Category Archives: dips and spreads

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Homemade NUT-Free Nutella

 
The Nutella you’ll find in the store is made up of 55% refined sugar.  Yep.  There’s dairy in there too, along with soy and yes a few hazelnuts   I wouldn’t call this a health food…or even a healthy choice for breakfast (or any time of the day).  Okay, let’s put this into perspective…eating Nutella is like eating a milk chocolate bar for, what some would agree, is the most important meal of the day.  Now if that’s your thing, than you go for it, but you know how I feel about cane-sugar, so I say boo to Nutella.  They were actually sued for mislabeling as a “health food.”  Ha ha, I think they considered it healthy because it had a few hazelnuts in there.  I love indulgences as much as the next gal, but I try REALLY hard to make good choices when it comes to food, especially when it comes to my kiddos.  If something can be made at home, I give it a go.  Now Nutella, what is the appeal here really?  It’s the CHOCOLATE! It spreads.  It’s sweet.  It’s different…okay, so it’s clearly appealing.  Agreed.  I mean, it’s chocolate in a jar!  So I’ve created a chocolaty, sweet, spreadable, and nut free version that is quite a tasty alternative.  I actually use carob when I make this, as it’s better for our inflammatory issues.  Whether you use carob or chocolate, it’s fun to mix it up for snack time.  Give it a go and let me know what you think.  
Homemade NUT-Free Nutella 
Ingredients:
-6 large dates
-2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
-1/3 cup homemade sunflower seed butter or this brand is good too.
-3 tablespoons raw cacao powder  or carob powder.
-2 tablespoons honey (vegans use grade B maple syrup, coconut nectar, or yacon syrup)
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
-Tiny pinch of salt
How To:
1.  Seed the dates and soak them in water for 2 to 3 hours.
2.  Drain the dates (save the date water for smoothies) and add the dates to a food processor with all the other above ingredients.
3.  Blend until well incorporated.
4.  Store spread in fridge.  Allow it to sit at room temperature for a bit so it softens up.  Makes it easier to spread.
Notes:
*This recipe is also fabulous with carob powder (instead of the cacao)
*Can’t do dates?  Try the same amount of figs or 1 cup of raisins – soak as you would the dates.
Here is a date free version I tried that’s not as creamy, but still delicious and spreadable:
-1/4 cup coconut oil, liquid state
-1/2 cup homemade sunflower seed butter or cashew butter
-3 tablespoons raw cacao
-2 tablespoons honey (vegans use grade B maple syrup, coconut nectar, or yacon syrup)
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-Tiny pinch of salt
(Blend everything in a food processor)
Here is a picture of this date-free version at room temp.
It gets really firm in the fridge – sort of tastes like fudge!
*
Posted by Amber at

Labels: allergy-friendly, dessert, dips and spreads, nut free, Paleo, snacks.

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Homemade Organic Roasted Almond Butter w/ Raw Option (never buy the expensive store brands again)

Almond butter came into my life in 2004 when I was doing my first candida cleanse.  And I kid you not, at the time it was pure indulgence.  Not much was allowed on the cleanse, but small doses of almond butter was okay, so I pretty much fell in love.  After the cleanse and through the years I ate almond butter regularly.  I’m deathly allergic to peanuts, so how fun to make my own version of PB&J with almond butter.  As much as I love almond butter, about a year ago I discovered that it irritates my digestion to no end.  So although I don’t eat almonds or almond butter much anymore, it’s beloved by my husband and children.  So I make it for them.  Making at home is also motivated by the insanely high price of store bought organic almond butters (common to see $15 for a jar…I’ve seen it as high as $24!!).  If you love roasted almond butter and want to save a little money, then this recipe is for you.  I also make a raw version with soaked and dehydrated almonds and included directions for this at the end of the post.

