My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!

 

 


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Monday
Apr082013

cranberry swirl walnut butter

I don’t really focus on exact nutrient, calorie, vitamin, fat, sugar, protein information with my meals.  I basically try to eat a well-rounded diet filled with whole-foods, tons of veggies, an ample amount of fat, a moderate amount of protein, and a serving or two of fruit each day.  Sometimes it’s heavier in one area more than the other [like when summer fruit is in full swing!], but I have a good feeling it all equals out.

However, lately I’ve been making a point to get more Omega-3 essential fatty acids in my diet for a better balance between Omega 3’s + 6’s.  It’s common that we consume a much higher amount of Omega 6’s but the balance between the two are really important.  There are a slew of health benefits and reasons for upping your Omega-3 intake.  Here are a few links you can check out on the subject:

*Always consult your doctor before making dietary changes.

By upping my intake I simply mean, grabbing walnuts instead of almonds for a snack and incorporating more flax and chia seeds into my breakfasts and smoothies.  Nothing crazy.  No calculations.  Just being a little more observant about taking in more Omega-3’s.

[If fish is your thing, salmon + sardines are also packed with Omega-3’s.]

cranberry swirl walnut butter // edible perspective

My go-to nut butters are always almond or peanut.  I made walnut butter once and wasn’t too impressed, even though walnuts are one of my favorite nuts!

For this nut butter I used 1 2/3 cups walnuts, 1/3 cup almonds, and 2 tablespoons of ground flax, which created the most drippy, buttery nut butter imaginable.  Lightly roasting the walnuts helps rid them of their slightly bitter flavor.

cranberry swirl walnut butter // edible perspective

Ummm, so what is this below?

This would be the cranberry “swirl!”  A fruit + nut, nut butter!  Remember the peanut butter and jelly that used to come in 1 jar?  Yeah, you remember!  Goober!  Well, think of this as the upgraded version of that.

cranberry swirl walnut butter // edible perspective

The walnut butter is so silky, smooth that it seeps through the cracks of the ground cranberries creating a mixture of the two.

cranberry swirl walnut butter // edible perspective

Spread on toast for the ultimate breakfast treat and your new favorite “PB+J!”

cranberry swirl walnut butter // edible perspective

Print this!

Walnut Almond Flax Butter gluten-free, vegan // yields ~1 cup

  • 1 2/3 cups raw walnuts
  • 1/3 cup raw almonds
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat you oven to 300* F and place the walnuts and almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  2. Roast for 10 minutes, stirring once, half-way through.
  3. Remove and let cool for about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Place in your food processor with cinnamon and salt and process until smooth and drippy.  About 4-7 minutes. [This nut butter butterizes quickly!]
  5. Add in the flax and process again until smooth and drippy.
  6. Let cool then store in a sealed jar in the fridge for about 1 month.

*For a little sweetness stir in 1-2 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup after processing.  When combined with the cranberry recipe below, extra sweetness wasn’t necessary.

*If you are concerned about the roasting nuts, feel free to skip that step.

Cranberry Swirl Walnut Butter gluten-free, vegan // yields 1, 8oz jar

  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 medjool dates, pitted
  • ~1/2 cup walnut almond flax butter
  1. Add cranberries and pitted dates to a large food processor.
  2. Process for about 45 seconds - 1 minute until the dried fruit is soft and sticking together. [refer to photo 3]
  3. Lightly pack a 8oz jar with the cranberry mixture, bout 2/3 full.
  4. Pour the nut butter in the jar overtop and lightly shake so it starts to seep through the cranberry.  Add more nut butter until the jar is full.  Seal and store in the fridge. 

Every time you dip in the jar with a knife or spoon try to pull up some of the cranberry mixture to further incorporate the two.

cranberry swirl walnut butter // edible perspective

Whether you make the cranberry swirl or eat this nut butter all on its own, you definitely need to give it a try!  

Omega 3’s are pretty delicious!

cranberry swirl walnut butter // edible perspective

Is it time for breakfast yet??

Ashley

Reader Comments (41)

