Homemade Cashew-Walnut Nutbutter

Homemade Cashew-Walnut Nutbutter

Things have been a little quite here, I must admit. AND I’ve been feeling guilty about it too. A whole month and nothing written or posted. My aim is to keep it to at least one post every second week, but it just didn’t work out over these past few weeks. Looking back I think it’s been a mix of a writers block, busyness and feeling a little scattered with various ideas and projects and somewhere in between all of this I also lost my focus. But now I feel ready to get back to it!

Over these past weeks I’ve felt more drawn to eating carbohydrates than I normally do. Isn’t it amazing how our bodies know what they need, if we just take some time to listen in… Of course there are several underlying physiological reasons to why we crave carbohydrates when we are stressed. One for instance is that through the release of the stress hormone Cortisol, blood sugar is raised through the release of glycogen from the liver which in turn will raise the blood sugar levels in the blood. This is a natural process, hard wired as a way of survival from our ancestral days when the stress response was activated through a physical threat. Higher blood sugar means more energy distributed to our muscle cells, so we could successfully run from the imminent danger. With the rise in blood sugar a dip follows once insulin has been released and moved the sugar from the blood to the cell for energy. Once the blood sugar levels drop below the threshold hunger signals are triggered and it is time to eat again.


Today most of our “stressors” are percieved ones. Things like money worries, work deadlines and /or relationship problems. Or even smaller stuff, like who did or said what. Or perhaps didn’t do what they said they would, are everyday annoyances. These stressors don’t exactly threaten our survival but they can activate our body’s physiological stress response in the exactly the same way.


cashew-walnut nutbutter


I’m currently taking part in the Whole Detox Programme™. We are almost half way through and it has been a very interesting experience thus far. I’m not really that into Detoxes  as most of the ones you see floating around today are “quick fixes” in disguise. However Whole Detox™ is a different detox altogether, where the focus is less on what NOT to eat and more so on WHAT to eat. As well as that it has a very strong component of detoxing thoughts, emotions and old behaviour patterns that no longer serves us, which is certainly hard but liberating and something most of us need to detox from every now and then if we want too move forward and grow. It’s basically 21 days of putting yourself first in a wholesome nourishing way. And THAT is something I truly believe in.

Carving out space for ourselves in our every day lives is as much of an important part as is eating good wholesome food if we want to embrace FULL health and healing. In fact, I think if we don’t carve out time for ourselves, making healthy food choices is almost impossible. This is an observation I’ve made for myself throughout this past few days. I noticed how not taking time to eat as well as I can, paved way for lots of snacking and fairly monotonous meals… I also realised that my old pattern of using carbohydrate rich foods as a “pick me up” is still the same, even though my food choices are a million miles better than they used to be.


This need for “pick me ups” is a behaviour and a pattern for sure, but it is also my own body’s inner wisdom of knowing that this works and will get my energy levels up quickly when I need it. Interesting and Intriguing.

So, with all this as a backdrop I will share you this homemade nut butter recipe! I was first introduced to nut / seed butters when in nutrition college. Sure I had come across Tahini and Peanut butter but none of the other varieties. As the use of nut butters has become increasingly popular the cost has gone up. Making your own is only marginally cheaper but it does open the door for a lot more variety. It wasn’t actually until I ready Green Kitchen Stories post some months ago that I finally took the plunge to start making my own. I’ve always thought you needed a fancy Vitamix for the job but it turns out that what you really need is a food processor. And one of those I have 🙂


Pairing dried fruit like figs or dates with nut butter will ensure that your blood sugar won’t spike as crazy as it would if you have the fruit on its own. The fat and protein content will help slow down the sugar release and you get a more steady energy boost, not leaving your sweet tooth asking  for more 30 min later! This is truly one of my favourite snacks.


Homemade Cashew-Walnut Nutbutter


Makes one small jar

150g raw cashew nuts

150g raw walnuts

Pre heat your oven to 150°C. Place the nuts on a lined baking tray and roast for about 10-15 min, until golden but not burnt.

Remove the nuts from the oven and allow them to cool down. 

This is what I do as I don’t have a very strong food processor, so to prevent a burn out of it I grind the nuts in my Nutribullet first. Once I have a kind out nut flour, I place this in my food processor and let it finish off the job.

