soy nuts

How to make soynut butter

This is not a recipe makeover, but rather a re-post of the process of how to make soynut butter. 

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You see, that post I wrote long long ago is somehow one of the most popular on my site.  And yet, the photos are hideous and don’t do the recipe justice in the least.

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So I decided to write a revised post, in the hopes that more people will give it a shot.  Back in my college days I was a soynut butter fiend.  Just ask my bestie, Jess.  We pounded the stuff. 

It wasn’t until much later that I thought to make my own.  It’s really really simple.  All you need are soynuts and some kind of blender or food processor.

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Home-made Soynut Butter [vegan, gluten free]

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups roasted soynuts
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup (+/- to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (+/- to taste)
  • optional: cocoa powder, cinnamon
  • optional: other oils (ie flax, safflower, sunflower, sesame, olive, rapeseed, etc.)

Directions:

Add soy nuts to whatever appliance you’re going to blend it in (magic bullet, blender, food processor) and then add the water.  Let the soynuts soak for a while (until they absorb all or most of the water). 

Once the nuts are soft and the liquid is reduced, pulse them into a thick puree.  Scrape down the sides of the blender as needed.  Add coconut oil and maple syrup and continue to blend.  Salt as desired (if you’re using roasted & salted nuts you may not need any). 

Continue to process until nut butter reaches the consistency you want. 

Enjoy!

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On sandwiches.  Or toast. 
In oats.  Or hot grain cereal.
With apples.  Or bananas.
In smoothies.  Or yogurt.
On pancakes.  Or waffles.

You get the idea…

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Notes:

This recipe yields a more chunky soynut butter.  For a smoother, creamier nut butter, add extra oil (I’ve found flax [aka linseed] to be my favorite).

You can swap agave or stevia for the maple syrup.  I also think brown rice syrup would work, but I’ve never tried it.

Use organic soynuts (unless you’re certain the kind you buy are non GMO).

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Hello protein!!

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Lazy foodie

I was too lazy to make coffee this morning, so I headed to Starbucks to get my java fix…plus I’m way more productive without Bravo in the background. 

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Although I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day, I am enjoying the heart cups. 

I busted out an apple after my soy misto.

Around noon I headed home for lunch.  

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Mostly I wanted avocado, so I made sure my meal revolved around that.  BBQ sauce/nooch covered one half of the WF sandwich thin, with avocado lathered on the opposite half.

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I had a bowl of sweet potato zuppa on the side, which was goodish, but was definitely upstaged by the sando. 

Later on, my sweet tooth kicked in, so I tried to make my own Larabar…

1.  Chop dates

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2.  Add dates, soy nuts, raisins, cinnamon

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3.  Close bag and start mashing.

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4.  Keep mashing.

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5.  Start molding the shape into a bar by rolling it in the bag.

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6.  Ignore the shape and focus on the flavor.

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Although this tasted pretty similar to the PB&J Larabar, the dang thing didn’t stay together at all and I basically ended up eating half of it with a spoon out of the bag.  I don’t know how Larabar does it…there must be some sort of magic in that factory because with such a simple recipe, the fact that they can create such a delicious bar is pretty amazing.  From now on I’ll leave it to the experts. 

Miraculously, I made my way to the gym in the early evening.  It was nearly 5 pm, but better late then never right?  It was super crowded, which I used as an excuse to limit my cardio time to 30 minutes.  I hate when people are waiting for machines and others are clearly well over the 30 minute limit.  I know it’s annoying to stop your workout early, but c’mon, there’s a reason those signs are posted everywhere…

On my way home I grabbed a BBQ seitan dish (by Karen & Sisters) because it was already late and I was feeling pretty lazy. 

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I just threw some of it over a bed of spinach, and dinner was served.  Nothing earth shattering about this meal.

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I have been all about the BBQ lately.  The prepared seitan had edamame, onion, and TONS of BBQ sauce

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Multiply the below photo by 3.

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Who’s excited for the Olympics!?!?

It’s my birthday

I’m 27 today!!!  And I’m gonna partay chow chow like it’s my birthday!

In lieu of a birthday post (which I will save for tomorrow) I am going to instead share yesterday’s eats, as well as my offish results from the San Francisco Nike Marathon…I actually have plans for today that don’t involve working or blogging 🙂

By now, you all know I love running.  I ALSO happen to love my readers (which is a simple and very understated way to put it, but for now it will have to do).  So, when a certain commenter (ahem, Caitlin) stroked my ego and asked me to write more deets about last weekend’s race, I was happy to oblige.  Well, next thing I knew, my response to her comment was half a mile long, which made me think, maybe I have more to say on the subject than I originally thought.  Now, the LAST thing I want to do is bore you all with an “ode to running” manuscript.  SO, if you have no interest in what I’m about to share (or think I’m full of myself), please scroll ahead. 

Consider yourself warned.

My time was 1:43:43 which averages out to 7:55 minute miles.  Considering the hill factor, I was quite pleased with this.  For comparison’s sake, last month’s half marathon time was 1:42:07 which is a 7:47 minute mile pace.  I’m not a robot, I swear!  I was a little bummed since I was trying to beat that time, but that was before I realized that I would be climbing 75 degree inclines for miles on end. 

