The Blissful Blueberry

a journey into mindful living and wellness

Tag: honey

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

I’ve been obsessed with nut butters since pregnancy kicked into overtime. Visible belly, insane hunger and thirst – and all around happiness. :)

The problem: almond butter is expensive. Especially the all-natural kind that has no sugar – just almonds and salt. So I didn’t buy it for a while to “fix” my habit. 

But then I just got into the hub’s Peter Pan peanut butter. I finished a jar – almost by myself – in a week. I tried not to look at ingredients. I just had to keep peeking though. 

Blargh! To quote Peter Pan’s website: 

“Peter Pan Peanut Butter complies with U.S. Standards of Identity for peanut butter by containing more than 90 percent select roasted peanuts. It also contains extremely small amounts of vegetable oil stabilizers, which improve smoothness and prevent the natural peanut oils from separating from the product and rising to the top of the jar. To enhance the flavor, Peter Pan Peanut Butter also contains sugar and salt.”

But that vegetable oil stabilizer is hydrogenated oils.  Blech. And that sugar is corn syrup solids. More blech. And, oddly, soy. I looked it up: commercial peanut butter is 60% peanuts. Silly, silly peanut butter.

I needed to get back on the almond butter train. But now I was back on the sugar train. :( Time to wean! 

And here’s where this almond butter came in. 

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

I would normally have just gone straight to the pure form. Almonds, roast, salt, blend. But I had tasted the super-processed stuff and my brain had re-wired. 

The process is the same though if you want purity and sugar-free. Start with these guys. Or any almonds. Pre-roasted, raw, doesn’t matter much. 

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

Spread them out on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Steal a few off the sheet (you know, so they don’t crowd each other). 
Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

Put them in a 350 degree oven for approximately 10 minutes. I used 2 cups’ worth. 

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

They’ll be a little darker and a little fragrant. Perfect! And steamy!

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

Toss them into your mixer of choice. I used a food processor so I could go hands free – as opposed to my Ninja blender. Throw in a bit of coarse sea salt. Or any salt. I’m not a snob. 

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

Do the processing in spurts. You don’t want to hurt your motor. This is phase 1 after approximately 2 minutes of mixing. REST the motor. Grab a drink. Pet the animals. 

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

This is approximately 5 minutes in. You could stop here and have super heavy, dry nut butter. But you shouldn’t. 

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

Here’s where I added some honey. But this is optional. I did approximately 1 tablespoon. Add or subtract based on your own sugar preference. You can also use maple syrup for low FODMAP, but I’d advise against any other kind of sugar because the liquid helps loosen the nut oils. 

If you skip the sugar, you might need to blend for a full 10 minutes. I was able to stop at 8. 

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

If you’re going and going and it’s getting past ten minutes and you’re getting impatient, you can add in a little oil. Liquid coconut oil or canola oil are best if you have those on hand. But that decreases the percentage of actual nut in the nut butter. Boo to that. 

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

I wanted mine a little textured so I popped in the rest of the almonds from the giant bag. I also tapped in some cinnamon at this point. About 2 teaspoons. 

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

Perfection! Creamy, but with a little crunch! Sweet, but not too sweet, with the perfect amount of cinnamon!

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

After a tablespoon or two of tasting (for quality control purposes), it fit into a tall mason jar glass and was ready to go in the cupboard!

So, if you have a processed peanut butter fetish, you must try this. Better for your heart, your gut and your soul! 

Don’t hide behind the fear that it can’t be done cheaply and easily! Get out and try it! :0 

Cat in a trunk

Homemade Honey Cinnamon Almond Butter

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter
A homemade delicious, easy and inexpensive way to make your own all natural nut butter at home. Feel free to turn it into whatever you need: cashew butter, cocoa-flavored, etc.
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Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups almonds (or any kind of nut)
  2. Coarse sea salt to taste
  3. 1 tbs. honey
  4. 2 tsps. cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Roast almonds in a single layer in the oven at 350 degree for 10 minutes
  2. Place almonds and sea salt in mixer. Mix with frequent rests for 8 - 10 minutes adding in honey, cinnamon and extra nuts (if wanted) in final round of mixing.
  3. Enjoy!
The Blissful Blueberry http://blissfulblueberry.com/

 

All-natural homemade face & body soap (microwaved!)

