Coconut + Cardamom Almond Butter
You can make these with raw nuts and they will be delicious, but for maximum nutrition I recommend activating them. To do this, soak them overnight in cold water, drain and rinse, then dry out in the oven at its lowest temperature (70°C/50°C fan/gas as low as it will go) for 4 hours, until completely dry. A good trick here is to leave the oven door slightly ajar so all the moisture can escape. Activating your nuts sounds a bit silly, but it is basically a way of boosting their nutritional value. First you soak them in water, which tricks the nuts into thinking they are about to grow into a plant and means that all their nutrients are released. Then you gently heat them to dry them out, so that they can be kept for longer – the soaked nuts only last a couple of days.
300g raw skin-on almonds (activated if you like – see above)
100g creamed coconut (1⁄2 a block)
50g coconut sugar
2 tablespoons lucuma powder (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
the seeds from 4 cardamom pods, bashed
the seeds from 2 vanilla pods
Get all your ingredients together.
Place the nuts in your food processor or blender and blitz until you have a fine powder. You will need to stop the food processor and use a spatula to scrape down the sides from time to time. This should take 2–4 minutes, depending on how powerful your blender is. If you like your nut butter crunchy, spoon out 2 heaped tablespoons before it’s completely smooth, to stir through at the end.
Once the nuts begin to form a paste, add the rest of the ingredients except the water and blend until you have a smooth butter – you may need to scrape down the sides again a few times. Add the water and blend again. Top up with a little extra water if necessary, until your nut butter is the consistency you like.
Scoop out of the processor; if you have reserved some crunchy nuts, put the nut butter into a bowl, add the crunchy nuts and beat together. Then spoon the butter into sterilised jars.
Keeps in a cool place for up to 6 weeks.