The Circus is Coming to Town, so Grab Some Peanuts
School is out, the air is warm, and the Circus is here! Perhaps, like me, the circus is kids home from school and needing something to do. Or, maybe as the fairs get going and a real circus or two come into town, you get a craving for some peanuts.
Either way, you need some peanuts and you want them to be tasty! None of that out of a jar old stuff, or stale peanuts from a bag. And definitely not those orange things they call peanuts you get at the circus. Let's get some fresh, good-for-you nuts going.
Recently I have learned that those nuts in a bag or the peanut butter we have been eating out of a jar aren't that good for us because they are not prepared the right way. What, you say? That's right. And here is the reason why. According to Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions, nuts have something called phytic acid that needs to be broken down before we consume them or our digestive system suffers. The nuts we get from the store don't get that step done, and we end up with nuts that are not very good for us, causing irritation or even allergies.
However, don't panic, as the step to fix this is suuuuper easy. Nuts just need a good soak in water before baking them to break down the phytic acid. Or, if you aren't as picky as me and just want a way to make homemade peanut butter with the kids or grandkids, this works just as well.
Step 1: Take one cup of nuts and place in a glass bowl or a canning jar. Add two cups of filtered water. You can add 1/2 tablespoon of salt at this point if you like. Soak overnight or for 7-8 hours. This step breaks down the phytic acid you don't want and gives you healthy nuts.
Step 2: Dry your nuts in either a dehydrator if you want super healthy nuts, or bake in your oven at the lowest temperature until dry and crunchy. Super tasty!!
The low temperature of the dehydrator allows the nuts to keep their healthy enzymes intact. You can skip this step if you want to make a nut butter instead.
*Note: This works well on most nuts. However, cashews, flaxseed, and chia seeds are the exception to this rule. They like to get gummy when soaked.
Now, what if you want to make some peanut butter that you can eat with abandon?? Or any nut butter for that matter? Super simple:
Step 1: Take your dried nuts and place in a food processor or nut grinder if you are lucky enough to have one. If you have a Blendtec or high-speed type blender, those will work as well.
Step 2: Process the nuts. At first you will end up with nut flour. Keep going. The nut flour with start to get gummy and turn into to nut butter. You may need to scrape down the sides of your food processor at this point. Process until all the nut flour is turned into nut butter.
*If your nut butter seems rather dry, you can add a little oil to get to the right consistency. Also, if you skipped the drying step of the nuts, expect your nut butter to be more on the runny side due to soaking the nuts.
Step 3: Add salt or sugar, if desired. This step makes it taste more like the store bought stuff we are used to. I usually just eat mine plain, but the kids like it better with the salt added.
Once you have your nut butter, grab a spoon and dig in. Or, take some of your dry peanuts and head off to the circus! Hope you enjoy! Do share how the show, I mean the recipe, goes for you and how you used your peanuts!!
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