Handmade all-natural soap bars for the face and body

Well, I always start a hobby–then I never finish it. I purchased goat’s milk, shea butter and aloe vera glycerin soap bases  more than 5 months ago and they had been sitting in a box somewhere wasting away. Meanwhile, I would pin, pin, pin recipes on Pinterest for homemade soap.

Pinning is really great for browsing and shoveling away to-do lists. But not really great for getting anything done. It is really relaxing though! :)

One day,  over a month ago, I did a trial run. It turned out gross. I added too much rose petal and let it sit in the base too long before adding it to the mold. Color leached out and the bars came out an icky murky brown. Not good for looking pretty! :(

It took me a while to decide to try again. The real reason I took the plunge: I hated having the soap bases lying around. I am an organizing fool!

Here is how it went this time around.

Supplies used:

  • Some additives (honey, lemon and orange peel, rose petals, essential oils, etc.)
  • Soap base
  • Big bowl for mixing
  • Molds (I used cut plastic milk cartons, but cardboard ones work well too.  So will anything that has a shape basically that you wouldn’t mind your soap looking like.)
  • Additional item if you want/need: alcohol in a spray bottle to spray after you put the soap into the mold. It pops the bubbles.

Chopping soap base with a saw

I chopped the soap base with a saw. :) Man tools? Pshaw!

Place chopped soap into microwaveable bowl

Always use a microwaveable bowl when using the microwave, kids. 😉 Also, I don’t mind using food bowls because it’s just soap. I use that on bowls all the time to clean them. So, duh.  Microwave in 30 second intervals and stir between intervals. It needs to be completely melted.

Add in the fun stuff! Rose petals and hips (mine are from the co-op), local honey and any essential oils you like! I used Peace & Calming for its zen qualities, and lavender and frankincense for their skin-cleaning properties. Essential Oils Kit to get you started!

Rose petals and hips for the soap

Add in local honey

Essential oils used in soaps

Then you just pour it into the base. Make sure to stir it extra well so nothing settles at the bottom!

Pour the soap mixture into the mold

I did mine in rounds: used one base type with an oil and some citrus, one with a different oil, blah, blah. I was able to layer them in the same mold because of the time delay between batches (5 minutes or so with chopping, microwaving and mixing).

You can add the soap in layers in the mold

For the amount of soap base purchased, it really doesn’t give you all that much, does it? :( If I do this again, I’m buying in bulk! (And going with the shea. It looks the best!)

Carefully cut the soap out of the mold

Cut the mold off carefully if you didn’t grease it first with cooking spray.

Cut them according to your own desire for size

More sawing! :) I cut them into halves after making the initial length cuts. 

Saw the bars with a hacksaw

^ Top right two are aloe vera base, lemon peels, rose, and lavender bars.

Rose, orange, and Shea bars

^Shea base, orange peel, rose petals, lavender, and Peace & Calming bars.

Goat's milk and honey soap

^Goat’s milk, honey, rose, lemon, and frankincense bars.

Handmade all-natural soap bars for the face and body

Now, it’s time for packaging if you’re looking to give them away or to sell. New supplies list!

Supplies used:

  • Any form of wrapping (parchment, packing paper, etc.)
  • Twine
  • Scissors
  • Writing instrument

Materials used for packaging the soap

Now, those fancy pens I have pictured didn’t work on the parchment paper. Bummer. :( So I pulled out my handy chalkboard pencil! Finally! I knew I bought it for a reason.

Wrap the soap in paper and twine

You don’t want to put down the entire ingredient list, so just write down the major points based on what it looks like :)

Write on the paper anything related to what you put in it

Shea and citrus

The motherload of homemade all-natural soap

So, there it is! A successful attempt at soap making–but not the crazy Fight Club way. The simple microwave way.

Anyone else try making soap before? Success? Waste of money for ROI? Cool recipes? Keep me in the loop. :)

If you’d rather buy local than make it yourself, check out The  Mustard Seed’s awesome natural soaps. I did a spotlight on them a few months ago.

 Making homemade soap in the microwave