Wednesday, January 19, 2011

137/365 Alton Brown's cashew butter

I'm quickly becoming one of Alton Brown's biggest fans.

Alton Brown is one of the Food Network's chefs, and his show, "Good Eats," is a fantastic mix of scientific information and cooking how-to. It's far different than your run-of-the-mill cooking show, and I'm completely hooked on his energy, knowledge, and the way he builds recipes by starting with teaching you how to make the base ingredients. (You can catch episodes on Hulu if you don't get the Food Network.)

Alton Brown's latest book, Good Eats 2: The Middle Years, is one of my favorite gifts from this past Christmas. I've gone through it page by page and have made a list of the recipes I want to make immediately.

One of my first new attempts was his recipe for Cashew Butter -- a tasty alternative to peanut butter, made with just four ingredients in a food processor. It's even easier than making hummus, if that's possible!

I've been getting wonderful raw cashews from Whole Foods, which have a great natural sweetness and no added salt, so I used those in this batch. He calls for walnut oil in this recipe, but I substituted the safflower oil I had on hand and it worked great. In his book, he says this will keep in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to three months.

The result is so good it almost tastes like a decadent dessert! I'm having to watch that I don't eat too much of it at a time; savor, savor, savor.

Bonus/side note: If you're looking for a super-easy way to make rice -- a method that allows you to walk away from it and not worry at all about it boiling over -- try AB's recipe for baked brown rice. It works perfectly every time. Thanks again, Alton Brown!

Camera: Canon 40D with 60mm macro lens and 430EX Speedlite, 1/125s, f/4 at ISO 400



  1. I wish we still worked together so we could talk about cooking every day!

    I am saving this brown rice recipe... I hate it when it sticks to the pan. Its like the time in between when its too wet and when it starts to stick is 30 seconds and you have to grab it just at the right moment.

    I saw a starfruit at Marsh the other day. Never noticed it before. It's amazing when you were aware what you become conscious of. Here I feel exotic when I buy a mango!

  2. Does the cashew butter have more protein than peanut butter?

  3. I'm afraid I'm so focused on food/cooking lately that I'm boring people around me. ;)

    I'm completely in love with this brown rice recipe. I like to make a batch after dinner, then keep it in the fridge for a few days, adding it here and there to salads and other single-serving dishes.

    I did some quick searching to try to find comparisons of the protein content in cashews vs. peanuts. Each site I found has slightly different figures, but they all credit peanuts for having a little more protein per gram:

    Here's a chart at one of my favorite blogs:

    And here are two other sources I found:

    I actually met with my nutritionist today, and I asked her about what nuts are best -- and in her recommendation, cashews rank much higher than peanuts. So I'm going to enjoy my homemade cashew butter! :)

  4. p.s. I figured out how to make those links actually link for you:

    Chart at FitSugar

    Other two sources: first one and second one