haha- couldn't help but chuckle when i got to the "goober" part. i'm pretty sure they still sell that stuff! ick. this looks delicious though!
April 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersheila
YUM! This stuff looks amazing.I just wish it was easier to find cranberries not sweetened with sugar...
I feel bad for walnuts, they're so often forgotten about except in brownies and choc-chip cookies! I love them in salads and they make a killer pasta sauce too.
April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmma
Looks absolutely delicious ! But, correct me if I am wrong : aren't Omega 3 very sensitive to heat ? Roasting the walnuts is perhaps not a very good idea if you wish to increase your omega 3 intake...
April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAntigone XXI
I love this idea!! What a pretty little jar up there...I am so excited to try this.
April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
This looks like a seriously delicious combination! I just wish walnuts were a little more college budget friendly.
Mmm, that looks delicious! I always make my own walnut butter and smear it each morning on my homemade gf scone. Just walnuts, a touch of sea salt, a little local honey, and a few tablespoons of ground flax. You have to store it in the fridge but it so silky that it doesn't harden the way a natural peanut butter might. Anyhow, it's nice to feel virtuous eating something so tasty.
April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney
Ohh that cranberry swirl is killin it!
Wow, Ashley, you truly have a gift for making the most incredible recipes! We seem to have very similar tastes in foods and flavors, so I am always salivating over your posts, but this takes things to a whole new level--I can't wait to try this (maybe on a slice of Sarah B's life changing bread?)!
April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey @ Pas de Deux
Looks delish! You are the queen of homemade nut butters! Whenever I need a new one I always come to you!! Give this on a try soon!
April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTieghan
Wow this looks amazing! And it's so refreshing to read a food blog that's not so concerned with exact amounts of macronutrients! I love how you just eat a well-rounded diet and trust that it will give you everything you need, which is exactly what I do, too! Love this post and this recipe!
I am one for defaulting to almond and peanut butters also and the omega 3 thing didn't even occur to me until I read this post (and I have a PhD in nutrition, doh!). Definitely going to switch it up with some walnuts and flax now! I might only bake the walnuts for 8-10 minutes since it's more likely that the omegas will start to generate free radicals after that (not cool!).
Have you tried using any other dried fruits in place of the cranberries? I'm trying to brainstorm what else might be good here!
April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura Thomas
I don't have a food processor so I was wondering if you think this would work in a vitamix. I've made peanut butter in it before but I haven't tried any other nuts yet. This looks delicious and I want to try it!!!
April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKiersten
yowza. this looks fab, friend! how did you get so smart?
April 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdana
Everything looks YUMMY! As a side question...what type of gf bread do you eat? From the looks of it, I'm guessing that is the Udi's Millet Chia but I could be wrong ;) This is my favorite gf bread BUT...I do notice that as soon as I start eating it (as opposed to my Paleo way of eating), I immediately start to gain weight :( When I do eat bread, it's Udi's or the brown rice tortillas from Trader Joes or Whole Foods. Why oh why does my body have to be SO sensitive to carbs of any kind????
April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNicole
@Antigone - Yes, I was thinking about this issue. I know flax is very heat sensitive, which is why I didn't roast the seeds. I roasted the nuts at a lower than typical temperature of 300* and only roasted for 10 minutes. You can definitely make this recipe and not roast the nuts as well. Hope this helps!

@Courtney - Yum! So simple and lovely. Can you send some scones this way? :)

@Lindsey - So sweet you are! I'm glad you enjoy my recipes. And yes, this would be awesome on that bread!

@Brittany - Thanks, Brittany. It's funny, when I stopped being as concerned with exact amounts of everything my body/energy/satiation greatly improved. I feel like everyone is so different, you just have to experiment a bit to figure out what works best for you!

@Laura - Good point about the roasting. I've heard things here and there about roasting nuts and free radicals but it's hard to find much factual information or studies on the topic. I'm sure it would still work without the roasting, too! Thanks for the info!

@Kiersten - I've never had luck making nut butter in my Vita-mix, but I have heard it can be done. This may be a good one to test it with since it took only a few minutes in the food processor. Very easily butterized!

@Nicole - Udi's is definitely my favorite. From their bagels, to their hamburger buns, to their breads! I don't eat a lot of it though because of the price tag and because it's fairly processed with a lot of ingredients. Actually, I just noticed the millet/chia bread they use added fiber (which I always try to avoid) and "carageenen" (pretty nasty ingredient). So, now I switched to their multi-grain bread, which doesn't have either of those things. I think it's pretty common if you're on a carb-free diet, when you start eating carbs again you gain weight. Have you tried making Paleo bread? Elana's Pantry (blog) has a great recipe!
April 9, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley
oh my word, you're actually a genius. That cranberry swirl...I...I want to add it to all the nut butters now!!!!! I'd never thought of adding flax meal to them either, I'm totally going to do that from now on; such a good idea to make them even healthier (I won't even need excuses now to put pecan butter on everything)
April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIzy
This looks TO DIE FOR. Gorgeous, gorgeous photos!
April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarie @ Little Kitchie
well, that's awfully creative! seems like it'd make lovely holiday gifts.
This looks amazing! Any idea how long with is good for, keep it in the fridge of course

Mr. & Mrs. P
April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMr. & Mrs. P
Oh, I really like the idea of a mixed nut butter like this! I kind of hate walnuts (sad but true) so mixing them with almonds fir greater variety and nutrition is a perfect plan. And sandwiches with tart cranberry sound exactly right for an adult palate. :)
April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEileen
It looks lovely - Great pictures!
April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJess
My family has a walnut tree and I used to always eat them raw...until recently I tried toasting them first, and it's seriously addictive! So good! Love that you made a walnut butter...I may have to try this in the fall when my parents are shoveling bags of walnuts my way!
YAY! I just polished off a jar of homemade walnut butter, this came just in time :) I pulsed in hazelnuts, chia seeds and some sunflower seeds with my last batch, tried to make my own version of Nuttzo. It worked pretty good! I love the addition of the cranberries to this recipe though, on to the next batch!!
Love walnuts--but I can imagine, as you said, they are a little trickier to turn into a "butter" because the skin can be bitter. This looks great! Love the cranberry addition. Would make a great alternative to an easy PB sandwich to grab on the go :)
This looks so good! I can't wait to try it!
April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJess
Hello butter queen! You might have no idea how many types of butters you've made so far ;) Can't imagine walnuts in butter but now I can. Looks really really delicious. All ingredients are my fav. Need to start to make my own butter now.
April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSonia
this looks delicious!!
April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNicole
Um...this is genius! I'm trying this...like tomorrow!
April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaria Tadic
It's look delicious!! Thanks for sharing the information and recipe here. Definitely a healthy breakfast I would try to make it everyday.
April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJack
@Izy - ALL THE NUT BUTTERS!!! :)

