These days, artisanal nut butters are also finding their way onto the breakfast table. Made from a variety of nuts such as almonds, macadamias or cashews, and often sweetened with a good drizzle of honey, these nut butters are good with toast, or even as a salad dressing. The best part — many of these nut butters are made in small batches by artisans, and as such, have little to almost no preservatives at all.
"The flavours (of an almond nut butter) are complex despite only using almonds alone, and is rich and buttery," shares Ursula Tang, co-founder of ThreeBrunch, a local artisanal company that specialises in making all-natural nut butters.
"This is great for people with diabetes, since no sugar or sweetener is added," she adds.
"When going though the nuts you have purchased, make sure to remove any 'dead' nuts such as those which are shrivelled, hollow, or with any other visible defect as well," says Tang.
Below, a simplified recipe for making a preservative-free almond nut butter.
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Recipe for Almond Nut Butter
2 cups Whole raw almonds (tip: try not to get salted or pre-flavoured nuts)
2 tbsp Coconut oil
2 tbsp Extra fine sea salt
2 tbsp Honey or maple syrup
1. Soak the almonds in water for 8 to 10 hours overnight. Keep the bowl covered with a cloth and leave it in the refrigerator.
2. Lightly roast the almonds at 163°C for 10 minutes to bring out the natural oils within the nuts.
3. Let the nuts cool down.
4. Put the nuts in a blender or food processor and blend for 5 to 10 minutes. Add some oil if the mixture begins to look too dry. Tip: Do not add water to the mix.
5. Continue processing the nuts and oil until the mixture becomes creamy. Keep adding a bit more oil if necessary. This process can take up to 20 minutes. Patience is key.
6. Add a pinch of extra fine sea salt and a drizzle of honey to sweeten the nut butter to desired taste.
7. Serve on toast with slices of avocado or as a salad dressing.