Wednesday 9 April 2014

Vanilla Bean Macadamia Nut Butter

My dad turned 60 over the weekend.  Quite the big deal if you ask me.  But he's not a big deal kind of guy, so we kept it low key and took him out for a nice dinner at one of his favourite seafood restaurants in downtown Vancouver.  We had an amazing meal, with wonderfully creative dishes like torched hamachi with jalapenos, a candied salmon salad and a beautifully plated piece of sturgeon with crispy puffed black rice.  All in all I would say it was a success of a birthday.    


My father isn't a huge fan of cakes, but he sure loves to snack. He loves tropical flavours like pineapple, coconut and lime. (As bad as they are, the coconut cashews from Trader Joe's are his kryptonite)  Since he has been on a little bit of a health kick lately, I promised I would make him a healthier version of a key lime pie sometime soon, but for our little dinner outing he needed something to open.  Making thoughtful gifts means more than stuff to my family, so I went with a delicious and decadent nut butter.  On a family trip to Hawaii my father couldn't get enough macadamias and is still thrilled when people bring them back for him, so I decided that macadamia nut butter would be perfect.  He was so happy to open the little package and find a dainty jar full of buttery goodness.  I warned him not to go crazy with the stuff though, since this butter is extremely rich!

Vanilla Bean Macadamia Nut Butter

Makes 1 small mason jar full

2 handfuls raw organic macadamia nuts
2 tbs honey 
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/2 tsp salt

Optional: add 1-2 TBS coconut cream (from the top of the can) to make even smoother

Put nuts in food processor and grind until a paste forms. This happens quite quickly with macadamias since they are almost pure fat.  Add sweetener, vanilla bean, salt and milk if using.  Blend until the desired consistency has been reached, 2-4 minutes.  

The flavour is mild and buttery, with just enough sweetness to be eaten on its own.  Enjoy on toast, right off the spoon, or for me, on a crisp little cookie.

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