I’m Simply Going Nuts

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.

What I loved about this month’s Daring Cooks challenge — aside from being the second challenge in a row where I made something that’s perfectly paired with good bread or crostini — is that the concept is simple (nothing is much simpler than tossing a bunch of nuts into the food processor and turning it on), but the possibilities are limitless. (Actually, now that I think about it, that seems a good axiom: the simpler the concept, the greater the possibilities. I must remember to keep this in mind.)

I made Walnut and White Bean Dip (based on walnut butter) straight from the challenge recipe, as well as a pumpkin seed butter (yes, I do know that pumpkin seeds are not nuts, but the idea is the same), which was an … interesting color, but went very nicely on whole wheat bread with a smear of fig spread to top it off.

Making my own butters is something that never crossed my mind, but I love it because I keep so many nuts and seeds on hand in the freezer for my baking, but rarely buy butters because I have a hard time using them up before they go bad. It’s great to know that it’s so easy to make a little at a time from scratch. I havent made peanut butter yet, but I’m guessing PB & J may become my newest rediscovered old favorite sandwich (I’m not sure if I got the order of the adjectives quite right there, but you know what I mean).

And, of course, there is life beyond sandwiches. There were several other recipes using various butters in the challenge — Asian Noodle Salad with Cashew Dressing, Chicken with Pecan Cream and Mushrooms, Chicken with Curried Tomato and Almond Sauce — which I’m quite certain will be amazing when I get to them, as well as everything made by all the other nutty Daring Cooks doing their own nut-buttery things.

Post a comment » 9 Comments

  1. I like your idea of adding pumpkin seeds, plus it gives that beautiful green color.

  2. Even though I don’t like nuts, I love what you did for this challenge!! The texture and color of these butters look fantastic.

  3. Love the nutty flavors.. Looks very appetizing.

  4. I love colour of that!

    Have a nice day,

  5. Yes you are right that pate is very interesting looking the challenge recipe went purple with time. I have to admit your bread looks perfect. Well done on this challenge gorgeous photos. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

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  7. Makes me wonder.. could you use the green pumpkin spread as a filling in baklava?
    Never thought of making my own nut butters.. interesting

  8. Oh my. The colour is indeed interesting. It looks a little like the paste that is used by the dental hygienist.

    However, I love the idea of the walnut and white bean – having just rediscovered hummus. That old “less is more” thing. We bought ready made tahini but now I have an urge to make my own sesame seed butter.

  9. Ooh, that really is a cool color. I like it. It would really look neat on bright orange pumpkin bread. White bean and walnut dip sounds yummy, too.

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