Homemade Organic Roasted Almond Butter
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 cups raw organic almonds
  • Pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Arrange the almonds on a baking sheet in a single layer
  3. Roast for 10 minutes
  4. Remove from oven and allow the almonds to cool completely
  5. When the almonds are cool, add to a food processor
  6. Turn it on and let it whirl. After about a minute the almonds will form a stiff, dry ball. This is okay. Take off the lid and break the ball apart with a fork. Turn the machine back on and keep it blending. If it stops up again, do the same with the fork
  7. After about 3 minutes the oils in the almonds will release and the mixture will become thin. Continue blending until the almonds are creamy and smooth. It takes about 9 minutes in my food processor. Add in your pinch of salt toward the end of the process. Please note, I do NOT have a fancy, high tech food processor. It is the most basic model
  8. Store in glass container in the fridge
 _
 _
Homemade Almond Butter w/ Soaked Almonds
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 cups raw organic almonds
  • Walnut oil (or olive oil)
  • Pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, add the almonds and fill with filtered water (with about two inches over top of almonds). Soak for 12 - 24 hours. I soak mine for 24 and change the water once
  2. Drain and rinse the almonds
  3. Lay them out on a towel and pat off the excess water
  4. Add almonds to a food dehydrator and dehydrate on 105 degrees for about 30 hours
  5. The almonds will be properly dehydrated when they are crisp and crunch to the taste and you an visually see the meat of the almond is dry. You can tell when there is moisture left, you can see it and feel it
  6. Place the dehydrated almonds in a food processor and blend. You need to stay close to the food processor and give it many breaks, as the almonds get very hot and you don't want the temp to rise over 118 degrees. So if you are keeping this raw, blend and check the temperature throughout the process
  7. After the almonds look well blended, you can add in a little oil to help the moisture factor. It's up to you how much to add, so start with a teaspoon and go from there. At this point you can also add in the pinch of salt
  8. Raw almond butter made with this method smells and tastes different than roasted almond butter, but still delicious (and much easier to digest!)
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Labels: dips and spreads, GAPS, how to, Paleo, SCD, snacks.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Three White Bean Dip Recipes: Plain, Kalamata Olive, & Spinach

#3

Last month I made Maggie’s omega 3 white bean dip and loved it (I ate the entire batch actually).  So I decided to make a few of my own white bean recipes.  These dips are full of flavor and super creamy – my favorite combo.  If you’re a dip lover like me, then please give these recipes a try.  For SCD, omit coconut aminos.  See notes.
Dip #1 
Classic Style 
 
Ingredients:
-1 1/2 cups prepared white beans*
-1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
-3 tablespoons oil (I use walnut oil)
-2 tablespoons tahini (optional, but worth it)
-1 teaspoon garlic granules (or 1/2 clove garlic)
-3 tablespoons coconut aminos
How To:
1.  Add beans, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, and coconut aminos to food processor (or blender of choice). Salt is optional here.
2.  Blend until incorporated.
3.  Drizzle in oil while blending
4.  Store in glass container in fridge.
Notes:
*I soak white beans for 48 hours, rinsing 2-3 times.  You certainly don’t need to soak this long, but I think it’s worth it.  After the beans are properly soaked, boil in filtered water until tender.
*For SCD, omit coconut aminos and add 1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt.
Dip #2 
Karazy Kalamata 
Ingredients:
-1 1/2 cups prepared white beans*
-3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
-3 or 4 tablespoons oil (I use grapeseed)
-2 tablespoons tahini (optional, but worth it)
-1/2 teaspoon garlic granules (or 1/2 clove garlic)
-3 tablespoons coconut aminos
-1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
How To:
1.  Add beans, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, aminos, and olives to food processor (or blender of choice).
2.  Blend until incorporated.
3.  Drizzle in oil while blending
Notes:
*I soak white beans for 48 hours, rinsing 2-3 times.  You certainly don’t need to soak this long, but I think it’s worth it.  After the beans are properly soaked, boil in filtered water until tender.
*For SCD, omit coconut aminos and add 1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt.
Dip #3 
Simple Spinach 
 
Ingredients:
-1 1/2 cups prepared white beans*
-1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
-3 or 4 tablespoons oil (I use grapeseed)
-2 tablespoons tahini (optional, but worth it)
-1 teaspoon garlic granules (or 1/2 clove garlic)
-3 tablespoons coconut aminos 
-1/2 to 1 cup fresh spinach (I like one cup in there)
How To:
1.  Add beans, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, aminos, and spinach to food processor (or blender of choice).
2.  Blend until incorporated.
3.  Drizzle in oil while blending
Notes:
*I soak white beans for 48 hours, rinsing 2-3 times.  You certainly don’t need to soak this long, but I think it’s worth it.  After the beans are properly soaked, boil in filtered water until tender.
*For SCD, omit coconut aminos and add 1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt.

I made Danielle’s Savory and Sweet Crackers (SCD) with this dip and they were delicious!! Don’t mind if I do.
Looking for some additional homemade cracker recipes?  
Well look no further…
THIS should get you started! 
Posted by Amber at

Labels: allergy-friendly, appetizer, dairy free, dips, dips and spreads, gluten free, SCD, snacks, soy free, spreads, vegan, vegetarian.

