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Originally published Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 6:05 AM

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Make your own nut butter

The nationwide recall of almond and peanut butters couldn’t have come at a worse time — with kids going back to school.


Austin American-Statesman

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AUSTIN, Texas — The nationwide recall of almond and peanut butters couldn’t have come at a worse time.

August means back to school for millions of American kids, and even with an increase in food allergies, a good number of them are eating peanut (or almond) butter and jelly sandwiches during or after school.

The recall for possible salmonella contamination started with the private label almond butters sold at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods Market, Kroger (the parent company of Fred Meyers) and Safeway, but now includes more than a dozen kinds of almond and peanut butters sold under the Arrowhead Mills and MaraNatha brands.

You can find the full list of recalled products on the Food and Drug Administration’s website (fda.gov), which says a handful of illnesses may be related to the recalled products. Consumers are urged to dispose of any affected products or return them to the grocery store where they were purchased for a full refund.

Plenty of peanut and almond butters have not been affected by the recall, but if you’re thinking about making your own at home, try this recipe from Robin Robertson, who this month is publishing “The Nut Butter Cookbook: 100 Delicious Vegan Recipes Made Better with Nut Butter” (Andrews McMeel Publishing, $16.99).

Beyond the basic nut butter recipe, Robertson offers lots of ideas for how to use the creamy spread that are not between two slices of bread, like this vegan roasted sweet potato salad that would do well in a brown bag lunch.

BASIC NUT BUTTER

Makes 1 cup

This basic recipe calls for roasted nuts because they have more flavor, and roasting helps bring out the oils. You can also use raw or soaked nuts if you prefer. This recipe can also be used for shelled sunflower or pumpkin seeds.

2 cups roasted shelled nuts, any variety

1 tablespoon neutral vegetable oil (optional)

¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste (omit if salted nuts are used)

1. Place the nuts, oil (if using), and salt (if using) in a food processor with the metal “S” blade and process for two to three minutes. Stop to scrape down the sides of container with a rubber spatula and continue to process until the desired consistency is reached, 10 to 15 minutes total, depending on the nuts used and the power of your food processor.

2. Transfer to a tightly covered container and store in the refrigerator. For a more spreadable consistency, remove from the refrigerator about 20 minutes before using. If the oil rises to the top, stir before using.

— From “The Nut Butter Cookbook: 100 Delicious Vegan Recipes Made Better with Nut Butter,” by Robin Robertson (Andrews McMeel Publishing, $16.99).

ROASTED SWEET POTATO SALAD WITH ALMOND BUTTER

Serves 4

This colorful dish is both a nice change from regular potato salad and an unusual way to serve sweet potatoes. Almond butter provides a creamy richness to the dressing and toasted almonds add crunch.

1½ pounds sweet potatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup frozen baby peas, thawed

2 scallions, minced

½ cup pineapple or orange juice

¼ cup almond butter

Salt and ground black pepper

2 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel the potatoes and cut them into ½-inch dice.

2. Toss with the olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Roast the potatoes until tender but still firm, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool, then place in a large bowl. Add the peas and scallions, and set aside.

3. In a small bowl, combine the juice, almond butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend well, then pour the dressing over the potato mixture, stirring gently to combine. Sprinkle with the almonds and serve.

— From “The Nut Butter Cookbook: 100 Delicious Vegan Recipes Made Better with Nut Butter,” by Robin Robertson (Andrews McMeel Publishing, $16.99).



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