Raise a spoon and cheer, if you love peanut butter, or almond, pistachio or cashew butter. Robin Robertson, the incredibly prolific cook book author, has just revamped her 10 year old classic, Peanut Butter Planet. Her latest, Nut Butter Universe:Easy Vegan Recipes with Out Of This World Flavors (Vegan Heritage Press Books) is an updated and expanded treatise on the use of all kinds of nut butters in cooking, baking, and just eating plain.
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I think everyone loves peanut butter, but I’d almost bet that vegans love it just a little bit more. In a dairy-free kitchen, nut butters are often the rich, creamy answer to that craving that might once have been met by cheese. And according to Robertson’s introduction to the book, we can all do well to eat more nut butters for health. Packed with antioxidants, good fats, and of course, healthy proteins, nut butters are a real nutritional powerhouse.
The book covers nut butters of all kinds, homemade or purchased. Then, in a creative and exciting way, Robertson explores using nut butters in every course of your day, from Breakfast to Soups, Starters and Salads, Sides, Mains, and of course, Desserts and Treats. Creamy “cheese” sauces and tangy dressings made with nuts rub elbows with cakes and puddings, all redolent of the nutty flavors you love.
I made the Cranberry-Pecan Butter Muffins, a great wintry breakfast, lunch or snack treat. To make the pecan butter that is baked into the muffins, I toasted pecans and ground them to butter, with a little bit of canola oil to make it creamy. I was glad I made a little extra, to smear on the muffins later, because it was delicious.
The recipe was simple and straightforward, with flaxseed and water blended to replace eggs, and a nice spice mixture added to give the muffins fragrant appeal.
So if you want to revel in the rich, creamy, crunchy goodness of nut butters, all day long, dip into Robin Robertson’s new Nut Butter Universe. It’s finger-licking good!
TO WIN: Comment below, and I will pick the most persuasive comment to receive a copy of this fun, flavorful book! DEADLINE TO ENTER 2/28/2013.
The muffins baked up beautifully fluffy, and the chopped pecans on top were a pretty touch.
Cranberry-Pecan Butter Muffins
The only thing better than savoring the aroma of these fresh-baked fragrant muffins is biting into one. Bejeweled with sweet-tart cranberries, and loaded with protein and calcium, they are a good choice for breakfast or a between-meal snack served with coffee or tea.
- 1/3 cup pecan butter
- 3 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds with 3 tablespoons of water in a blender and blend until the mixture thickens, about 1 minute.
- 1/2 cup natural sugar
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 3/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a muffin pan.
- Blend the pecan butter and oil in a large bowl. Add the milk, flaxseed mixture, and sugar and blend until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and allspice. Stir into the pecan butter mixture until just blended.
- Fold in the cranberries, then transfer the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling the cups about two- thirds full. Sprinkle the tops with about 2 teaspoons of chopped pecans.
- Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve warm.
Makes 12 muffins
From Nut Butter Universe by Robin Robertson. ©2013 Robin Robertson. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press.