We made it through the first 7 weeks of weight loss! Between the 2 of us, we’ve lost over 50lbs. Woo hoo! We figured we’d treat ourselves to a special day of gluttony! We started the day with a bit of a continental breakfast with some Italian bread, homemade peanut butter, homemade veganized Nutella and fresh sliced bananas. The Vitamix was put into serious usage to our delight,
Since the Vitamix is still relatively new to us, we couldn’t wait for the day to make our own peanut butter. Artie has been talking about it for weeks! We couldn’t help but crank it up a notch and make our own “Nutella.”
Vitamix had a quick and easy recipe for peanut butter. From start to finish, it was made in under 5 minutes. We added a little bit of sugar to the peanuts for some sweetness. I also topped the peanut butter with some leftover peanuts for a bit of crunch. It was the best peanut butter I’ve ever had. I won’t be going back to the jarred stuff…ever! Next time, I’m going to roast my own peanuts too!
The “Nutella” took a bit of time. Rather than using already-roasted nuts, Artie picked up raw hazelnuts from Dual earlier in the week. I had to roast the hazelnuts, which took about 30 minutes. I also had to rub off their skins when they were cool. That took a while to complete as best I could (left some skin on, but it didn’t hurt the spread). I also made caramel which served as a base for this chocolatey spread, which wasn’t too hard thanks to the recipe I found at Su Good Sweets. The work was definitely worth it, because the “Nutella” was so spot-on to the real stuff that I couldn’t believe I actually made it.
So simple to make, both can be kept in airtight containers for at least a month. You can have them separately or eat them together. My new favorite way to each them is together with the “Nutella” spread over a toasted slice of Italian bread with a dollop of peanut butter and topped with 2-3 banana slices. Now, THAT’s the “Breakfast of Gluttonous Vegan Champions!”
Quick Peanut Butter
Source: Vitamix.com and the Vitamix Creations Cookbook
Makes approximately 1-3/4 cups
- 3 cups of peanuts, roasted and unsalted
Mac & Artie’s Variation: We added 1 T of vegan cane sugar to the peanuts for a little sweetness.
- Pour nuts into the Vitamix container and secure lid.
- Select Variable 1.
- Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High, using the tamper to push the ingredients into the blades.
- In 1 minute you will hear a high pitched chugging sound. Once the butter begins to flow freely through the blades the motor sound will change from a high pitch to a low laboring sound. Stop machine.
- Store in an airtight container. It can also be frozen for longer storage.
Caution from Vitamix: Over processing will cause serious overheating to your machine! Do not process for more than 1 minute after mixture starts circulating freely.
Mac & Artie’s Variation: If you don’t have a Vitamix, you can use your food processor or blender at the appropriate settings to make any nut butter. Many of the cooking appliance manufacturers do have recipes and instructions on their websites.
Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread with a Caramel Base
Source: Su-Good Sweets
Makes approximately 1-1/2 cups
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cups whole raw hazelnuts
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Preparation: Line a baking sheet with foil. Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Make the caramel: Combine the sugar and water in a 3- to 4-cup saucepan. To prevent crystallization, don’t stir it again during the cooking. Cover and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Remove the lid and wipe down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush or a scrunched up paper towel dipped in water. Cover and cook for 2 minutes, or until the sugar’s completely dissolved. Uncover and cook until the syrup looks like pale amber maple syrup. If your pan’s dark and you can’t gauge the color of the syrup, spoon a drop or two onto a white saucer. Swirl the pan gently, continuing to cook and test the color until the syrup turns medium amber.
- Immediately pour the caramel onto the lined baking sheet. Tilt the sheet to spread the caramel as thinly as possible. Let harden completely, about 15 minutes.
- Toast the nuts: Meanwhile, place the hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven until the skins are almost black and the meat is dark brown, about 15 minutes. Stir the nuts halfway through baking to ensure an even color.
- To get rid of the bitter skins, wrap the cooled hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel or paper towel. Rub until most of the skins come off, but don’t worry if some remain.
- Make the nut butter: When the caramel is completely cool, break it into small pieces and pulverize in a food processor. Try to get the caramel as fine as possible at this stage (it won’t get finer once you add the nuts).
- Add the nuts and process until they have liquefied, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Be patient; the nuts will go from a fine meal, to forming a ball around the blade, to nut butter. Add the cocoa, vanilla and salt and process until smooth.
- Transfer the spread to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator for 1-2 months. For best results, stir the chocolate-hazelnut spread before using.