Coconut Espresso Nut Butter

DSC_0550I cannot tell you how many times I have made almond butter. For something that seems so easy, I have never been happy with results. I always seem to end up with a thick and very dry concoction, nothing drippy or viscous like I had hoped. The first time I had ever made coconut-almond butter was the biggest disaster. I bought unsweetened shredded coconut from the local health food store, brought it home, added it to the food processor and literally processed it for over twenty minutes and nothing had happened. It was supposed to turn into a creamy butter after five minutes! I looked at the ingredients and realized that this particular unsweetened coconut was mixed with a few other preservatives; hence never allowing it to break down. I can only imagine what this looks likes in our digestive tract if it can’t even break down in the insanely aggressive food processor. I went back to the market, purchased ORGANIC unsweetened shredded coconut and it turned into the drippiest, creamiest, smooth butta in just minutes. Phew. But, sadly, the battle was not yet won. I had added raw almonds to the food processor and it took at least twenty-five minutes to grind the nuts into a semi-congealed mixture. The almond butter fell very short of a nice gooey spread; it was more of a thick paste. I learned, that adding the raw almonds without roasting them first was a bad idea.

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Raw nuts have natural enzyme inhibitors, which keep them from sprouting and breaking down, allowing for a longer shelf life.  When we consume raw nuts it can really harmful for our digestive tracts, because the enzyme inhibitors keep our own bodies from absorbing the vital nutrients in food. There are two ways to ensure proper absorption and that is to either soak or roast the nuts.

Soaking nuts is an incredible way to release the enzyme inhibitors and to start the process of germination. Eating these sprouted nuts allows us to ingest all the essential vitamins and minerals. I always have a little jar of sprouted nuts to add to yogurt, cereal, or to make homemade nut milk. I will definitely have more on that later.

Roasting nuts also slightly unlocks these enzyme inhibitors and allows the nuts to break down when thrown into the food processor. Roasting your nuts is an important step when making nut butter! Don’t forget this. Also, be sure to always rinse your nuts and dry them well before roasting them. Almonds and other nuts are sprayed vigorously with pesticides and other chemicals in the farming process, so make sure to rinse them even if they say “organic” on the package.

Another important change I have made in my almond butter is to add cashews. Cashews have naturally higher levels of oils in them compared to almonds. The cashew/almond mixture is much creamier than one with almonds alone.

I can ultimately say that this is my favorite nut butter recipe. I spread it on toast in the morning, add it to cookies and ice creams for a special subtle flavor, or even just by the spoonful. I am so happy to share this recipe, finally!

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Coconut Espresso Nut Butter {Vegan, Gluten Free, Paleo}

(Prep time: 18 minutes, Processing time: 15 minutes)

 

1 cup organic raw cashews, rinsed and dried

1 cup organic raw almonds, rinsed and dried

3 cups organic unsweetened coconut flakes (or 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut)

½ tsp sea salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 TBSP espresso grinds

1 TBSP Agave nectar

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lay raw almonds and raw cashews on a small baking sheet. Bake for 16 minutes, stirring half-way through the bake time to ensure even roasting. Almonds and cashews will become fragrant and golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
  2. In a food processor add the flaked coconut. Process until the consistency of coconut butter. This should take about 10 minutes. Make sure to keep scraping the sides of the bowl. The coconut butter should be very drippy.

*Make sure your coconut is organic and has no other ingredients. If the coconut is mixed with oils or preservatives the coconut will never process into butter.

  1. Add the cooled almonds and cashews to food processor with coconut butter. Process for about 5 minutes until very drippy. Add the salt, cinnamon, vanilla, espresso, one at a time, through the feed tube of the processor and pulse until combined. Add the Agave at the very end, pulse until just combined (the Agave will make the butter a bit sticky so I only pulse for about 30 seconds). Spread on multigrain toast or whole wheat English muffin, or eat by the spoonful, like me.

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5 Responses to "Coconut Espresso Nut Butter"

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  1. sara forte

    30 January, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    looks incredible! love all your experimenting, looks crazy good.

    Reply
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