The nut is a versatile little blighter.. The possibilities are endless. You can bake ‘em, roast ‘em, crush ‘em, make miniature boats out of them, and we haven’t even got on to the wonder that is homemade nut butter yet!
So buckle up, and get ready for an adventure you will nut forget, with this collection of wholesome nutcraft tips!
1. Nut Butters
Peanut butter is by far the most popular nut butter… more than 90% of Americans and 40% of people in the UK consumed peanut butter in 2019… that’s almost 350 million people! ***wipes sweat from brow*** But did you know that you can make ANY seed or nut into butter? Yes really!
Almonds, pecans and cashews are good choices because of their size and availability, but if nuts aren’t your bag then sunflower seeds can be just as delicious.
So how exactly do you make nut butter?
Simply pour your raw or roasted (a great idea) nuts into a food processor/blender and whizz until smooth. What? It's that easy? It sure is! Drier nuts like almonds may need a little bit of oil to blend well.
If you want to create something utterly delicious, try adding flavourings like vanilla, cinnamon or even sea salt.
2. Nut Flour
Nuts make a superb, high-protein, gluten-free flour that you can use in all kinds of baking. From thickening soups and stews, to breading and sweet treats.
Almond flour is a particularly useful alternative to wheat flour as it has a neutral taste. However, while every nut can be ground into flour, don’t expect exactly the same results as your wheat recipes. Perfecting nut flours takes the sort of patience and practice you’d associate with Buddhist monks – an ideal project for stay-at-home fun this festive season. Once you’ve hit the nail on the head, though, you’ll have delicious, healthy and gluten-free treats for days.
3. Homemade Nut Milk
Instead of spending money on Almond milk at the shop, you could easily make your own following 3 simple steps:
1. First, soak your almonds overnight in cool water.
2. Drain your almonds and add them to a blender along with fresh water, salt and any additional flavourings like honey, cinnamon or cocoa powder (if you’re feeling a little wild). Blend for 1-2 minutes, until creamy.
3. Finally, strain the creamy mixture in a nut milk bag. Make sure to squeeze the bag to extract all of the milky goodness… and voila! Your very own, homemade almond milk! That’s the definition of plant-based magic! Veganism ain’t so hard eh?
4. Roast ‘em!
Roasting nuts deepens their flavour, making them even more nutty and complex than a polyamorous professor of philosophy. Instead of buying roasted nuts (although tempting), why don’t you make them yourself using your own favourite herbs and spices. Fancy the idea of herby, curry peanuts? Or perhaps syrup and cinnamon almonds? Certainly sounds good to us.
Simply pop your chosen nuts into a pan and cook on a medium heat for no more than 15 minutes. Remember to stir regularly and keep a close eye on them; no one wants burnt nuts! Oil can be used if needed – but best to use a neutral (or nutty) oil like veg or rapeseed.
A quick and easy way to massively level up your nut game, let us know how you get on!
5. Walnut Craft
Nuts come in all shapes and sizes, but perhaps the most versatile is the almighty walnut. The walnut shell is a cornucopia of crafting possibilities. All of these ideas are kid-friendly and the perfect stay-at-home school holiday activity.
These adorable little things are just an example of what you could turn a walnut into! Let your imagination run rampant and send us your painted walnuts, we’d love to see them.
Or place them on your neighbour’s window sill and give them a surprise!
This is one of our favourites, and a lot of fun! Glue a small mast (a matchstick will do) to one half and attach a little sail of your own design. Set these beauties down on a stream, the bath, or even a puddle and – spoiler alert – they actually work!
Still got some nuts left over? Good. If you’re short of Christmas decorations, or maybe just looking for a rustic touch to your already spectacular display, look no further than the humble walnut. Whether turning them into adorable little tea lights, or hanging your painted nuts on the tree, the possibilities are endless!
We hope you’ve enjoyed your tour of the wonderful world of nuts! Whether it's watching your walnut boats float downstream or your crazy nut paintings, we want to see them! Get in touch with us at @boroughbox and show us what you nutters are up to!