How to make your own peanut butter from scratch

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I was out of peanut butter the other day and in no mood to go shopping for some, but I did have a big bag of shell-roasted peanuts at home, so I tried making my own peanut butter.

I used peanuts that are roasted in their shell, so they were just slightly oily, but not too much. I added a pinch of salt, two spoons of honey and another two spoons of olive oil. I ended up adding a third spoon of oil but I stopped there because I didn’t want to make it too heavy. And that’s the butter you see in the first photo.

I used a kitchen, hand mixer, but I would guess that the stronger your mixer is, the finer the paste you’ll get. I also didn’t want to add too much oil, but you could get a creamier peanut butter if you added a bit more oil than I did. You could also try mixing it for longer.

I would recommend this peanut butter to cook with, it’s delicious for pastas, sauces and I also made bread with it. It’s heavier and chunkier than your store-bought peanut butter so you might not like the strong flavour of the olive oil.

Variations:

  1. Use another type of oil, like almond oil if you don’t like the strong flavour of the olive oil
  2. Mix it with tahini to make a favoured humus base
  3. Mix it with cayenne pepper and use just a bit on a cracker with cheese
  4. Mix it with cinnamon and skip the salt and spread it thinly on a cheese cracker or biscuit
  5. Mix it with cocoa to make a chocolately pastry filling

Have you ever made your own peanut butter? What recipe did you use?

Delicious and easy lettuce soup

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I didn’t even know you could make lettuce soup until I found myself with a big bunch of curly lettuce on it’s way to waste. This is an easy, tasty, lazy soup that you can make in less than half an hour.

For 2 portions, you will need:

  • half a medium onion
  • a scrabble piece sized piece of butter or olive oil
  • a bunch of lettuce
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • a bit of salt
  • a bit of pepper
  • half a cup of boiled or canned chickpeas

How to cook your lettuce soup

 

1. First you dice the onion and you cook it in the butter until it becomes almost translucent, then add the chopped lettuce and stir until the lettuce whilts.

2. Add the chicken broth and chickpeas and boil for around 15 minutes. You could boil it more if you want your soup to puree very finely, but I am fine with it having some texture.

3. At the end add salt and pepper, or any condiments you like. Use a blender to cream your soup or eat as it is.

Variations:

  1. You could add peppers to your soup or change the chickpeas with corn and that will change your soup a lot.
  2. You could also add one or two spoons of grated cheese in your plate, as your serve, or you could mix in some cream.
  3. You can serve this as is or with croutons. (Sometimes when I don’t have bread in the house or I feel like something different I make simple water and corn flour tortillas).
  4. You could also serve this with a wedge avocado on the side or chopped and added directly into the plate

Delicious!

An Idea to Try: Sweet Potato Hummus

You know when you see a recipe and you instantly feel excited thinking how amazing it will taste when you’ll cook it later in the evening?

I love this sweet potato hummus recipe from New York Times’ Dawn Lerman, author of the Fat Dad series.

To make this hummus you will first need to bake the sweet potato. When it has cooled off, add the canned chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice and any other spices you like in your hummus. Serve with raw carrot and celery chips and warm pita breads.

Yum!

(image by moxlux on flickr)

To Do this Month: Plant Your Own Garlic

Did you know that one of the best moments to plan garlic is mid September to mid October? Neither did I.

It seems like the garlic “sleeps” during winter and if planted around this time of year it grows green and tall (and very importantly – by itself) in spring.

What to do:

1. Break a garlic bulb in cloves, making sure you keep the papery skin covering each clove intact. Take a big jar and fill it with water, a spoon of baking soda and another one of liquid seaweed. Immerse the garlic in this water for 2 hours prior to planting to prevent fungus.

2. Plant them in a pot or your garden 6 to 8 inches apart from each other, making sure the pointy side is facing up.

3. Cover them with soil and compost and let rest for the winter. If you can find some dry grass or straw cover the soil with them, then water your garlic. In 4 to 6 weeks you will start seeing the tips of your garlic but worry not, it will stop growing in winter.

This is an idea I found in the November 2009 issue of the Organic Gardening magazine. Image from here.

No Cook Snacks: Avocado Toast

If it’s also summer where you live I am sure you are as afraid of the oven as I am. My best friend in colder months, the oven becomes the house enemy in July and August.

What better time for delicious no cook snacks than summer?

 Avocado Toast

Jessica from How Sweet it is guest posts for Joanna from A Cup of Joe about one of her favourite treats ever: avocado toast.

“In a perfect world, I would eat this three times daily, with my snacks in between consisting of a form of chocolate, peanut butter and bacon.”, she says.

Sounds perfect to me 🙂 Hope she invites me for a snack soon.

Her recipe is super simple: smash avocado, add lime, salt and pepper. Spread on crunchy bread. Eat

Yum!

3 Amazing Vegan Recipes You can Make in 30 Min or Less

Vegan recipes have always fascinated me. We, carnivores, tend to think vegetarians and vegans are missing out on some of the most delicious food on Earth. But what if it’s the other way around? Check out these amazing recipes and tell me if you’re not thinking about going vegan also?

Ombre Vegan Fruit and Root Salad

Who says vegan food has to be green or ocher coloured? Look at this beautiful fruit and root salad from Golubka! Cut up some strawberries and raspberries, beets and spring radish and enjoy with a bit of olive oil.

Or check out this amazing red pepper vegan lasagna from the same source.

Red Pepper and Baked Garlic Vegan Lasagna

This recipe is made with home-made coconut pasta. I think the idea is great, but if you don’t have a dehydrator, maybe you could just mix the coconut with a bit of flour and lightly bake the lasagna sheets.

A tip from Golubka: If you don’t have a dehydrator you can bake things at 118 F or 50 C and get a very similar result. For me this sounds great, as I am planning for a long time to make zucchini chips. But let’s go back to the lasagna.

The peppers are baked in the oven or grilled, peeled and cut into thin slices. She also makes a baked garlic cream that she mixes with cashew and black pepper.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Vegan Ice-cream

This sounds so simple, yet so tasty. The base of this kind of vegan ice-cream recipe from Clean Green Simple is banana. You slice it up, freeze it and blend it just before serving. A creamy, smoothie-like cream results.

For this recipe, mix the frozen banana with 2 spoons of peanut butter and cocoa. Top with almonds or sugared walnuts. Yum!