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Homemade Sunflower Seed Butter (Sunbutter)

I am deathly allergic to peanuts.  It’s no fun to have an allergy but I’m so impressed with how far we’ve come with peanut allergy awareness.  What a difference I’ve seen.  I remember as a young child riding on an airplane and feeling so sick to my stomach at the very smell of the peanutsand hungry because I was out of luck in the snack department.  A few years later they started serving pretzels as an alternative to peanuts on flights.  I don’t even think they give out peanuts anymore, do they?  Skylar, my daughter, is not allergic to peanuts and I don’t know if my son Ethan has inherited this allergy?  At any rate, we’ve been using sunbutter for quite some time as an alternative to peanut butter.  It’s a nice change from the usual almond butter.  I like this brand but don’t love the price and don’t love the plastic container.  So I decided to make it myself.  And you know what……SUPER EASY!!! Sky couldn’t even tell the difference between my homemade version and the store bought variety.  And that’s all I needed to move into permanently making sunflower seed butter.  Hooray! 

gorgeous sunflower from my garden!

Homemade Sunflower Seed Butter 


Ingredients:
-3 cups of organic raw sunflower seeds
-Pinch of salt (optional) 

How To
1.  Toast sunflower seeds for a bit until fragrant and slightly brown.  Cool seeds.  
2.  Add the cooled seeds to a food processor and start blending; scrape down sides every minute or so for about 5 minutes.  
3.  After about 6 minutes the seeds will form a ball then become thinner as the oils in the seeds are released.  
4.  After about 8 minutes of processing you can add in a pinch of salt, but this is totally optional. It should be properly blended by this time.  Store in class container in the refrigerator.  
Yields 1 1/4 cups of sunbutter

I have a small, OLD food processor and it works great.  
Just be sure to scrape down the sides a few times so the
mixture has contact with the blades.
Speaking of Sun
It has been so gorgeous here in Northern California.  Finally, finally, cool fall weatheralthough it’s supposed to be up near 90 degrees today, there is still a soft, clean feel to the air.  I adore this time of year.  Below are some pictures from around our yard.  Wish I could just bottle up this weather.
Our neighbor’s lemon tree is showing some action!  
They let me go over there whenever I have the need and pick to 
my heart’s content.  
Our other neighbor has a nice fig tree with a sizable
bunch hanging on our side of the fence!  
So excited for these!
We still have watermelons to harvest!
We had quite the bounty this year.
Our tomato plant is out of control, but still providing 

us with sweet, gorgeous cherry tomatoes.

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Labels: allergy-friendly, dips and spreads, GAPS, lunch, nut free, Paleo, SCD, snacks, vegan.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lox of Love with Dairy Free Dill Cream Cheese

 During my weekly grocery shopping I passed some lox and started to dream about cream cheese and bagels.  I don’t spend too much time in this dream world though (because there is always a tasty alternative to be had) and popped those lox into my basket with a grin along with some gluten free English muffins.  Before bed I put  1/2 cup of cashews in some water to soak until morning and breakfast was nothing short of a dream come true.  This recipe is based off THIS vegan/dairy free “sour cream.”  


Ingredients
These gluten-free English muffins
-1 package of wild caught Lox
-1/2 cup cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours (I soak mine for around 6) 
-1 teaspoon dried dill
-1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste) 
-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (more or less to your sour preference)
-3 tablespoons filtered water (or more until desired texture)

How To
1.  To make the cream cheese place soaked cashews in blender with salt, dill and add 3 tablespoons of water and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice.  Blend.  Continue blending and adding water or lemon juice until your desired consistency is achieved.  I prefer a thicker spread and used more lemon for a sour taste.  
2.  Toast English muffins
3.  Add lox
4.  Make your favorite cup of tea and enjoy an elegant breakfast.

Posted by Amber at

Labels: breakfast, dips and spreads, snacks.

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Cilantro Hummus

Over the years I have made many variations of hummus.  This delicious dip is a family favorite so we always have some in the fridge.  I’ve never thought about cilantro in hummus and I’m sorry I didn’t figure this out sooner! It’s delicious.  

