Vanilla Honey Almond Butter

Vanilla Honey Almond ButterI used to be a nut butter addict—a jar would last maaaaaybe a week in my apartment. I’d eat that sh*t with a spoon I loved it so much. But, as I have a tendency to do with foods I love, I overdid it and got sick of it. It’s been months since I’ve bought or eaten almond butter. That just ain’t right.

Last week I decided to experiment with homemade almond butter and HAH-LO! Welcome back to my daily diet, AlButt. This is so delicious. I’ve been slathering it on gluten-free toast with banana slices like a fiend—can’t stop, won’t stop.

Vanilla Honey Almond ButterVanilla Honey Almond Butter

Vanilla Honey Almond Butter

Yield: roughly 1 cup

Vanilla Honey Almond Butter

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp sea salt

Instructions

  1. Spread the almonds on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Roast at 300 degrees F for 12-15 minutes.
  2. Dump almonds in a food processor. Let the processor do its thing until the almonds have released their oils and become a smooth butter consistency. They’ll go through different stages—crumbs to clumpy wet sand to finally smooth. It only took about 5 minutes in my food processor, but it can take up to 10-12 mins. Scrape sides of food processor as necessary.
  3. Once you have the almond butter consistency you desire, stir in the other ingredients with a spoon. Don’t use the food processor for this part—the honey will cause it to clump back up.

Notes

Store in a mason jar or other airtight container. You can refrigerate, but since this doesn’t yield a ton of almond butter (about ¾-1 cup), it’s also fine to store in the pantry (trust me, you’ll eat it all before it can go bad).

http://pumpsandiron.com/2014/03/31/vanilla-honey-almond-butter/

Vanilla Honey Almond Butter Vanilla Honey Almond Butter

It’s finger-dipping worthy, my friends.

Vanilla Honey Almond Butter

What’s your favorite nut butter? Do you ever make your own?

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Sweet Potato Cashew Soup (Vegan)

Sweet Potato Cashew Soup (Vegan)OH. This one’s a keeper, guys.

While I do have the luxury of working from home and making most of my meals when and how I’d like, I still try to prep at least one dish that I can eat as leftovers all throughout the week. This way, on those busy days when I can’t or don’t want to cook, I have a healthy option already made sitting in the fridge. Soup is the best for this!

Sweet Potato Cashew Soup (Vegan)

Sweet Potato Cashew Soup (Vegan)

I might be late to the party with this one, but I just learned that cashews can be used in soup as a dairy substitute to give it a thick, creamy texture without the milk/cream. I couldn’t wait to try this out—especially since I’ve been playing around with my new Ninja Ultima blender nonstop (I talked more about it in this post, but long story short: I’m in love with a kitchen appliance).

Sweet Potato Cashew Soup (Vegan)

Sweet Potato Cashew Soup (Vegan)

Yield: 6-8 servings

Sweet Potato Cashew Soup (Vegan)

Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½” cubes (about 4 heaping cups)
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 head of califlower, chopped (about 4 heaping cups)
  • 1 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Put 3 cups broth, the potatoes, onion and garlic in a pot and simmer on med-low heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the cauliflower and basil and let it continue to cook, covered, for 10-12 minutes.
  3. While the pot is simmering, put the remaining 2 cups broth and the cashews in a blender. Blend until cashews are totally incorporated into the liquid (it’ll look kind of like milk).
  4. Stir in the chashew/broth mixture to the pot along with desired amount of salt and pepper. Let simmer for 3-5 more minutes.
  5. Place half the soup in the blender and blend until smooth. Mix back into the pot.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

If you want a really thick, smooth soup, put all of it through a blender. If you want a chunky soup with a thinner base, don’t put any of it through the blender at the end.

http://pumpsandiron.com/2014/03/20/sweet-potato-cashew-soup-vegan/

This soup is like a comforting, creamy chowder but completely dairy-free—I love it! It’s filling and satisfying, and perfect for rainy, cloudy days like today. Try it out and let me know what you think!

Sweet Potato Cashew Soup (Vegan) Sweet Potato Cashew Soup (Vegan)signature

Pomegranate Beet Juice

Pomegranate Beet JuiceThe first time I tried a pomegranate was in the eighth grade when, during a unit on Greek mythology, my eighth grade English teacher took the class on a trip to Hades. By “trip,” I mean she stood in front of the class with the lights turned off and went into a dramatic monologue, essentially just yelling at us in some sort of odd, aggressive guided visualization. No one knew what the Hell (what the Hades?) was going on, but we got to eat delicious pomegranate seeds at the end (the fruit is big in mythology), so the lesson was a success in my book.

I usually buy the packages of pomegranate seeds they have at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s instead of the actual fruit because I’m lazy (and the kitchen typically ends up looking like the scene of a double homicide when I’m done). I know now that you’re supposed to submerge the fruit in water as you pick out the seeds to reduce the mess, but still, aren’t the packs just so much easier?

Instead of using my pom seeds as a salad topper or salsa addition, like I usually do, I decided to dump them into my morning juice the other day and wow—delicious! You guys will love this juice combo!

Pomegranate Beet Juice

Yield: 12oz

Pomegranate Beet Juice

Ingredients

  • 1 medium beet with greens
  • ½ apple
  • ½ lemon
  • 3 carrots
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds

Instructions

  1. Scrub the beets and carrots before juicing. No need to remove the lemon peel (unless it’s really thick, then it might add a bitter taste).
  2. Push all ingredients through the juicer.
http://pumpsandiron.com/2014/03/09/pomegranate-beet-juice/

What’s your favorite way to eat pomegranate seeds?

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