On Friday night, I was more than happy to attend and participate in the Japan Benefit Party. It didn't matter that I had to be up at the crack of dawn the next day and only got four hours of sleep - it was my way of giving back to Japan, as well as thanking Japan for welcoming me with open arms and teaching me so many wonderful things about its culture.
Now back to your regularly scheduled program.
I am in love with my food processor. I'll let you in on a little secret: I purchased the food processor as a gift to myself, a self-congratulation for finally finding employment. That's right, while most people my age would go to the mall to buy a pair of shoes, a purse or an item of clothing, I bought myself a kitchen appliance.
It remains one of my favourite purchases in the past year. My 15+ year old blender just wasn't doing the job I needed it to do (I was sick of constantly having to scrap down the sides) and my shiny new toy is capable of producing fresh almond and flax seed meal. Also: homemade nut butter!
I didn't always make my own nut butter. My first attempt was actually in Japan. I had consumed all the natural almond butter from the care package my parents had sent me, tried some Japanese peanut butter and gave away the container after one bite (it's disgusting sweet and doesn't resemble the Skippy/Jif/etc. North American peanut butter) and was desperate for a solution. A quick google found that it wasn't difficult to make peanut butter - throw some peanuts into a food processor/blender, turn the machine on, add a pinch of salt and voila, it's done. It's so much tastier than the stuff you buy at the supermarket. Plus, it’s easy! You’ll never buy the jarred stuff ever again.
Homemade Almond Butter
Recipe adapted from Rawmazing
2 cups raw almonds
Pinch of sea salt
Spread almonds on a baking sheet and roast at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until fragrant, stirring occasionally to make sure they don't burn.
Cool the almonds, then throw the nuts into the food processor. Turn on and let the nut process for 10-15 minutes. Be patient - it will take some time for the almonds to breakdown and release their oil. Don't worry if the mixture balls up, just keep letting the food processor do its thing. Once it reaches nut butter consistency, throw in a pinch of salt or if you like, stir in some honey.
Slather almond butter on toast (with condensed milk - try it, it's mind-blowingly good), apples or whatever you desire. Store in the fridge; good for a month or two.