I alluded to my fixation with creaminess yesterday. I haven’t eaten any dairy products for years, but as a kid, oh my. I drank milk like it was going out of fashion; ate sweetened condensed milk from the can; cheese, cream, yoghurt, custard, ice-cream… *uurrrrggghhh* (that’s the sound of me going into a Homer-esque drooling coma.)
Okay, sorry, regaining composure, it’s just been really tough out here in the dairy-free wilderness. Let’s just say we have established that I loved creamy things. I have tried so many dairy substitutes, but for the most part they seemed over-processed, nutritionally empty, and lacking in well, taste. Oh, how can express the joy I felt when I discovered one of my favourite foods, the one I could still eat, had the secret superpower of replacing all my dairy needs. Super-nuts to the rescue!
Confused? I was too.
I mentioned in Day 1 that I discovered raw recipes online for pretty much every sweet treat known to man. Cheesecake, ice-cream, chocolate peanut butter cups, pies, fudge (I’ll pull myself up here before another drooling session, but trust me, the list goes on). What was the common ingredient? Nuts. The secret is to grind them to a paste in a food processor, the finer the paste and the more liquid you add, the creamier they become. You can also make milk out of them (more on that later too). Oh sweet Jebus, I was saved!
Different nuts create different textures (and flavours) when processed. Walnuts are quite chunky so good for pie bases and “meatballs”. Macadamias form a very fine paste and make great fillings for cheesecakes and caramel slices or creamy “white” sauces.
Look, I realize I may be giving the impression here that I eat raw desserts 24/7. (Marie-Antoinette style, with a gold spoon, lazing on a chaise lounge). Ha! If only! Many workdays I make a giant container of grated vegetables and eat my way through that. I don’t always have the time – or the inclination – to make elaborate raw dishes at every meal. But the humble nut butter, which I am about to share with you, can render a simple raw veggie salad into an absolute taste sensation (especially with lashings of ground black pepper on top). You can also just spread it on celery sticks or raw crackers (we shall get to such things later). Or just eat it by the spoonful…
1/3 cup walnuts
1/3 cup almonds
1/3 cup cashews
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup water or nut milk (or more if you like)
Blend the nuts first in the food processor, then add the salt and water to your desired consistency.
You can also add herbs, chilli, and garlic or sweeteners like stevia or agave with vanilla or spices depending on what flavours you like. Let your imagination run wild. Go, play with nut butter, my pretties!