If you're trying to reduce meat in your diet, nuts are a great source of vitamins, healthy fats and protein. They are easy to store and have on-hand when you need them. Here are three great ways to use nuts:
Remember when the only dairy replacement for vegans and lactose-intolerants was terrible-tasting soy milk? Thanks to almonds, we can forget about soy milk once and for all. If you have a high-powered blender, like a Vitamix, you can make almond milk at home at any time.
Unlike raising dairy cows, which is illegal in most urban neighbourhoods, making almond milk at home is convenient and easy. All you need are almonds, water, and a sweetener (optional) like agave syrup.
Blend together 3 cups of water with every cup of almonds in a high-powered blender for about 2 minutes, or until almonds are finely ground. Strain the milk through a fine-mesh sieve, or a filtration or nutmilk bag. You can also use a clean coffee filter over a bowl if you have no idea what a filtration or nutmilk bag is.
Don’t like almonds? Try using cashews for cashew milk.
I love waking up in the morning and spreading thick peanut butter all over my honey toast. If you're a fan of peanut butter but don't like the preservatives and additives, homemade peanut butter is a great alternative.
Almond butter and cashew butter are interesting alternatives that are less likely to send grade schools into a panic over allergies.
To make nut butter, place desired nuts into a food processor and blend until creamy. You can add honey as a sweetener, or a bit of water to smooth it out, depending on how thick you want your nut butter to be.
Tahini paste is often used in making hummus, but it can also be upgraded to an amazing and versatile dip or dressing.
To make tahini paste, use 1 cup of sesame seeds to about 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
In a skillet, lightly toast the sesame seeds in oil for a few minutes, being careful not to burn the seeds. Pour the mixture into a high-powered blender or food processor. Blend into a smooth paste.
To make a dip, add the juice of a lemon and 1 to 2 tablespoons of soy sauce or liquid aminos (vegan soy sauce substitute) to 1/2 cup tahini. For a thicker dip, use less liquid and more tahini. For salad dressing, use less tahini and more liquid.
I put this on everything, including my fingers when eaten straight out of the jar.