Monday, August 20, 2012

Almond-Hazelnut-Peanut Butter Blend

There is no doubt that I have a full fledged nut butter obsession. I really truly think that nut butter is the most delicious food in the world. It is my deserted island food... the one thing that I would want with me in the rare case that I would be trapped on a deserted island with no food. It would be my last meal. Well... along with a vegan chocolate chip cookie. 
My husband was really sweet and got me a Vitamix for Christmas our first year as a married couple, which seems like forever ago, which was also not long after I made the evolution to becoming vegan. I have truly felt like this device is worth every penny. It can do anything. It can save the world. The Vitamix should be President. Among the many talents of the Vitamix is creating nut butters. Nut butters can also be made in a food processor, but I have burned out too many food processor engines to actually recommend making nut butters in one. The Vitamix  does a stellar job with the nuts. Which makes it my buddy in my nut butter obsession. 
So far, I have stuck to your old standbys. Peanut Butter. Almond Butter. Sunflower Butter. But over the weekend I was noticing that I had a small amount of a few different nuts, but no large quantity of any one nut. What to do, what to do. So I made this incredible nut butter blend with the nuts I had on hand. It is SO good. I blended almonds, hazelnuts, and peanuts with a bit of each sea salt, vanilla and maple sugar, just to take it to the next level. This nut butter came out so velvety with a rich and subtly complex flavor, I never expected it to be as perfect as it is. 
I will mention here that I did need to add a bit of Grapeseed Oil to keep the nut butter working in the vitamix. I am not crazy about having to add oil to my nut butters,  I prefer them free of added oils, but in some cases you need the oil to make the nut butter grind up properly. You can always drain off the excess after the nut butter has sat for a day or so. It is so good, I'm thinking of adding it to the line up at Angelfood Vegan Treats.
I highly recommend this nut butter blend- it is such a treat. I have yet to try it with jam on my favorite multi-grain bread, but I am looking forward to that soon. If you don't have a vitamix, you can definitely do it in a food processor, it just takes more time, patience, and a spatula to scrape down the sides often. 

Almond Hazelnut Peanut Butter

2 cups raw almonds
1 cup hazelnuts
1 cup unsalted peanuts
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 tablespoons maple sugar
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (or more as needed to assist in blending depending on your machine)

Add all ingredients to your vitamix or food processor. Start on low and move up to high. Blend well. If using a vitamix use the special tool to continuously push the nuts downward toward the blade. Per the vitamix directions for making nut butters, after about 1 minute of doing this, your mixture should be moving pretty smoothly. If it is not, let the machine rest for a bit since the motor can get pretty warm. Please refer to the vitamix instruction booklet if you are unsure. 
If you are using a food processor, you may have to scrape the sides down often, or possibly use more oil to get the mixture smooth. 
Spread on toast, bananas, or just a big spoon and enjoy!