Ingredients
-2 1/2 cups prepared garbanzo beans* (or two cans garbanzo beans) 
-1/4 cup tahini 
-3 tablespoons lemon juice (or more to taste)
-3/4 teaspoon garlic granules (or 1 clove) 
-1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste) 
-1/2 cup of olive oil 
-3/4 cup fresh cilantro (or more to taste)
-1/4 teaspoon chili powder (or to taste)
-Filtered water (to bring the hummus to a preferred consistency)

How To
1. Add beans, tahini, garlic granules, salt, cilantro and optional chili powder to a food processor and blend.  
2.  With the food processor running, drizzle in oil.  
3.  Check for texture.  Too thick?  Add in 1 tablespoon of water at a time until you reach your desired texture. 

Notes
*Soak beans in filtered water for at least 8 hours, I soak mine for 24 hours and change the water 2x.  Boil in filtered water until tender and store in fresh water until ready to use. I soak & boil around 6 cups of beans at a time and freeze the leftovers for another day (they do great in the freezer!).
*A word about the beans:  I go back and forth between garbanzo beans and chana dal beans.  Chana dal yields a nice smooth hummus but with a much milder flavor so you really need to increase your ingredients.  Garbanzos are rich and flavorful with a thicker consistency.  I love them both but lately I’ve been using garbanzo beans for that full hummus flavor.  
____________________________________________

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Labels: dips and spreads, snacks, vegan, vegetarian.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Raw Dairy Free Cashew Sour Cream (SCD/Paleo/GAPS)

When I came across a recipe for cashew sour cream in one of my favorite cookbooks from Cafe Gratitude I thought, “Yeah, we’ll see.” There’s like 3 ingredientshow is this going to turn out.  I haven’t had real sour cream in years and I so miss this addition to our taqueria night.  I am opposed to soy sour cream and so what’s a dairy-free girl to do?  Can I tell you I nearly fell off my chair when I bit into my burrito.  DELICIOUS.  I couldn’t believe it.  My kids loved it too, and of course my husband was very impressed.  Please try this and be dazzled by delicious simplicity.


Ingredients
-1 1/2 cups soaked cashews (4-8 hours)
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-2+ tablespoons lemon juice 
-Approximately 3/4 cup filtered water 

How To
1.  Place soaked cashews into blender, preferably a high-speed
2.  Add salt, lemon juice and half the water
3.  Blend slowly and add more water until a desired consistency in achieved 
4.  Add more lemon or saltthis is how to turn this creation into a sour cream.  

Note
*You can change the flavor or color of this cheese very easily by adding one or more of the following: cumin powder, turmeric powder, parsley, cilantro or bell pepper   
*Be creative and have fun with your food

Shared on: Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Wellness Weekend 

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Labels: dips and spreads, GAPS, Paleo, raw, SCD, vegan, vegetarian.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Raw Vegan Walnut Pesto (SCD/Paleo/GAPS)


 I have to sayI’m very pleased with vegan pesto.  I don’t miss the the cheese at all.  And I use walnuts instead of pine nuts.  I guess there is a global pine nut shortage which prompted my local coop to put the pine nuts they did have in these ittty-bitty tiny plastic bags.  I laughed so hard and thought, I can’t make pesto with 5 pine nuts!!  Thus, the walnuts made their debut and the outcomesooo tasty!


Ingredients
-2 ounces of fresh basil (sort of hard to measure in cups, probably 4 cups)
-1 cup raw organic walnuts (you could also toast the walnuts, but do not if making raw)
-3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon (to taste)
-1/2 cup olive oil (or preferred oil)
-1/2 teaspoon garlic granules (or one clove of fresh garlic – or to taste)
-1/2 teaspoon salt


How To
1.  Place toasted walnuts in food processor and pulse a few times.   
2. Add basil, garlic granules, salt and pulse.
3. Turn on food processor, add in lemon juice and drizzle in oil.  Scrape down sides now and then.
4.  Test for seasoning.  


**********
Daddy and Ethan gathering basil from the garden. 

Shared on: Just Another Meatless Monday  Melt in your Mouth Mondays, Monday Mania, My Meatless MondaysMealtime MondayMade From Scratch MondayAllergy-Free WednesdaysAllergy-Friendly St. Pattie’s Day Fat Tuesday,Slightly Indulgent TuesdaysTraditional TuesdaysWhole Food Wednesdays, Real Food Wednesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Potluck Party Friday, Wellness Weekend

Posted by Amber at

Labels: dips and spreads, GAPS, Paleo, raw, SCD, snacks, vegan, vegetarian.

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