Homemade Gifts

Daily

Christmas is over and I’m kind of glad, we had quite a situation preparing everything. My dad and me decided to do a full on Christmas day lunch, meaning that we created almost 10 meals from scratch. Let me tell you we were not up for the task, it was very stressful but at the end it all worked out. In a small kitchen we managed to do a gluten free, vegan friendly menu. My job was to do a healthy garlic hummus, quinoa goat cheese muffins, avocado tartar, rocket salad, grilled root veggies, baked kumara, red cabbage salad and the dessert (gluten free muffins and a chocolate mint tart).  Dad was in charge for the meat lovers, he bought an amazing organic turkey and honey glazed ham, he also did our traditional french salad. When we thought we were almost finished and people started coming, our table caught on a small fire, so we lost about half of our food! We had to do it all over again! Well lunch was a bit later than we expected but still delicious.

After lunch it was time for the presents. I decided to give something I do best. I made homemade almond butter, dark chocolate peanut butter and sugar free granola. These are great gifts for birthdays or any other holidays. Here are the recipes.

Homemade almond butter

  • 3 cups almonds
  • salt

Place the almonds in a food processor fitted with an “S” blade. Secure the lid and allow to process for 20-30 minutes, stopping and scraping down the sides as needed throughout the process.

The almond butter is ready with the oils have released and the resulting butter is very smooth and creamy, this takes more time than you’d expect, so be patient!

Raw almonds take a little longer, and freshly roasted almonds break down into nut butter faster, if added to the food processor while still warm. (You can dry-roast your own almonds for 10-12 minutes at 170°C).

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Dark Chocolate Peanut butter

  • 4 cups peanuts, roasted and salted*
  • 1 cup dark chocolate, melted

Place the peanuts in the food processor for about 15 minutes or until the mixture is smooth and drippy. Scrape down every 2-3 minutes or as necessary.

Once the mixture is at the right consistency, add in the melted chocolate. Process until combined. Place in sterilized jars.

*Preheat the oven to 180°C. Rinse the peanuts under cool water to remove excess dirt. Pat dry and place in a large bowl and toss with the peanut oil and salt until well coated.

Place on 2 half sheet pans, making sure to spread them out into a single layer. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through cooking. Once you remove the peanuts from the oven, let them cool slightly before eating. They will continue to “cook” and become crunchy as they cool.

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Sugar Free Granola

  • 2 cups rolled oats (gluten-free, if needed)
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract or ground vanilla
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, room temperature
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup, brown rice syrup or runny honey
  • 2 very ripe bananas, peeled and broken into smaller pieces

Preheat the oven 200°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl add coconut oil, maple and bananas. Use your hands to mix the ingredients completely smooth. Add the banana mixture to the dry mixture and combine well, using your hands, for about a minute, so all is well-coated. Spread your granola on the baking tray. Bake for about 15 minutes, always check it, it can burn quickly. Allow to cool, it will get crunchier. Serve with organic yogurt, preferable goat or sheep or almond milk and fresh fruit.

If you prefer it raw and have a dehydrator, it will also work.