Yesterday, I made a grocery list. Then I went out into the world to get acupuncture for the first time ever (figured it was my duty, as I’m starting massage school in about a week). Then after that I sat down in my car and looked at my list and saw “nut butter” scrawled at the bottom. And I was feeling all creative and open and shit after the acupuncturist pulled tiny needles out of my feet and I thought, “I could just make my own.”
So I went to Bob’s Red Mill and hit the bulk section and picked up roasted Oregon hazelnuts and whole raw almonds and dry roasted cashews with salt and some flax seeds. I didn’t measure the quantities. I was feeling too free. I already threw away the receipt, but I remember looking at the total and feeling clever that the cost of ingredients was about the same as a jar of the stuff at the store, but would make a larger quantity. Here’s a before picture:
So I plugged in my VitaMix (I could have used my food processor, I think, but I feel like using the VitaMix gives me more crunchy hippie cred) and whirred the flax seeds around on high for 30 seconds. I don’t know this for sure, but it seems like somehow busting open the seeds would make their healthy goodness easier to absorb. People eat flax seed meal for the omega 3s and fiber, right?
Anyway, then I poured the rest of the nuts in there, turned the machine on, turned the speed up to 10, and then flipped the switch on the far left to HIGH and pushed the mixed nutty goodness around with the tamper to make sure they all made friends with the blades at the bottom. And then the machine made the sound of a jet engine backfiring and the cats jumped off the couch and ran upstairs and I was afraid I was destroying this lovely and expensive Christmas present from my man and then all of a sudden it looked like nut butter. I turned everything off and tasted a spoonful. It was warm from the friction of the blades and the power of the VitaMix. Thicker than store-bought natural nut butters, and not as oily. Not as salty, either, but that’s actually OK. The cashews lend a mild creaminess to the mix, and the hazelnuts add a lovely roasty sweet flavor. It’s truly almond butter, though, which is good because that means I won’t eat it all in one sitting.
I used to buy peanut butter. I don’t believe in completely eliminating certain foods from my diet (BWAHAHA except gluten)–I think that can be a slippery slope towards disordered eating in this culture. But I really can’t keep peanut butter in the house anymore. I used to buy the Whole Foods brand natural creamy peanut butter. I would kill a jar in, like, three days. This started to get to a ridiculous place. I remember walking to Whole Foods from the Veggie Co-op when the roads were too nasty to drive my little Chevy Metro there. I just checked: that was a mile. I would walk a mile in the snow/ice/wintry mix to get my damn peanut butter. It was probably below freezing, too. And then I would walk back. The Co-op bought giant 5-gallon tubs of some other (often crunchy) peanut butter, but it wasn’t the same.
And now I have the power to make my own. At home. As long as I can refrain from buying peanuts next time, we’re safe.