Salted Cinnamon Pecan Nut Butter
Okay. This is a “Stop. Drop. And WHAT?” kind of recipe. The toasty, roast-y, decadence of it is just magical.
That’s it; it’s just magical.
It is the absolute tits (for lack of a better phrase?); the bees knees; the crème de-la-crème.
Okay, on a more serious note, I really am so excited for you to try this recipe out. I am whole-heartedly committed to this one. It’s been an absolute game-changer in my life since I was introduced to it, and since then I honestly have been going to sleep at night getting excited all over again about a whole ‘nother day to experience the joy of eating this.
What’s the story behind this magical wonder?
This past holiday my friend (Hunny) and I went up to Kwazulu-Natal on a little road trip to visit our bestie, Nadia. We thought it was the perfect opportunity to explore more of South Africa together. Hunny and I have been travel companions (and general life companions) for years. Since we were about the age of eight. And before you ask, this is not her birth name, it is her nick-name. We’ve been all over Europe together multiple times, we’ve been to Indonesia and beyond. Then one day while sitting over breakfast we suddenly realized, “HEY. You know, we’ve never actually travelled much within South Africa. Let’s do it?”. And hence the birth of the idea for this road trip. It all happened over a bowl of oatmeal. And boy am I happy we had that shared breakfast of hearty oatmeal which prompted this idea because it was one of the best holidays to date.
KZN is so beautiful, lush & abundant. Honestly, I felt like I was driving through the English countryside in England again. However, the small little South African towns that dot the journey up that way make sure to remind us of the fact that we’re certainly not in England. What with the poverty, the side-of-the-road stalls, the children playing soccer loudly and enthusiastically on the side of the highway, the many stray animals, the cheap fruit lining the roads and the ever-changing scenery on the way up from Grahamstown. I’m talking: desert landscapes to lush green pastures and just about everything in between.
When we got there, we met Nadia’s friend Stu. He owns a peanut butter factory where they also produce a variety of marmalades, preserves, honey & the most delicious mustard. He took us for a short tour through the facility and it was such an awesome experience. We saw a whole bunch of workers sitting under the trees in his garden with buckets after buckets of fresh figs – preparing them for fig marmalade. We saw the lines and lines of orange trees and fig trees, struggling a bit from the South Africa draught, but none the less standing strong and tall and creating an abundance of fruit to be harvested and made into a delicious treat that families throughout South Africa enjoy every day. All of this made me so acutely aware of the fact that often we don’t think for a second about the food we buy in the shops. We are so removed from the very source of our foods – removed from the process and journey the foods have taken to get where it is now; on the shelves in the grocery store, or in your home, or in your mouth/belly.
Have you ever really stopped to ask yourself, what is the journey that this apple has taken to get from that tree yonder to my hand right now? Or what is the story, journey and LIFE of this bottle of marmalade that I am taking off the grocery store shelf? Have you ever stopped to recognize that every single bottle of jam, every drink, every bread brand or juice label is someone’s’ business and livelihood (be that of the person who owns it or the workers that make it all possible for it to exist at all)? Every single item that is available for us to buy in the grocery store has a rich history of immense effort, energy, time and money put into it. How incredible is that?
So Stu, who owns the peanut butter factory, got his hands on some pecan nut nibs. He popped them through the peanut butter machine (which is a heavenly awesome contraption itself! No kidding, you put raw peanuts in on the one end and out comes puddles of silky smooth, toasted peanut butter oozing out of the other side) and out came the most heavenly thing. I feel I need to buy one of these industrial gems for home consumption bella pronto. When I tasted it for the first time, it completely and totally soothed my whole system. It grounded me, nourished me and made me feel all warm and soft inside.
Then, a few days later the little sampler container he’d given us was finished. I was truly devastated. So, I went on a mission to find bulk pecan nuts so I could make my very own pecan nut butter. And so I did. And I am so happy I did because it has become my new favorite go-to meal addition. I add it onto my oatmeal bowls (an absolute MUST try!) and slather it on toast topped with some honey/dates/maple and banana coins. It instantaneously grounds my flighty nature (more on this in the Ayurveda posts/section of the blog!) and soothes both my digestive system and nervous system. With the roasting of the nuts it already makes this decadent delight a very warming and nourishing addition to your life. BUT then, with the addition of the salt, cinnamon and dates it becomes a whole new ball game of healing goodness. This really is the perfect thing to start introducing into your diet during Autumn and Winter months when the seasons begin to change and everything starts to cool down. During this time you need some extra heating/warmth coming in from external sources like the foods you eat and the beverages you drink. This is the crux of eating seasonally and it is the best way to support yourself throughout the seasonal changes to keep balanced and harmonious on a deep physical, energetic and cellular level throughout the year.
The rest of the holiday was amazing: we went for many farm runs, adventured in some natural landscapes, saw some waterfalls and one of my absolute highlights was Nadia’s brother taking us mushroom foraging! I’d been wanting to forage for something for ages. As someone who is always searching for deeper connection to the food we eat, I feel there is almost no activity more grounding and connecting (food-related) that will bring you into direct communion and appreciation of the act of nourishing yourself through the food you eat. Also, there is just no better tasting food than food that you have picked from the source (mama Earth) and prepared lovingly with beautiful company. Anyway, without babbling on for too much longer. I hope this recipe brings you as much delight and joy as it has brought into my life.
· 3 cups (300g) raw pecans
· 2-3 big medjool dates (depending on how sweet you like it. I like mine sweet so I added 3)
· ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
· BIG pinch of fine Himalayan salt
1. Place your raw pecans onto a baking tray and turn your oven onto 180 degrees Celsius and pop the tray into the oven for 10-15 minutes. Or until roasted – but be sure to keep your eyes peeled on them; you don’t want them to burn but you do want them to be a dark golden brown color.
2. Once they are browned and toasted let them cool for 5 minutes. Then place into your food processor along with the salt, cinnamon and big pitted medjool dates. Blend on low and steady until all the pecans are broken up; about 5 minutes. Then scrape down the edges and continue processing on high speed for another 5-7 minutes or until it is at a delectably smooth consistency.
3. ENJOY on everything and anything.
Yours in health and healing,