My husband has become quite the woodworker since buying our first home. He started out making fairly uncomplicated things like the walnut stained wood trim around our windows. Through much practice, thanks to me and my steady stream of ideas, his skills have become quite refined. Our house is now full of beautiful wood accents and furniture. I appreciate that his self-taught talent can turn pretty much any idea I come up with into a reality. My latest request was for a shelf to accommodate the growing number of jars on my kitchen counter. There is a jar full of almost every type of nut or seed that you can think of, with the ones that get the most use sitting steadfastly at the front of the line. I basically have my own mini bulk isle right on the kitchen counter.
It is pretty obvious that nuts and seeds make up a relatively large portion of my diet. Although I think everything should be enjoyed in moderation, I must admit if there is anything I tend to go overboard on, this would be it. I like to throw them into salads, and make raw nut butter to add to smoothies, dressings and desserts. Quite often, Cade and I eat it straight out of the jar…all I can say is, yum. “You can never get too much of a good thing” may actually be quite the contrary in this case. However, in my defense, nuts and seeds are not only a great source of protein, but more importantly, they are particularly high in vitamins and minerals.
Grinding nuts and seeds into butter is one of the best ways to preserve their richness and beauty. The two most commonly found in our refrigerator are almond butter and sesame seed butter, or tahini; although sunflower seed (I love this one) and hazelnut often sneak their way into the mix. Almonds are one of the most nutritionally dense nuts. They are extremely rich in biotin, which is touted as being beneficial in strengthening hair and nails. Sesame seeds, on the other hand, are full of copper, manganese, and calcium, all of which are crucial elements in building and maintaining bone health. I find this especially appealing, as conditions like osteoporosis and thinning hair run rampant in my family. The fact that these are some of my favorites, supports my theory that our bodies crave what they need most. Or at least that’s how I justify my obsession.
Looks like I’m gonna need that shelf, or maybe two, after all, babe.
Nut and Seed Butter
- 4 c raw nuts or seeds of choice, or combination of (almonds, hazelnuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.)
- 1/8 tsp fine sea salt, or to taste
- Place nuts or seeds in high speed blender or food processor.
- Start the blender on slow speed, increasing to medium speed within a few seconds. You may need to use the tamper to scrape down sides. Continue to blend until creamy. If using a food processor, you may need to stop and scrape down the sides several times, as it normally takes about 10-15 minutes using this method.
- Once it has reached desired consistency, add salt and blend on low for a few more seconds.
- Transfer to a pint-size jar and keep in refrigerator for up to a month.