Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Nut Butta Baby!

For those of you that don't know, I'm an avid follower of healthy living blogs. Tips, advice, recipes all about healthy living... for free. It doesn't get much better that that!

One craze that has been sweeping through is homemade nut butters and I've been wanting to make my own for a solid 6 months, but Korea didn't have quite what I needed, and I wasn't willing to pay a whole lot. So I had to wait... and boy was it worth it!

The first step was buying this baby...

I'm pretty sure the Hallelujah chorus started playing as soon as I opened this up. It was a glorious moment, and of course I had to use it ASAP.

I found the recipe at The Edible Perspective Ashley is always coming up with some amazing recipes. I changed it up just a smidge, but not too much. It was perfection from the start.

Start off with some almonds

and some yummy maple syrup

coat it up reeeeeeeeal nice.... (I may have added a bit o honey as well)

Roast them, and munch... just for quality testing of course

Pop 'em in your glorious food processor

Keep on Keepin' on

Break up the butta ball

add in some more fun!

creamy perfection... and yes, that's my foot... I was standing on a stool. you gotta do what you gotta do.

Why hello there... do you come here often??

mmmm only at breakfast :) it was the perfect topping for my steel cut oats... seriously so good.

Now for the recipe you've all been waiting for...

Maple Almond Butter
2.5 cups Almonds
2 T. Maple Syrup
1 T. Maple Syrup (to be added at a different time)
1 T. honey
2 t. flax seed
1 t. Salt
1/2 T oil

1. spread out your almonds on a roasting pan (use parchment paper!!!)
2. drizzle 2T Maple Syrup and 1T honey and stir it up!
3. Roast for 15-20 minutes and stir every 5 minutes
4. Take out and let cool for about 15 minutes.
5. put into the food processor and start mixing away!! It will honestly take close to 15 minutes, it will for balls and you just need to break it up and scrape the sides. Let it get buttery.
6. Add in flax, 1T maple syrup,  and salt. Start processing again until it's all combined.
7. Stream in the oil (I used canola) I actually needed more than that (more on that later)
8. ENJOY on everything imaginable.

Where Sara went wrong...
 I used wax paper instead of parchment... which meant the almonds literally cooled right on to the paper... so that was a fun 10 minutes of scraping and cutting paper off of the almonds. Hopefully you wouldn't have the same issue if you used parchment

Also... I don't know that I blended just the plain almonds enough... I got freaked by the huge balls that kept forming and I just used the oil... I'm pretty sure had I just kept breaking them up and kept on blending I wouldn't have needed to use more oil.

Other than that it was easy and delicious :)

Do you like nut butters?? Have you ever made your own?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Potica bread

Every Christmas, for as long as I can remember (except the last two.. dang you Korea) I have helped my mom in the process of Potica Bread.

I remember my aunt and cousins coming over, I remember "helping" to chop nuts and spread the butter, and I remember how it totally defined when  Christmas was truly here.

There are numerous versions of Potica bread as it's made in Slovakia, Slovenia, and numerous other eastern block countries, but my mom's is the only version in it's class (that we've found). It's a prized family recipe and tradition... and it's delish.

Oh, the butter.... that's like maybe half of it. 

farm fresh eggs ready to head in!

My job... every year.

Sorry Nells Bells none for you :)

Sugar, milk and butter, and eggs...


Nice and bubbly

mixing it up!

sugar and nuts...

doughy goodness

Look at that baby! Nothing like a little rising time to poof things up!

The work sheet

the rolling process, it takes some muscle

Nice and big!

butta' time!

time for the filling

roll it up!

Waiting for their turn

More butter anyone?

rise a wee bit more

And before you know it you are done and ready to dig in!!!

As time intensive as it is, I can't wait to make potica bread a tradition when I have children. It's one of my favorite childhood memories and such a fun and delicious gift to give!

What are some of your favorite holiday treats?