Nut Butter But Better
Have you ever got about half way down your jar of expensive nut butter and realised you should have been stirring it at every use in order to mix up the natural oil that rises to the top.
The bottom half of the jar is still nutricious and tasty but thick and hard to spread as most of the nut oil has all been used up,
I had this brainwave that I could make my nut butter better when I was struggling to spread my Meridian Peanut Butter. I like this brand as it's 100% nut as listed in the ingredients. But there are loads of other good brands out there. Check the label and go for whichever has 100% nuts listed in the ingredient. Almond, cashew and peanut are my favourites.
I set about raiding the cupboards for some bits and pieces. I added some sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and some slightly ground flaxseed and hemp seeds (I used a wee cheapo coffee bean grinder) and some MCT coconut oil. I source my MCT oil from Hunter Gatherer who also produce a lovely avocado mayonaisse. A bit expensive but full of goodness and I use it sparingly.
If you've not heard about MCT oil, It's a new kid on the block but in an article in Medical News Today, it is suggested that MCT oil benefits may contribute to:
Better brain and memory function
Energy boost and increased endurance
Weight loss and improved weight management
Lowered blood sugars
I mixed up the nut butter, seeds and MCT oil (I found using a fork was the best) and just added more as need until I got my preferred consistency. Absolutely buzzing with the result. My nut butter is now spreadable again and more nutrient dense. All is Well.
Seeds are a great way of adding fibre, protein and loads of nutrients to any dish. See below for some added info on the ones I used.
Flaxseed's health benefits come from the fact that it's high in fibre and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as phytochemicals called lignans. One tablespoon (7 grams) of ground flaxseed contains 2 grams of polyunsaturated fatty acids (includes the omega 3s), 2 grams of dietary fiber and 37 calories.
One tablespoon of hemp seed serve up 45 calories and 3 grams of fat. That one-tablespoon serving size offers 2 grams of fibre, 2.5 grams of protein, 150 mg of potassium, 8% of your vitamin-A requirement and 12% of your daily iron needs. It’s hard to find another food that nutrient-dense. Hemp has a unique fatty-acid profile that includes common omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, plus less common stearidonic (SDA) and gamma linoleic (GLA) acids. These fatty acids fight infflammation and protect your heart and immune system.
Pumpkin Seeds (my favs)
Small but powerful and bursting with nutrients. A great source of protein and Omega 3 fats. This wee green seed contains an amazing range of nutrients including iron, selenium, calcium, B vitamins and Ts and beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. However pumpkin seeds' biggest claim to fame is that they are such a high natural source of magnesium and zinc. Just one tablespoon of pumpkin seeds provides: • Almost 1mg zinc - the RDA is 9.5mg for men and 7mg for women. • 40mg magnesium – the RDA is 300mg for men and 270mg for women.
So I doubled up on the pumpkin seeds in the better nut butter. Here's a link to a good article about this wee green powerhouse.
And not forgetting the humble sunflower seeds which are an excellent source of vitamin E and a very good source of copper and vitamin B1. In addition, sunflower seeds are a good source of manganese, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B6, folate and niacin.