The new year has rolled in and countless resolutions have collectively been made across the country. My hunch is these good intentions mostly focus on eating better, losing weight, and getting fit. While it might sound counter-intuitive, my resolution for 2017 is to eat more nut and seed butters. Somehow, over the years, nut butters have gotten a bad rap as a fattening, bad-for-you, food to avoid. I bet it was all those sugar and hydrogenated oil “enhanced” peanut butter sandwiches on white bread that we grew up on as kids.
Yes, toss this staple of childhood in right in the trash and try my recipe for smoky sriracha six seed & nut butter. When you know better, you do better! Actually, nut and seed butters, prepared in the right way and eaten in moderation, can be a healthy part of a balanced diet. Nuts and seeds, plain or in the form of a butter, are a dieter’s friend despite their solid calorie count. But, these nutrient-dense calories can work wonders, thanks to the protein, fiber, and heart-healthy fats that are much more satiating and nourishing than sugary or processed snack. A serving of nut butter at a meal or as a snack can help to discourage overeating.
Most healthy nut butters I’ve tasted have been boringly plain or given a sweet profile with ingredients like honey, maple syrup, Stevia and so on. But a spicy nut butter, that’s a welcomed rarity and, once you taste it, my Smoky Sriracha Six Seed & Nut Butter recipe is sure to become bookmarked in your “must-make” file forever more. Ground paprika imparts a smoky, complex taste to this spread made of almonds, cashews, peanuts, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, and chia seeds. Chilis, such as those used in Sriracha sauce, contain capsaicin, which is known to boost metabolism, endorphins, and serotonin production. See how this yummy recipe is a win from every angle?!
Although you can use raw nuts, you’ll get a more delicious, complex flavor with roasted almonds, cashews, and almonds. Typically, you can buy these already roasted in the bulk section of your market and remember to pick up the ones that are unsalted. If you are roasting nuts at home, simply pour out the raw nuts onto a rimmed baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes in a 400 ° F oven, shaking the pan midway.
Another fabulous thing about this nut butter is that it can be made in a blender! After I threw in the nuts and hit the on button, my new Hamilton Beach ® Professional 1800 Watt Peak Power Blender confirmed it was as tough as it’s good-looking yet professional kitchen image. Some of my past blenders have choked under the pressure of non-stop margarita making, let alone the stress of breaking down nuts and seeds into a paste. But, with a 2.4 horsepower motor and blades that reach speeds in excess of 140 miles per hour, this workhorse worked wonders turning my ingredients into a smooth and creamy nut butter in (literally) almost no time. Within 60 seconds, nuts and seeds turn powdery fine and then olive oil, Sriracha sauce, and paprika whirled in for another 60 seconds, if that! This amazing blender only took two minutes to do the job my food processor takes upwards of 10 minutes.
There’s no shame in eating this nut and seed butter right out of the jar, but it’s equally amazing served so many other ways. Try it slathered on toast, wraps and flatbread, or in lieu of condiments on a burger. You can spread it on fruit and vegetable slices, or try my fun serving idea – termites on a log! Simply spread into celery stalks and sprinkle with black sesame seeds for a tasty and grown-up take on ants on a log.