Smoothie-WIN!! I've been craving Nutella recently (premenstrual, much?) (TMI, much?) ...but have you read what's on that Nutella label? Ewwwww. It becomes way less appetising with all that sugar, milk powder and unpronounceable chemicals. So I figured I'd make my own out of home-made nut butter and raw cacao nibs. What could go wrong. ...Right?
Turns out this is pretty easy (as you're starting to tell, I'm a very lazy cook). First, you'll need to make your own hazelnut butter. It's SUPER EASY, and once you've got this done, you can save some for later and the rest that's left in the blender can be mixed with your other morning smoothie ingredients (also so there's less washing-up to do. Heh.) ;p
There are 2 recipes in today's post: the first is how to make any kind of nut butter (hazelnut in today's case), and the next is turning the hazelnut butter into a vegan-nutella-banana-smoothie. WIN. And double WIN.
HOW TO MAKE HAZELNUT BUTTER
- 1.5 Cups Raw Hazelnuts
Yes, that's it. This is all you need. :)
- Toast the hazelnuts so you get a better nutty flavour later. I roast them dry in a pan on the stove, without any oil. Shake them around every now and again until they start turning darker, and you start to smell the delicious scent of roasted hazelnuts. (You can also do this in the oven on a baking tray, at 200 degree-C setting).
- You can keep the skins on for the nut butter, but if you find this too bitter, you can remove the skins before turning them into butter. Put your freshly roasted hazelnuts in a dish cloth, wrap them up, then roll them around on your counter top. Grinding them against each other helps the toasted skins flake off easily. In my pictures below, you'll see how I probably didn't roast them long enough as the skins came off only half of this batch. That's OK. I turned them half-naked mofo's into butter anyway. Bam.
- If you want raw nut butter, skip the roasting in steps 1 and 2 and go straight to step 3 here. Put hazelnuts in a blender and blend the heck out of them until the oil oozes out and turns your nuts into butter (there's a dirty joke somewhere in that sentence). That's it. Too easy.
This will probably work better with a food processor, but since I don't have one - I'm telling you now: It works just as well in a blender too. It's more of a mission as you need to keep scraping down the sides with a spatula, but at some point when the blended nuts start to become a little stickier coz the oil is oozing out of them, you can just keep the blender whizzing even if it looks like nothing is being blended.
I kept stopping every other second when the pulverized nuts turned into a powder to scrape them down. But after the chopped nuts turned from a powder-looking form into a stickier chunk, I kept the blender whizzing constantly. It sounded like it would hit on a chunk every few seconds and spit something out, but then the sticky chunk started to take on this beautiful, glossy glow... and then VOILA! At some point this thing actually looks and tastes like HAZELNUT BUTTER!!!
Too. Freaking. Easy.
Why have I been spending all my money on all those health-food store nut butters?!
Next time, I'll do a bigger batch. Figured I'd work with a smaller batch of nuts first to experiment - and this still gave me a smidgen of leftover butter that I'm saving in the fridge. I don't think this will last more than a week before going off, but I'll give an update here in case I store it in the fridge and forget all about it.
...Which leads me to the second recipe for today. The whole reason why I made this hazelnut butter is coz I was craving Nutella. And bananas. MMmmmmmmmm.
VEGAN NUTELLA BANANA SMOOTHIE
- 1/2 Cup Hazelnut Butter
- 1 Tbsp Raw Cacao Nibs (you can use raw cacao powder too. Not COCOA but CACAO! It's different coz "cacao" is the pure form of chocolate that's fulla good stuff like antioxidants, minerals and vitamins - it's without all the excess processed crap like milk powder, sugar and other fillers you find in regular "cocoa".)
- 2x medium Bananas
- 350ml Coconut Water - or as much or as little as you want to make this more or less creamy.
- Chia seeds - just a sprinkle on top
- Throw everything except the Chia in a blender.
- Blend it.
- Sprinkle Chia on top.
- Drink it.
- BAM. Bye bye PMS!
I really enjoyed this one. At some point I'll probably experiment with making actual vegan Nutella using raw cacao nibs and the hazelnut butter as a base. Stay tuned! :)