The Nut Butter Cookbook

nut butter cover

The Nut Butter Cookbook by Robin Robertson, Andrews McMeel 2014, $16.99 paperback, 157 pages

Digestion: The conversion on victuals into virtues.

–Ambrose Bierce

I was in a peanut butter rut. Occasionally, I’d stir a spoonful into the dressing for an Asian noodle salad or indulge in a childhood favorite–peanut butter and bacon on rye (no really, it’s delicious, even if it is venturing into Elvis territory).

But with this book,  Robin Robertson has turned me on to Almond Butter and to Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Almond Butter. Robertson is all about variety; there’s peanut butter, but also almond, cashew, and walnut butter in the more than 100 recipes that cover breakfast, soups, salads, main and side dishes, desserts and sweet treats, with a range of inspiration. Dishes will appeal to all tastes, from African Peanut Soup to Creamy Mushroom Soup, from Asian Spring rolls with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce to Fire Ants on a Log, from Indonesian Gado-Gado to a Waldorf Salad with Walnut Butter Dressing.

Robertson is an expert on vegan cooking, but she also makes the book useful for other diet needs by identifying gluten- and soy-free recipes. She points out that the butters can easily substitute for each other, so if you have a peanut allergy, no need to worry. She’s also taken the guilt out of enjoying nuts. As dietician Julieanna Heaver points out in her introduction, nuts contain lots of nutrients and their fats are the monounsaturated good ones.

And for the truly committed, Robertson has recipes for making your own nut butters. All you need for the basic butters are nuts and a food processor. But don’t stop there, try Cashew Sour Cream made with nuts, almond milk and lemon juice, or Cashew Cream Cheese, that blends the nuts with tofu. You can make a parmesan substitute with nuts and nutritional yeast or a butter with toasted sesame seeds.

I’m not ready to give up the occasional peanut butter and bacon on rye, but now I will be ranging much further.

About Appetite for Books

read, cook, eat, repeat
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