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.
I’d never actually made my own nut butter before, so this was a fun challenge. Since we were allowed to make any savory recipe with the nut butter, I decided to make almond butter and then use it to make the Raw Pad Thai recipe from Jae Steele‘s Ripe from Around Here, which I’d just purchased days before completing the challenge.
Making nut butter is pretty easy: Get out your food processor. Put in some nuts: about double the amount for the quantity of nut butter you need, so if you need half a cup of nut butter, put in a cup of nuts. Turn your food processor on and let it process the nuts for a few minutes, then stop, scrape the sides, and process for a few more. If after about 5 minutes you don’t have nut butter, add a neutral tasting oil in small amounts and continue to process until you do have the right consistency. Then, use immediately in whatever recipe you want. You can also add a bit of salt to your nut butter or roast the nuts before using them to give the end product more flavour.
I’ll be honest with the pad thai – I didn’t go 100% raw. I didn’t want to spend the money on a ton of raw ingredients (such as raw tamari) when I have good non-raw ones in the house. As well, I modified the recipe very slightly by adding in some beets, since we had some from our CSA that week.
The end result was amazing.
If you want to try making this yourself, go grab a copy of Ripe from Around Here, which I really recommend that you do. Yes, it’s a vegan cookbook with lots of raw and gluten-free recipes, but I really do think everyone will enjoy the recipes, even those of you who eat meat at every meal and aren’t really into vegan recipes.
If you want to see what the other Daring Cooks did with this month’s challenge, just check out the Daring Kitchen!