Wednesday, July 14, 2010

nut butters (for the Daring Cooks)

What a brilliant idea this month from the Daring Cooks; my favourite kind of idea: simple, healthy, and very tasty.

The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include "Better with Nut Butter" by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.

The basic idea is this. Choose any nut. Blend (or process; use some machine with a blade) the nut until it forms a spreadable butter. Add a bit of oil if the nuts are really dry and need help forming a paste. Then use this butter on bread, with veggie sticks, or thin it down with a bit of water and use it in sauces. It can be used as a cream or milk substitute in cooking. Genius!

I made three nut butters: raw peanut butter, cashew nut butter, and pistachio butter.

And I used my cashew nut butter to make this Asian salad. Only the noodles are cooked (and the beans if you are not using canned beans). Then toss it all together with a zesty cashew dressing.

Noodle Salad with Cashew Dressing
serves 1

for the salad:
25 g dried spinach egg noodles
1 stalk of celery (about 25 g), sliced
1/2 carrot (about 75 g), thinly sliced
1/2 c (125 ml) cooked red beans (tinned or dried then cooked)

for the dressing:
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 t chopped ginger root
2 T cashew nut butter (made from 1/4 c [30 g] cashews)
1 T soy sauce
1 t sugar
1 t vinegar
1 t toasted sesame oil
1 T water

Cook the noodles according to package directions.
Put all the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and combine or whisk well by hand.
Toss the noodles, celery, carrot, and beans with the dressing.


Audax said...

Love that last photo of the pistachio nut butter and the salad looks so delicious and yes this is a fast easy but very yummy challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Jenni said...

Great job! How did the pistachio butter turn out? I contemplated that, but went with pecan in the end. Your dish looks lovely!

Kitchen M said...

Pistachio butter looks so beautiful and sounds really awesome! I wonder why such a simple yet great idea hasn't become so popular yet! Does it stay green for a while, do you know?

Sarah said...

Hi Audax, I really liked your idea of piping the garlic and pecan nut butter into hard boiled eggs. That sounds really tasty!

Jenni, I loved the pistachio especially. Pecan sounds good too and if I was making a sweet dish I would try that. Your pasta dish looked lovely. I think that the pecan "cream" is a very innovative way of replacing the dairy with something of similar consistency.

Kitchen M, the pistachio butter was still green when I last looked. But then it was eaten--all in the same day. It was the best tasting of all of them!

Anonymous said...

The noodle salad sounds so good! Nut butters sound so easy to make, but I've never tried making one.

stephchows said...

mmm i bet homemade nut butters are delicious!!

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