Creamy Date Caramel + Homemade Nut Butter
As an entrepreneur and a postpartum chef, I am perpetually on the go during my week (and those of you who know my husband know that when he gets focused on a work project/ hobby/ anything, we don’t see him again for awhile) ... on the weekends, Andy-man and I like to head to the mountains for outdoor playtime, can y’all relate? Where my weekend warriors at? In both aspects of our lives we need quick and easy, homemade, nourishing, grab and go snacks... enter these two beautiful spreads. Smear both of them on apples, crackers, toast, rice cakes, bananas... whatever your heart desires. These two stunners are must haves in our weekly meal prep, and a blessing from heaven above they are SO easy to make.
Perfect pantry staples.
Not to mention, these recipes won’t break any budgets... in factttt, my nut butter has a fun cost effective spin.
Interested? Awesome! You can make them BOTH in the same 20 minutes! Here’s how ➵
Let’s start with the (( Homemade Nut Butter ))
Total time: 10 minutes
1 cup of organic raw sunflower seeds
1 cup of organic raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup of organic raw walnuts
1 cup of organic raw almonds
1 tsp of alcohol free vanilla extract
1 tsp of flaky sea salt
1 tsp of organic cinnamon
** note: you can also use roasted nuts, my food processor heats up because I mix this over 10 minutes so I feel like that heat brings out the flavor to the extent that I enjoy!
*** next note: use seeds to fill out your nut butter! they add good flavor, micronutrients, trace minerals, and are cheap nut butter bulk.
**** other note: food processors!! Get yo’self one! I got my first one from the local thrift store, second was a wedding present (shoutout to my aunt Bonnie), obviously you can be old school and s a v e for one (great investment). You can also use a Vitamix, high powered blenders, or a Bullet, be prepared to spatula down the sides often!
➵ ➵ ➵ combine all your nuts into your food processor. While blending, add in vanilla + sea salt + cinnamon. Blend for 6 minutes or so and then scrape down with a spatula, check the flavor and add more cinnamon, sea salt, or vanilla if you need. Once scraped down, blend for at least 4-5 minutes more, stopping to scrape down more as needed (see videos on my instagram story below for what it looks like around 6 minutes and then 10 minutes). Store in glass or non-toxic jars in cool dry places (pantry keeps it shelf stable for 1 week, in the fridge it keeps for 2 weeks). Also babes, feel free to get creative! Throw in some dried cherries or dark chocolate chips or turmeric or cacao… have fun with it.
Last, but not least, the sensual, dreamy, luscious (( Creamy Date Caramel )) this stuff is h e a v e n andddddd **bonus points** you don’t have to clean the equipment in between. Here’s how ➵
Total time: 10 minutes
10-12 medjool dates
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp flaky sea salt
2 TBSP of hot water + more if it’s not the creaminess you desire
1 large spoonful of nut butter + the remnants of the nut butter in the food processor
** note: I love the classic flavor of peanut butter here, it gives the caramel almost a peanut brittle flavor… the above nut butter recipe is also delicious in the blend.
➵➵➵ place your dates in an even layer in your food processor, drizzle water over the top, blend for 5-10 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. Add in cinnamon, flaky sea salt, and more water if needed. Sample as you please and enjoy the gorgeousness that is this caramel. Store in an airtight glass container. Keeps for 1 week in the pantry and 2 weeks in the fridge!
So enough about me discussing how delicious these spreads are, they’re incredibly nutritious too. Let me break those down for you:
Pumpkin seeds are some of nature’s most nutritional powerhouses. They’re high in vitamin E, zinc, and vitamin B-complex, plus their tryptophan and vitamin B contents enhance GABA activity which is known to reduce anxiety and other neurological disorders, aka. less stress and less inflammation babes.
Sunflower seeds are high in selenium, magnesium, zinc, and iron which all help to strengthen your blood and immune systems. They’re also high in Vitamin D and Vitamin K which strengthen the cardiovascular system. They’re also an easily digestible and accessible source of protein that helps to repair nerves, tissues, and cells.
Have you ever noticed how walnuts structure beautifully mimics our brains? The gorgeous aspect of these nuts are that they’re INCREDIBLY beneficial for brain and cognitive health. They’re also known to help calm the nervous system and increase your sense of well-being and peace. Will have to cover their omega-3 content in another post because their anti-inflammatory properties make me swoon and deserve more of our time and attention!
Dates are another food that I feel deserve their own post, their health benefits are endless. Let me paint this picture for you… it’s 2PM, you’re sitting at your desk at work realizing you have 3-4 more hours to go and your energy level is rapidly crashing. Like you’re running through locations in your office where you could maybe take a nap with no one noticing…. Reach for some dates. Keep a box (or this spread!) in your desk at work. Not only will just 2 curb your sugar craving, they will actually give you the energy and mental power that you need to finish your day strong. There perhaps isn’t a more perfect, nutritionally complete food for brain and energy function. Medjool are my favorites!!
Last but not least, the benefits of cinnamon… friends. The ancient medicinal and healing benefits of cinnamon have been well documented. It’s oils have been used for their anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties since ancient Egypt. Not only does a sprinkle in your coffee help protect you against flu and respiratory viruses, it’s an incredibly effective tool for lowering cholesterol and regulating blood sugar. It’s presence in the nut butter and the date caramel make them that much more indulgent and delicious.
Enjoy friends! I hope these spreads make your family as happy and nourished as ours... PS: littles LOVE both of these. As always tag MamaNourish on your instagram posts, let me know how you’re loving the recipe, and watch more stories for a glimpse into my direct process of making these spreads ❤️