‘No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things just take time.’ And that’s okay.
Dough needs time to rise. Sauerkraut has to rest and ferment for weeks to get its characteristic flavour and texture. Miso* paste takes anywhere between 5 days and 2 years to mature and get ready for use. Try to speed up these processes and what you end up with is a less nourishing and/or less tasty result.
This is one of the reasons why I choose to make almond butter from scratch. The organic variety at our Dutch health food store is fine but has not been sprouted, blanched, peeled ánd roasted. This exact series of techniques does not really better the taste of the almond butter yet it does better its nourishing qualities. All grains, nuts and beans contain, in and around their husk, a substance called phytic acid. This so-called anti-nutrient inhibits the absorption of minerals. If you consume a lot of these (untreated) products, you might miss out on half of your iron intake!
By soaking, sprouting, heating and peeling, grains, beans and nuts lose this build-in mineral thief. Take whole spelt sourdough. The traditional loaf gets the opportunity to ferment for a full three days before it goes into the oven to be baked. After this intense 3 day process of soaking, fermenting and baking all of the phytic acid and all of the gluten the grain contains is magically lost. And by loosing these, it gains nourishment and digestability.
Thus the soaking, sprouting, blanching, peeling and (at low temperature) roasting of the almond has a purpose. It ensures my husband, my daughter and I may absorb all of the calcium, zinc and iron from our food. It ensures we get as much goodness out of the beautiful produce we consume, so we are nourished. But to do that, time is needed. And isn’t that the exact thing I, and everyone around me, feels a lack of.
However, I do not believe in ‘just scamping my way through’. Some things just take time. And that’s okay. When I feel pressed for time, I do something that does not seem logical. I do all of the things I need to do in a slower fashion. I have found that time slows down when I drop my pace. And when time slows down, my days are longer and I have more time. Less is truly more.
I practice this principle in my kitchen too. By giving the things that require attention and time, attention and time. Like almond butter, or sprouted hummus, or kimchi or bread. It also makes me eat with more peace and gratitude. I truly enjoy the love and attention that has gone into the food and I feel satisfied. And you know what, not everything requires SO much time and attention. Steaming broccoli takes only a few minutes. Or let the oven do the hard work and roast root veggies while you leisurely read a book.
Health is to accelerate when needed, and to slow down when appropriate.
Enjoy taking time and slowing down by making my slow almond butter.
Dit artikel verscheen eerder in het Nederlands voor Happinez Magazine. Je vind deze versie HIER.
*Miso is a Japanese paste made from fermented soybeans and used as a condiment in soups and sauces.
Slow almond butter
Makes 1 small jar of almond butter
Takes 2-3 days (soaking, sprouting, peeling, roasting, processing)
250 grams raw almonds, with peel
Place the almonds in a bowl. Add water. Make sure the almonds are fully covered. Cover with a clean cloth and let sit overnight at room temperature. Rinse them well the next day, then strain. Keep the almonds in the colander and place the colander in a large bowl. Cover with a cloth. Rinse the almonds again in the evening, using fresh (filtered) water. Strain and put the colander back in the bowl. Let them sit there overnight, covered by a cloth. Rinse the next morning, place the colander back in the bowl and cover with a cloth. Rinse again that afternoon and place the almonds in a clean bowl, cover with boiling hot water. Let them sit until the water has fully cooled. Remove the skins of the almonds and place the white peeled almonds in a bowl. Place these onto a clean tea towel and cover with another. Let the almonds airdry overnight. The next morning: place them onto a baking tray and ovendry them during 2 hours at 80 degrees Celsius. After 2 hours, turn the heat up to 170 degrees Celsius and roast for another 5-7 minutes. The almonds will begin to pop and get tanned. Turn the oven off and let the almonds cool fully. Place them into the food processor and start to process the nuts. Let it blitz for 1-2 minutes at a time, then turn the processor off to make sure it doesn’t overheat. The almonds will quickly turn into almond flour and after a few minutes or so will start to moisten. With patience the almonds will turn into the finest creamiest butter you’ve ever seen. This may sometimes take up to 15 minutes. Pour into weck jar and store airtight in the fridge. Use when desired.
photos, recipe and text (c) (copyright) kyra. at kyra’s kitchen.