SPICED PECAN & APPLE BUTTER
Perfection in a jar, spiced and subtly sweet with a rich pecan flavour… This simple recipe will sophisticate your taste buds and be your all time favourite this autumn.
Uhh… Summer draws to an end, and as it just so happens I was abroad for pretty much the entire British summer, because we all know summer lasts for about one week in the UK. Anyway, of late I’ve been exploring more in the kitchen with homemade nut milks, cashew yoghurt and nut butters! The glorious, oozy, velvety yet succulent nut butter! Yes, we’ve probably all tried almond butter (personal favourite 🙂 ), peanut butter, macadamia nut butter in abundance – but cashew, walnut, pecan – where are you guys???
Due to this, I put my cook’s hat on because -not to mention the rarity of other varieties of butters – for a bizarre reason they are also more expensive ranging from at least £5 to possibly even £10! Hence, I had never discovered those flavours. In addition, due to consumers demands, shelf life as well as nut butter ‘appearance’ even beloved brands such Whole Earth incorporate ingredients such as, palm oil. This ingredient (although withstanding a short list of health benefits, i.e. antioxidants) they are often artificially extracted with chemicals, such as hexane. Now this you might want to watch out for seen as it’s used in glues, shoes, stain remover and leather tanneries! Yikes! It’s major cause for concern involves negative effects to your central nervous system. As well as this, palm oil extracted from the Amazon causes decimation, to thousands of habitats, lives and our planet’s lungs. On top of that watch out for hydrogenated fats, sugar and high sodium varieties in the supermarket!
So… If you can achieve the same beloved silky, or silkier, texture at home… fuss free with a bit of patience and can save money and empty calories – why not! 🙂
Pecans, they aren’t exactly the highest on the chart for people to register, let alone think about nutritionally – however… Pecans actually have the highest antioxidant rate of any nut. Antioxidants are compounds found in Vitamin C, vitamin E and flavonoids (phytonutrients), these inhibit oxidation and the production of free radicals in the body, which if pass equilibrium, will lead to oxidative stress. This imbalance is often promoted by yes stress itself, air pollution, high blood sugar levels, toxins, alcohol and many more. Oxidative stress causes cell damage and homeostatic disruption. Left unresolved, cardiovascular disease, inflammation, pain and cancer can generate. Do you see how vital those pecans and a wholefood diet are yet?
According to the global burden of disease study, not eating enough nuts and seeds was the third leading dietary risk factor for death and disability in the world. Studies also show, those who consume a 1/4 cup of nuts and seeds four or more times per week are at a decreased risk of cancer, heart disease and respiratory disease – with the ability to even lengthen your lifespan by two years! Well, hello world – and hello recipe!
Sources: https://nutritionstripped.com/ultimate-reds-smoothie/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249911/ https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/antioxidants-explained https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/pecans/?gclid=CjwKCAjwqZPrBRBnEiwAmNJsNsm23V_YHwBOUJnhwuE7P8XHltDkJuZZLioTtojWYOyO-HkFHhWbRBoCwGEQAvD_BwE
As I was saying, deep autumnal flavours of butter were foreign to me – until this recipe! I knew I wanted to create something new and almost luxurious, that you wouldn’t be able to find to easily in the store. I chose the flavour combination of apple and pecan because I think they are a great marriage of taste and the spices of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg further accentuate this. Delicate sweetness of apples easily counteracts the occasional bitterness of pecans and a light pinch of salt (I know I warned against sodium) combines the seasoning.
One thing that does excite me about this recipe is the coconut sugar, I LOVE cooking or baking with this as it provides a rich caramel flavour, similarly to maple syrup. Unfortunately, this item can be a bit more expensive so don’t panic if you don’t have it!
As I discovered, this butter – although decadent – can be quite dense, if so or not thinned to your consistency, feel free to add a neutral tasting oil to the food processor once all of the other ingredients have combined such as: canola, sunflower or groundnut oil. On the other hand, if you wished to go oil-free you could try heating it up for a several seconds in the microwave to serve or if still thick, to a single serving incorporate a few tablespoons of filtered water, mix and then heat slightly. Either way trust me, it will taste delicious! 🙂
This recipe should make approximately 1 and a 1/2 cups depending on your consistency and should last around one week in the refrigerator; possibly longer, but keep an eye on it due to the apple, but hopefully it will be gone by then!
Spiced Pecan & Apple Butter
- Food Processor
- Large oven dish/ baking tray
- Small saucepan
- 1 Red apple fuji, jazz, etc.
- 2 cups Pecans
- 1/2 tsp Ginger pureed / minced
- 1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp Ground Clove heaped
- 2 tsp Coconut sugar*
- 1/3 cup Water
- A pinch of sea salt
- Firstly, preheat the oven to 180°c/ 160°c Fan meanwhile you peel, core and roughly chop the apple into small chunks.
- Now, place the pecans into a glass baking dish or on a baking tray large enough so that they are not overlapping. This is because overcrowding will prevent the pecans from toasting and releasing flavour. Put the tray onto the middle rack of the preheated oven and watch cautiously for 10 -15 minutes, checking regularly.
- Next, you will want to place all remaining ingredients, except for the salt, into the saucepan over a medium-low heat and cook for 5 minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the lid from the pan, continuing to cook for an additional 15 minutes, or until the apples are soft and tender. You may require more water during this time if necessary, to stew the apples and prevent sticking. Set aside, with the lid on, to cool once done.
- Once your pecans smell aromatic and 'toasty', remove from the oven to cool slightly - for 2-3 minutes. Do NOT allow your pecan to gain colour or a rancid smell as they will be burnt and you will have to start again.
- Place, your pecans, still warm, into the food processor along with the salt, fixing the lid on. Pulse to begin with for 2 minutes, then blend on a low setting for lengthened periods, but scrapping down the sides of the processor occasionally. Here you are creating a pecan butter and it will take time, anywhere between 10-15 minutes. It may appear the pecans are not moving or being ground by the blades; be patient!
- Once the pecans, have a achieved a smooth, runny consistency you can now add the apples. Blitz, until the apple is fully incorporated and again - a smooth consistency is reached. Your butter should now be quite light, beige in colour and relatively thick.
- Now you can transfer this into approximately two jam jars, or one mason jar. I recommend storing this inside your refrigerator due to the fresh apple, but feel free to heat up slightly when served to create a thinner consistency. Enjoy!
By JAMIE WATERS
Spread the word
"IF SOMEONE TRIES TO TELL YOU THAT YOU EAT TOO MUCH NUT BUTTER, STOP TALKING TO THEM. YOU DON'T NEED THAT KIND OF NEGATIVITY IN YOUR LIFE."