter

2 cups roasted cashews 
1/2-3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil

Blend all in the food processor for about ten minutes, or until as smooth as you'd like it. For creamier, more liquid butter, add more oil. Taste and add more honey as desired.

1 comment:

  1. Yum! Sounds great. That's a great idea about chilled nut butters for little fingers...I hadn't thought of that before!