How to make Peanut Butter, and other Adventures

4 Apr

I am getting excited here in my little kitchen in Vancouver! As I am typing this, I am waiting for my cookies to cool down (save that for another post), finishing up my essay (due tomorrow), and counting down to the last day of school. Which is, um, tomorrow. That snuck up on me just a lil’ bit.

This last week has been crazy,  trying to study for my lab exams and completing various papers. But I have finally done it, and now all I have to do it is wait for exams. Ugh. I have a solid two weeks before my first one, and I honestly have no idea how I am going to direct my studying. Like, which course do you start with? I also have issues with sitting at a table and staring at a text book for long periods of time. Not my cup of tea.

Um, what is this? Do I actually live here?

The weather is glorious, I am walking as much as I can considering I still can’t exercise with this cold, and I am loving it. I really, really miss running and get sad when I see people run past me. They are so lucky! No one ever appreciates their body when it is healthy-they only complain about it when something goes wrong. It’s pretty sad, but I guess this has been a lesson for me. I need to appreciate my body more, and what it can do (especially over how it looks!) and try to take care of it! I am pretty good with exercising and eating quite healthfully (aside from samples of whatever it is I bake), but I think the endless partying catches up with you. Gotta take a chill pill every now and then.

Anyways, this weekend was spent doing homework, relaxing in the sun, watching the hunger games, and eating really delicious food! First point: the hunger games were incredible. Like, beyond anything I imagined them to be. I read the first book this summer when one of my campers (at camp chief hector in Alberta) offered to lend it to me for the weeks he was there. I was hooked after the first chapter, and have since read all the books. I know they are aimed at pre-teens, as was Harry Potter, but there is something extremely addictive about these types of books. I think it is the fact that they are so real- they all deal with normal, everyday people who end up in extremely dangerous or adventurous circumstances. It’s the essence of “what if” that people are drawn to, and it encourages a type of imagination that we tend to lose as we grow up. I have found that I am only really into books like this, where a slightly different and special reality is created. All other novels take weeks for me to finish. My conclusion? Go read the books, then watch the movie. It will change your life.

Poutine roll

Point 2: This, my friends, is a poutine roll. If you have never heard of poutine, then I am sorry for you. But seriously, it is a fat stack of crispy french fries, smothered in fresh cheese curds and thick, salty gravy. The best thing ever. This role incorporated sweet potato fries inside, and was drenched with gravy and cheese shavings on top. It was tasty, and something I’ve never experienced. I shared it amongst other rolls with friends at Ebisu, a highly modernized Japanese restaurant on Robson St. If you like really authentic Japanese food, which I adore too, this place is not for you. However, if you want to try some strange and incredibly tasty versions of different Japanese dishes, you should check it out. I thought it was great, and the happy hour menu is pretty decently priced.

Mango, salmon, and imitation crab roll

And! And, and, and, I finally made my own peanut butter! I have been wanting to for ages because it is so easy and you can put whatever you want into it. Finally with my food processor, I got’r done. I have a recipe for my version, but honestly you cant put whatever you want in there. As long as you roast your peanuts before hand, and add some oil, the sky is the limit!

This jar wont last me the week...

Hannah’s Beauty Butter 

  • 2 cups unsalted, unroasted peanuts
  • 2-3 tbsp vegetable oil (I used some coconut oil, too-if using only coconut oil, this recipe is vegan)
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 3-4 tbsp liquid honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds*
Lay out peanuts on a cookie tray and roast for 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees, stirring the peanuts around every few minutes to prevent them from burning. Remove and cool. Put peanuts in processor, along with oil, and pulse on high for a good 3 minutes. You will need to scrape down the sides every so often. Now you should have a very processed medium, but not quite butter. Add cocoa, cinnamon, ginger, and honey, and pulse for up to 15 minutes, depending on how liquidy you want your butter. Finally, add the chia seeds and pulse for a good ten seconds to mix in. If you want your butter to be crunchy style, reserve 1/3 cup of the peanuts at the beginning and toss them in at the end, pulsing for only a minute.Pour out mixture into a jar (or several) and voila! Your own, specialized, healthy protein spread! I like mine on pancakes with bananas, but you can really put it on anything. Get a lil’ cray and try adding pretzles, or white chocolate pieces, or even dried fruit!

*Chia seeds are little seeds that can be used to thicken puddings, oatmeal, or vegan baked goods. I like to put them in everything because they are really high in protein, fiber, and omega’s. They sell them in most big-name grocery stores.
Happy peanut butter making!




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