@Mr and Mrs P - I would think at least 1 month. When it's nut butter alone, I would say a few months. I'm not sure if the dried fruit will change things or not. I have yet to have a jar of nut butter spoil!

@Kaite - I'm so jealous of your familiy walnut tree!!

@Maria - Hope you love it!
April 9, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley
I just found your website and I am LOVING all of these healthy and delicious sounding foods.The walnut almond butter sounds absolutely heavenly, I'm thinking this on a blueberry bagel...yes.

By the way I featured your Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Doughnuts recipe on my Top 15 Healthiest Tasty Treats list. If you want a badge for your site or just to check it out feel free to look at it out here: http://nickieslittlebubble.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-top-15-healthies-tasty-treats.html Have a good day!
April 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNickie H.
GIRL. Gimme that! I've been getting sick of straight up almond butter lately and considering there's a bag of walnuts in my fridge.. I think I know what kinda nut butter I'm making next!
April 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAshlae
@Nickie - Thanks so much for saying hello! Glad you like what you see so far. Thanks so much for featuring my recipe. :)

@Ashlae - Head an hour north and it's all yours! Promise! :)
April 10, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley
Oh my gosh, this looks heavenly! I love almond butter and I love walnuts, I can only imagine how fantastic the two of them would taste together. I'm always putting dried fruit on toast instead of jam, this is perfect; almost like the smuckers prepared pb&j jar, but healthy. :)
April 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmilia
While I was making this I started off processing it using my Blendtec. That wasn't a good idea! The single layer blade and jet engine horsepower meant I could only blend for about 3 seconds before having to stir it free. I took over using my Ninja food processor. Huge difference! For anyone wondering if a blender will do the same job as a food processor, be ready with a back up plan!
April 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErin G
That sunshine smoothie is so cool I will be trying this. Hey, maybe if I make one the sun will actually shine here and the snow will melt. Worth a try.
April 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJulia Wilson
What a great idea! The picture of the nut butter dripping over the edge of the bowl made me decide to make this! It looks delicious!
April 13, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteragi
Omg, this is amazing Ashley!! Just made the walnut-almond butter with the flax and a touch of sea salt and I am in love! I am amazed on how drippy this is, sooo good!
With the amount of almond butter I consume weekly it is funny to say this, but walnuts are my favorite type of nuts to eat a handful of. I had tried raw walnut butter before and wasn't the biggest fan, but this is amaaaaazing. As it is true for me with all nut butters I make, toasting the nuts is key, and the time + temperature you posted in the recipe the nuts come out just right, perfection.
I am loving my walnut butter now, had a spoon full right out of the blender as I cleaned it (I use my vitamix), and am now considering making oatmeal for dinner just so I can have some more... it is Sunday night after all and we are all lazy and looking for something comforting right?!
Thanks for sharing once again an incredible recipe!
Ana
April 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAna
Hi Ashley
I have a question for you. I made the walnut butter Sunday, it turned out really delicious, we all enjoyed here at my house. I have been eating it these past two days and it was good too, but then today (a few minutes ago) I went to get a little spoonful and it tasted off... I got another spoon, stirred and tried a little bit again and it tastes awful, it tastes like fish, I believe the oils went rancid. Did this happened to yours?
I have been keeping mine in the fridge as it is very runny even when refrigerated. How do you keep yours?
Just wanted to ask you to see if maybe it was something off with my walnuts and/or flax (don't think it was the almond though as my homemade almond butters last long and usually I feel like walnuts tend to go rancid much faster than any other nuts).
In any case I will buy some more walnuts and make some more :) I really enjoyed the almond + walnut combo!
Ana
April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAna
Hello...New to your site..so fun! Question: why does the nut butter need to store in the fridge for a month? What if I need this quicker? Can I store it for a week??

Thank you!!!!!!
June 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterstephanie
@Ana - Weird. I responded to your comment in April but for some reason it's not showing up. Sorry about that! Fishy nut butter sounds horrible. I have never experience anything like that at all. I had mine in the fridge for a few weeks with no issues. Not sure what happened!

@Stephanie - You can eat the walnut butter immediately after making it. I meant it is best stored in the fridge and probably has a shelf life of 1 more [or more]. Walnuts go rancid easily, especially once turned into nut butter which is why it should be refrigerated. :)
June 22, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley

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