April 19, 2015
Almond butter is a staple in my home. I think it's good on just about anything. I use it as a dip for fruit and veggies, add it to smoothies for an extra protein and fat boost, use it for raw treats as well as baked goods. Then one day I thought to myself, this stuff is so dang expensive, why don't I just make my own almond butter? If I make it myself I know it's super fresh and has no added oils or preservatives. Plus I could make it way WAY healthier by soaking the almonds first.
What makes soaked almonds better? Soaked almonds are easier to digest. The added moisture makes them softer and easier to chew. The soaking process also releases the enzyme inhibitors that would otherwise keep them in a dormant state until they are ready for gemination. This means that once soaked, almonds contain their own enzymes that help them break down in your GI tract with little effort on your part. The skin which contains some anti-nutrients can easily be peeled off and discarded when soaked. Another benefit of soaking is that it cancels out phytic acid, a phosphorus substance that binds and blocks the absorption of minerals like iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, chromium and manganese.
Rinse almonds and place in a large bowl.
Fill the bowl up with enough filtered water to have at least 1 inch of water covering the almonds. They tend to expand so you want to give them some extra wiggle room.
Let them sit overnight or away from direct sunlight for 12 - 18 hours. When you are done you will notice the your almonds are plump the water is murky.
Drain the water and rinse your almonds to get rid of any remaining debris. Pat dry with a towel. Next, lay your almonds out on a dehydrator sheet and set the temperature to below 115. If you don’t have a dehydrator then lay them out on a cookie sheet and place in your oven on the lowest possible setting with the door open until they are done. I can tell they are done when I bite into one and it is no longer moist and chewy. They become crisp and dry. From this...
To this (24 hours later in the dehydrator).
Place your almonds in a food processor and process until creamy.
Be patient with this step as it could take up to 20 minutes until desired consistency is reached.
You will notice a ball forms around the 5 - 10 minute mark. Scrape down the sides with a spatula and keep processing.
After a couple minutes the ball will break down and you will be left with what appears to be almond butter. Keep going, you can get this even more silky.
Once it’s done you will have silky, creamy, rich almond butter.
At this point the almond butter is delicious by itself but you could add whatever you like to flavor the almond butter. I add 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt to mine and process for a few seconds until it’s mixed.
Your almond butter is ready to eat. I've stored my homemade almond butter in the fridge for a month. You may be able to store it longer but it's likely to get eaten up before then.
March 23, 2020
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With a vast drop in temperature, darker skies and rainy days, winter is the most yin of all the seasons. It is associated with the kidney and bladder organs, the color black, the element water, the emotion fear, and salty and bitter flavors.
December 06, 2019
Goji berries are one of the most well known Chinese herbs in the US. Used for over 2000 years in China, they were first mentioned in the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing, the oldest known book on Chinese herbs in 200 BC. They are prized for their ability to tonify blood and yin without causing stagnation. Consumed daily in China as a food and herbal medicine, goji berries are revered for their anti-aging properties. They are used in many beauty tonics.