Roasted Cinnamon Almond Butter

It’s happened. I’ve reached that age where I look back and think to myself, how and why did I do the things I used to do?!? I think this feeling of “ugh” stems from receiving text messages from friends (sans children) at 4am on New Years Day saying they had an awesome time camping at a 3 day music festival in the middle of stinking hot Aussie summer with no sleep and some wicked hangovers. I immediately felt sympathetically hungover and thought… “at what point does that sound like a good time?” I love my friends but, they’re crazy!

See, now I’m old. A good time for me is going to bed early, sleeping 8 hours straight through without having to get up at 2am in the morning to change my toddler’s bed sheets or soothe a crying 1 year old.  I consider a sleep in 6am and a good day when everyone eats well and sleeps well without any tantrums or injuries.

Some may think that having kids ruins your lifestyle, but to me it seems that having children has only made me prioritise what is important to me. It’s not important for me to go out every weekend, drink and then sleep through the next day. It’s not as important to me to see a certain band, movie or go shopping for the latest clothes. What’s important is the little things. I like having breakfast together on the weekends with my family. Going to the beach and making good use of our beautiful surroundings. Having a nap with the kids after lunch or seeing them play with the dog in the backyard. Those things seem to be the highlights of my life now. Yeah yeah I know… boring.

Don’t get me wrong! A night / day off every now and then is fabulous and I will never pass up that opportunity to dress in nice clothes and talk to adults… uninterrupted… without food being mushed into my face by little hands. But I’m quite happy to embrace the ebb and flow of growing older and watching my amazing little human beings flourish and grow.

However, that being said, when people always ask “are you having a third child?” and my response is, “oh heck no!” … at least not until I get some sleep, a bigger house and a new car at least (hint, hint hubby!) Actually throw in a couple of holidays as well :p

Anyhoo, I refuse to pay nearly $20 for a jar of almond butter. I love almond butter. Firstly, because it has the word butter in it (drool) and secondly because it’s really delicious to eat out of the jar with a spoon pre-workout. AND it’s bloody easy to make! Is that not like the trifecta of eating?

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What you need to make it

  • 1 to 2 packets of dry roasted almonds
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp of cinnamon

Yep. That’s it.

How to butter your nuts 

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius
  • Get a nice big oven tray and spread the almonds evenly over the oven tray.

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  • Roast for 5 – 10 minutes (depends on how powerful your oven is) shaking the nuts around on the tray every few minutes to make sure they don’t burn.
  • Once slightly roasted let them cool for a couple of minutes and then place in your food processor.
  • Add the cinnamon when the nuts just begin to reach the paste stage. Process some more.

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  • Process the almonds until they reach the consistency of a paste/spread.
  • It will take probably 15 minutes or so to get to the paste stage.  I tend to turn off my processor every few minutes to give it a rest.

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  • The  almonds will go through several stages before reaching the the last stage. Persevere as it is totally worth it.
  • Store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. Mine NEVER lasts that long 🙂

Enjoy by itself with a spoon and the jar, on some apple slices, add a dollop to your smoothie. It can be used to make satay sauces, cookies, cakes and brownies. The uses for almond butter are endless!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

R & R Sauce

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So my niece just turned 13 and quite frankly it scares the poop out of me. I mean, these days 13 is really the new 21. What with the technology, the clothes, the  social media out there… whatever happened to playing with barbies and my little ponies or even just playing outside? Ugh I am so old! At least they still lust over boy bands… right?

It got me thinking about that time of life for me and I don’t envy her age at all. I like where I am now. It’s busy and it’s crazy,  I’m crazy. But I know now who I am (which by the way continues to evolve and change). But dang, life can be good when you follow your heart and listen to your soul.

On a slightly less deep and meaningful note, any of you watch The Walking Dead? Well we do, it’s about the only thing we watch at the moment. I just wonder though, these people must be a little tired and hungry? Needing a shower maybe? New shoes? Underwear  change? Lord help me in an apocalypse, I get really hangry.

Moving on! This sauce came about because I had no canned tomatoes (not a very good doomsday prepper am I?) but I had too many tomatoes and some capsicums in the fridge. I based the flavour on a dip we used to have which was roasted capsicum and cashew. This turned out to be one of the easiest things I have made to date. I called it R & R because it’s roasted and red, but really I just want to go away to an island without little people for a bit of a holiday 😉 Dreaming!

