Month: October 2014

Homemade Almond Butter

Hello, my name is Lauren, and I have an addiction: to almond butter.

I am thoroughly obsessed with it. I slather it on apples, celery, dollop it on oatmeal, sweet potatoes and even lick it straight off the spoon. I seriously can’t get enough.

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Now don’t get me wrong: I love flipping the switch at Whole Foods and watching whole almonds turn into a smooth paste right before my eyes. But wanna know what I love more? Making it myself.

I like making almond butter at home for a few reasons.

1. I can add whatever I want into it (or not!). Sometimes I just want straight-up almonds. Other times I want a hint of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey

2. I can control the salt content. A lot of the times, jarred almond butter will contain a lot of salt. I like mine alllllmost salt-free.

3. It’s more cost efficient. Have you ever noticed how expensive almond butter is? Yeah, me too. And I was sick of spending money on something I could easily make at home.

4. I can make as much as I want and it’s really quite rewarding. A quarter cup? Fine. 2 cups? Even better.  You’ll see what I mean about it being rewarding once you try it yourself. Here’s how:

INGREDIENTS

2 cups raw almonds

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tbsp honey

pinch of salt

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. Spread the almonds in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10-20 minutes, turning once, until golden and toasty (tasting is encouraged!).

Add almonds, cinnamon and salt to a food processor and process until smooth, about 5 minutes. Once smooth, let the food processor continue to run and drizzle in honey. Taste and season accordingly. Enjoy!

A Bumper Crop of Pumpkin Beer Has Taken Over Grocery Shelves

The leaves may be changing, but one fall flavor trend has remained the same: pumpkin.
 
From Starbucks’ early release of the Pumpkin Spice Latte, to Dunkin Donuts’ launch of their Pumpkin at Dunkin’ campaign, everyone is hopping on the hayride to pumpkin town. An industry that’s no stranger to this trend? The beer industry.
 
pumpkin-beers

Image via Blog About Beer

 
An influx of pumpkin-flavored ales and lagers has hit the shelves starting as early as Labor Day, and pumpkin beer sales are expected to increase by 28% this year, according to USA Today. While tried and true favorites such as Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale and Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat are making a strong return for fall 2014, you can expect to see some new labels added to the mix, such as Magic Hat, which after 20 years of brewing, has finally released a Wilhelm Scream Pumpkin Ale.
 
Due to the high supply and demand for pumpkin beer, this will be the first year that the Brewers Association’s Great American Beer Festival will have an entire category dedicated to pumpkin beer. In years past, there had been a pumpkin beer subcategory, followed by a “Field Beer” category, but since pumpkin made up the overwhelming majority of entries, it now claims its very own category.
 
Beer Advocate has listed over 700 entries for pumpkin-flavored beers, and although some may be coming from the tiniest of microbreweries, other big name brands such as Flying Dog and Brooklyn Brewery are proving that there is no company too big or too small to keep up with the trend.
 
What do you think? Has the pumpkin beer trend gone overboard?