Many properties are enclosed in a delicious cream prepared from dried fruit alone. Excellent in first courses, in second courses, and perfect for snacks, let’s discover its nutritional virtues and uses
Did you know that there is another butter besides cow’s milk, which we are used to using? And that it’s different because it’s vegan and also has many health-promoting properties? It’s dried fruit butter and is prepared (even at home!) with walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, and pistachios. From dried fruit, it takes many “good” nutrients and, despite being “fat,” it is an excellent food to introduce into a healthy diet. Not to mention that it can be used in many ways, for breakfast and beyond. So, if we like dried fruit, let’s discover a new way to enjoy it better, going beyond the classic hazelnut “cream.”
Nut Butter: How To Choose It
We learned about nut butter from American films and TV series where peanut butter is omnipresent in the morning breakfast. However, there are many nut butter: butter can be prepared starting from walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, cashews, almonds, macadamia nuts, and pecans. In short, there is only one to indulge in because the possibilities are so many!
However, to be of good quality and not hurt raising the caloric intake, the nut butter must be made with as few ingredients as possible and not include added oils (in particular, the controversial palm oil), flavorings, thickeners, and preservatives. This is possible both by preparing it at home (just a blender is enough) and by purchasing “organic” dried fruit butter with a very short and zero km label, prepared with Italian dried fruit: they are often sold under the denomination of dried fruit cream, in natural food stores or online shops.
The Properties Of Nut Butter
Nut butter contains vitamins, minerals, and fiber: the precious nutrients already contained in nuts. But it doesn’t fisce here: being rich in proteins, it becomes an excellent food for those who play many sports. One aspect to consider, however, is the high caloric intake: on average, nut butter provides about 400/500 calories per 100 g, with small differences from one type to another. However, it is enough to moderate the portions to introduce it into the diet without problems for the figure: 30 g per day is the recommended portion, to be consumed up to 3 times a week, always making sure that the butter is 100% pure and without added sugar, flavorings, stabilizers.
Vegans and vegetarians can eat butter or dried fruit cream every day since it represents an excellent integration of vegetable proteins. Furthermore, it dries up for a long time, and with its contribution of omega-3 fatty acids, it helps to fight inflammation and protect the body’s tissues, including the skin.
How To Use Nut Butter
Have you ever used it and want to understand how to use the nut butter in the kitchen? If you start experimenting with it, you will see that it is greedy; it gives flavor very easily to many different dishes, especially desserts.
Smoothies, Smoothies, And Fruit Salads
In smoothies and smoothies for breakfast and snacks, nut butter gives a creamy consistency that makes them tastier and more complete because it adds proteins and good fats. A recipe to try: banana smoothie with almond vegetable drink, a spoonful of almond butter, and mixed seeds. Delicious and filling! Nut butter is also excellent in fruit salads (strawberry, apple, banana) as a “topping” instead of ice cream.
Nut butter in all its versions can be used to enrich cakes, pies, muffins, and plum cakes: depending on the type chosen (walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, pistachios), the flavor will change. And there’s just to have fun.
Nut butter can also be used as an ingredient in tasty and important vegetarian pasta recipes: those made with walnuts and hazelnuts are particularly suitable for condiments for vegan lasagne and tagliolini and for creaming risottos, the pistachio butter for dressing trenette and linguine as an alternative to basil pesto.
In The Second Courses
Butter or dried fruit, peanut, or pistachio cream can be used to make vegetable meatballs more full-bodied and to season legume, chickpea, quinoa, and lentil meatballs in the form of a sauce. Even the little ones will love it!
With Bread And Jam
Finally, the dried fruit cream can be spread on rye bread or cereals alone or with a teaspoon of jam or fruit compote without sugar to create a mix of flavors and reduce the glycemic value of the jam. An energizing and healthy snack perfect in the mid-afternoon, instead of snacks and pizzas.
Homemade Nut Butter
Making your nut butter isn’t difficult at all! Homemade dried fruit cream offers several advantages: it is cheaper, with a raw material that is very easy to find, and gives the certainty of not containing preservatives or added sugars. Preparation time is at most an hour in all.
You need just a few ingredients and small tools to make homemade nut butter. What is very important, however, is the right fruit maker: it must be powerful, from 1,200 to 2,400 watts, and have from 4 to 6 blades.
You start by toasting the shelled nuts (almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, etc.) for 10 minutes in a pan. Roasting is essential to ensure that the dried fruit releases its oils better. If you are in a hurry, you can buy shelled and toasted dried fruit.
You then put the nuts into the blender on full speed to grind them to a powder, then switch back to a slower speed to start creating a paste. Continue until you have a smooth and fluid cream. If needed, add a spoonful of olive or sunflower oil and one spoonful of water to mix the cream and, if desired, a pinch of salt to correct the flavor. As an alternative to the blender, you can also use a food processor, making the process even easier. You need about 400 g of dried fruit for a jar of butter.
How To Store It
Homemade nut butter, precisely because it is free of preservatives, only keeps for a short time. Once cooled and mixed, it should be placed in an airtight glass container, sterilized in boiling water for 20 minutes, and placed in the fridge: it can be kept for up to a week.
The Types Of Nut Butter
As anticipated, much-dried fruit butter is made from different ingredients. Each butter has its properties and lends itself to some types of butter in the kitchen. Here are a few to try.
Nut butter is rich in omega 3, good fats precious for skin and heart, and antioxidant vitamins E and B vitamins that give energy. It has a strong flavor, making it ideal in pasta and risotto but also excellent in desserts. If you want to make it spicy, add a pinch of cinnamon.
Almond butter contains vitamin E, which helps the skin stay young and hydrated, plus it is rich in calcium, iron, potassium, and manganese. For this reason, it is perfect for children, older people, and anyone who needs little extra energy. Due to its delicate flavor, it is good in desserts and smoothies and to replace butter when there is an intolerance to milk or a vegan diet is followed.
Peanut butter has a good protein content, higher than that of other nut butter. Loved by athletes, it provides magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B6, which are important for the health of the nervous system. Helps regulate blood cholesterol levels. Add coarsely chopped peanuts or seeds to the cream to make it crunchy. Warning: peanuts can trigger allergies; even peanut butter is forbidden in these cases!
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