Ingredients

  • 1 kg of roma tomatoes. Doesn’t matter if they are over ripe.
  • 2 large-ish red capsicums
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 2 garlic cloves minced or garlic granules
  • 1/4 cup of roasted but unsalted cashews

R & R ing

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius
  • Cut tomatoes into quarters and lay skin down on baking tray
  • Cut red capsicum into strips and place on the baking tray with tomatoes skin down.
  • Drizzle tomatoes and capsicum with olive oil
  • Sprinkle with salt and garlic
  • Massage so that all capsicum and tomatoes are evenly coated.
  • Roast for 20-25 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let cool slightly
  • Place in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Add cashews and blend for 1 more minute.

You can use this sauce with meatballs. Add it to your bolognese. I made baked chicken breast with garlic, olive oil and salt then baked in an oven for 20 minutes and poured the sauce on in the last 5 minutes of baking. You could also pour this over zoodles and add a protein like chicken or lamb! Very versatile and extremely delicious and easy to make.

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Maple Roasted Pumpkin Soup

I’ve never been to Canada but I only hope that everything you eat in Canada is cooked in maple, drizzled in maple or tastes like maple… Clearly I’ve never been to Canada, but I reckon that’s what the food would be like.

My mum does an awesome pumpkin soup and I love it mostly because it taste good but also because she makes it so thick and creamy! So in honor of my mum’s pumpkin soup this recipe makes a thick soup. Obviously if you like a more liquidy soup you can add more liquid.

With the ingredients you can use as much or as little as you like to make your batch of soup. This also stores well in the freezer.

Ingredients

• 1/2 kent pumpkin
• 2 sweet potatoes
• Garlic granules/powder
• Sea salt
• Olive Oil
• Maple Syrup
• 1 cup chicken stock

Getting Your Soup On
• Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
• Peel and chop your pumpkin and sweet potato and place in a bowl.
• Drizzle with olive oil, maple syrup and season with garlic granules and sea salt.
• Mix well so that pumpkin and sweet potato are well coated.
• Spread out into a roasting tray or baking sheet and place in the oven. Roast for 30 minutes or until soft.
• Once roasted let cool for 10 minutes and place in a blender.
• Add chicken stock and blend. Depending on how thick you like soup you may need to add more or less than 1 cup of stock.
• Blend well.
• Season to taste.

Serving Suggestion
bake some bacon in the oven and crumble over the soup and sprinkle with chopped parsley

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Stuffed Sweet Tats

The recipe I used for these was a combination of many a stuffed sweet potato recipe, and to be honest, I ended up winging the actual stuffing bit myself but followed Civilized Caveman’s procedure for roasting the sweet potatoes. These beauties make a great side to some red meat like a good rump steak, lamb chops, roast beef or lamb. You can even have them by themselves and put the meat inside the potato… Genius.

I made this to serve 3 people but I had leftover stuffing. Let’s get on with it then.

For the roasting you will need
– 3 small to medium sized sweet potatoes (sweet tats)
– coconut oil (to brush on)

To get stuffed you will need
– 1 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
– 1/2 red onion diced
– 1 clove of garlic minced
– 1 medium sized red apple (I used pink lady)
– 1/4 cup pecans roughly chopped
– 1 cup of Kale finely chopped
– 1/4 cup of currants
– salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Wash and dry your sweet potatoes. Then with a fork prick them several times all over.
Lay them on a small baking tray lined with aluminum foil. With a pastry brush dip it into some coconut oil and brush over to cover the sweet potatoes.

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Place in the oven for approx 50-60 minutes.

While your sweet potatoes are roasting, in a fry pan heat up on a medium heat some olive oil or coconut oil and add the onion and garlic. Sautée until aromatic and then add the kale. Once kale has wilted a bit add the apple and pecans. Lastly add the currants. Season to taste and set aside.

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Once your sweet tats are roasted remove from the oven and let cool just a little bit before taking a knife and cutting down the middle to make a slit.

Then take each end of the potato and push gently towards the middle. This will open up the potato a bit more an create a space for the stuffing.

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Add as much stuffing as you can to each sweet tat and serve. Consider your sweet tats stuffed!

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