Day 189 – comfort food par excellence

First of all, I’d like to thank all of you who’ve already answered my paintings poll and given feedback on the two “masterpieces”. It’s really interesting to read all your interpretations!

But now let’s move on to today: My Dutch family call me Lena Pindakaas (Lena Peanutbutter) because I used to eat practically nothing else during visits to Holland as a kid. I only eat it occasionally these days, but it’s still one of my favourite foods. Recently, everybody has been raving about cashew butter and almond butter and all sorts of other kinds. Someone let me try a bit of cashew butter a while ago and I certainly loved it. So I figured I might make my own for a nice “first”.

There are recipes galore on the Internet and essentially you don’t really need a recipe: all you do is blend cashew (or other) nuts, either with some salt or with a little vanilla (or chilli, cinnamon or anything else you fancy). And then you blend them some more. Then some more. And when you’re about to give up and add liquid (don’t!), you just blend them even more. This can go on for more than ten minutes. But eventually the crumbs will turn to one thicker mass (see photos below) and after a while it will start getting all shiny as the oil is being extracted from the ground cashew nuts. If you blend that for another minute or two, you end up with lovely fresh cashew butter.

My blender was struggling as I didn’t use very many cashew nuts. I kept having to scrape the powder down ever twenty seconds or so. Thus, I used my hand-held blender in the end and that worked a treat. I’m not sure how expensive the stuff is in the end, though,  as all that blending must have used a crazy amount of electricity. But it’s definitely worth it for the freshest, sweetest (I wouldn’t believe there’s no added sugar in it had I not made it myself) natural spread you will ever try. Why not take this the next time you’re invited to brunch? Or just make it with your kids (with their favourite kind of nuts) to make them aware just how many nuts go into a tiny spoonful of nut butter. It’ll certainly be good for their awareness of the nutritional values of their breakfast…

I suppose nut butter is currently so popular because it’s an easy way to take in substantial calories if you’re a vegan or living strictly carb-free. For the rest of us, however, this really should be a very rare treat. Nonetheless, I think I may go all the way and use the cashew butter for some lovely cookies for which I found a recipe.

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