The key here is persistence. It may take a few minutes until you have a soft creamy nutbutter. Don’t give up! Stop and scrape down the sides as needed and keep going with the blending until you reach a soft creamy consistency and the nuts have released their oils.

Place your nut butter in a glass jar and serve with figs, dates or on top of oat cakes with a few slices of banana. Or have a few tea spoons straight from the jar 😉




healthy snack


Raw Chocolate Fudge Brownies

Raw Chocolate Fudge Brownies

Chocolate! Who doesn’t love chocolate? Well one thing is for sure, I certainly do! The thing is though, it is usually full of refined sugar, cheap vegetable oils and not a whole lot of goodness, so it it hard to justify eating it if you are trying to eat clean. The other thing is that it is impossible to get off the blood sugar roller coaster ride when we constantly snack on sugary foods. And yes poor quality chocolate is one of them…

You may or may not have heard about blood sugar balancing. It is probably THE MOST IMPORTANT thing we can do to improve our health. Every time we eat, the energy from the food we eat is converted into blood glucose so it can be transported into the cells for energy. The blood glucose levels are tightly regulated by various hormones as too much glucose in the blood as well as too little can be dangerous. Insulin is the hormone released from the pancreas to help transport the converted energy (glucose) from the food we ate, into the cells.  This is all perfectly normal and as it should be. Once we start to run out of energy our blood sugar will drop and a hormonal signalling system kicks in to tell us it is time to eat again. However, the rapid increase in blood sugar levels will depend on the type of food we eat. Anything that is packaged as nature intended, with fibres intact, food with a high fat content or food with a high protein content will only rise the blood sugar levels moderately.

Carbohydrate foods have the highest impact on blood sugar levels as the body will have to work harder to convert fat and protein into sources of energy. But it is not as simple as that. The type of Carbohydrates plays a huge role. The quickest forms of sugar are highly refined sources of carbohydrates where the chemical structure of the molecules come in the form that is the preferred form for the body to use. This is glucose and fructose. When we drink things like soft drinks or eat sugary sweets, the blood sugar rises rapidly and any excess energy which is not used up, will be very cleverly converted to fat. The other thing is that these refined products, (think white pasta, white rice and cakes, biscuits made with white flour) is both stripped of nutrition and fibre which makes it extremely easy to over consume quantities as they don’t make us feel full either.

The following problem is that the rapid rise in blood glucose is usually triggered by a drop below optimal levels, which will trigger hunger. And then we tend to go looking for more sweet things… So the cycle continues. Getting off the blood sugar roller coaster is not easy for several reasons. But I will leave that topic for another post.

Our tastebuds tends to get hooked on the flavour and anything less sweet is not as as rewarding. With this recipes, which is an adapted version of the lovely Liz Nolan’s recipes, you can kind of have the cakes and eat it too. The brownies are packed with seeds, sweetened with honey and full of intense flavour from the dark chocolate and the raw cacao. Be sure to use local raw honey, if you can. These little raw bites are easy to make. They are packed with seeds so the fat and the protein from the seeds will lower the rate your blood sugar will rise, not setting you off on the blood sugar roller coaster. Of course the seeds and the raw cacao will give you a nutrition boost too. And I promise they will also satisfy your sweet tooth. So all in all, pretty guilt free 🙂 As long as you don’t have them all in one go, of course…


raw chocolate brownies

Raw Chocolate Fudge Brownies

Makes about 20 small squares

100g sesame seeds – Can be substituted for milled linseeds

200g ground almonds

2 tbsp chia seeds

2 tbsp tahini – Can be substituted for any other nut butter such as cashew, almond or hazelnut butter

2 tbsp raw cacao powder

2 tbsp dessicated coconut

2 tbsp coconut oil

2 heaped tbsp raw honey

150g melted dark chocolate min 70% cocoa solid

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Grind the sesame seeds in a coffee grinder until fine and mix with the ground almonds in a bowl. Stir in the cacao powder, dessicated coconut, cinnamon and chia seeds.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water and then add the tahini and coconut oil and the honey. Stir the melted chocolate mixture into the dry mixture and mix well. Spoon into a lightly oiled baking tray or dish and press down till smooth.

Refrigerate for a couple of hours until firm then cut into small squares and store in an airtight box in the fridge.


 raw brownies