As an avid runner, I consider races to be the pinnacle of the sport for me.  It’s not just the path getting there (training, pushing myself, etc.) but it’s also the thrill of competition AND simultaneously of camaraderie.  When I’m running I feel surrounded by others who all share this passion for lacing up our sneakers and putting our best foot forward, time and time again.  At times it seems annoying to sacrifice sleep or socializing when training, but during races, it all comes to fruition and I feel a bond with others who made similar decisions to get to that place.  Crossing that finish line.  WOW.  There is NO better feeling! 

Throughout the race I felt AMAZING.  Sure there were moments in which I was exhausted (aforementioned hills), but the crowds were so supportive, and I truly felt strong and in shape and prepared for all 13.1 miles.  Never once did I feel like I couldn’t go on. 

In terms of my training, I’m not what you would consider a model athlete.  I don’t follow any organized plan, I have never done any research on how one is “supposed” to train, and I have no clue if the miles I log leading up to races are what’s recommended.  I’m pretty sure I could improve my time if I made racing more of a priority, but I have a job and a life and I consider running (not racing) my passion.  So, while I like being timed, and competing, I am also happy with my more mellow approach to events such as the Nike half marathon. 

Additionally, running that early in the morning is usually NOT my cup of tea.  In fact, most days I work out in the afternoon because I prefer to eat lunch (for energy) and allow time to digest before getting physical.  I have heard that you are supposed to train in “like conditions” to the race for which you are training.  However, for me, that would mean 5 am wake up calls on my days off of work, which in my book is NOT cool.  So I basically disregard that out of comfort.  I am NOT a morning person.  I require ample amounts of coffee to make a sentence coherent.  And for that reason I will NEVER EVER share my race photos (they are SO horrible).  Shockingly enough, I went to bed early before this race (10:30 pm is early for me), and got nearly 6 hours of sleep, so I felt pretty alert for it being 5 am.  Side note: due to the insane winds, my eyes were tearing the entire race long (no joke, I had streaks all down my cheeks), but it didn’t really even phase me…I only discovered it when I took a (rather scary) look in the mirror on the ride home with my sister.  Oh, and then I saw the photos on the Nike website…anyone know how to burn virtual pictures?  These MORE than need to be confiscated.

Anyways, as far as my mental state during the race was concerned, I wasn’t paying attention to mile markers until about mile 6.  In past half marathons I have done (this was #3), I have had a WAY more trying time.  Psychologically speaking, it can be hard to ignore the mile markers and not keep a count down going in your head, so I really heavily on music to entertain me for such long hauls.  This race, however, had so much going on on the sidelines that I was pleasantly distracted and the first half of the race flew by.  The crowds were amazingly loud and cheerful for 7 am.  There were live choirs, bands, bagpipes, free style and street dancers, and people with cow bells and clappers.  It was crazy.  Miles 7-9 were almost all hills, though, so I was really digging in and focusing.  Not on the distance really, but more on trying to keep up my pace and not fall too behind (because I felt like I was running at a stand still)!!  Throughout these miles there were also awesome crowds, including people with trays of orange slices (don’t mind if I do!), Luna moons and mini-bars, halves of bananas, and of course water.  I think I got more orange on my chin and sleeve than actually made it into my mouth (but really, I was so nasty, who knows what was sweat and what was orange…).  Around mile 10 I felt like I was home free…the time and miles flew by.  We were in Golden Gate Park by that time, so there weren’t really many major hills left.  Next thing I knew I saw the finish line.  What a sight that was to behold!!  My goodness, there is no better view.  As I crossed it I burst into a smile (I know this based on the race photos).  I was so elated to be done and to have accomplished such a feat.  Each and every person volunteering for Nike (from the tuxedo clad man handing me my Tiffany’s necklace to the teenage kid offering me a towel) said “congratulations” in such a sincere way, it made me really proud of myself and all the other runners.

Here’s the breakdown of my time over the 13.1 miles:

5K – 24:07    10K – 48:38      15K – 1:13:37    (ummm, steady much?)

Moving on to the FOOD now.

Thinking I wouldn’t need it, I set my alarm for 10 am as a back-up.  Boy was I wrong!  I don’t actually remember turning it off, but when I finally came to consciousness, the clock said 11:00, so clearly something happened there. 

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I broke the fast with coffee and donuts. 

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For the record, I only bit into this to show you the texture my hideous cuticles…I popped the rest in my mouth whole.  Averie’s raw vegan chocolate donut holes and macaroon blondies were the BEST way to start my day.  Granted I haven’t had real donuts (or holes) in ages, but these were pretty authentic.  They had a more “bread-y” inside than I was expecting and they weren’t super sugary.  Who knew a light donut could exist?  The macaroons were just as amazing as last time I had them.  The coconut was perfectly balanced with the rest of the ingreds, and they crumbled in my mouth.  So good.

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A bit later I got my fruit fix, while perusing the latest NY Runner mag and some trashy tv. 

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Look famil?  I added some of my ‘fu fest leftovers to some quinoa and topped it with soy nuts.  I like multi-texture dishes, so this fit the bill perfectly. 

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Maxed out soy intake – check!  After digesting playing catch up with the tivo, I decided to hit the gym.  It felt great to get back into the routine, but weird because (a) I had nothing to train for, (b) my iPod was is still broken so I was tune-less, and (c) the gym was eerily empty.  With the NYC marathon coming up soon, it’s very rare to find a gym with open machines, but I guess the weather was nice enough that people took to the streets instead.  7 miles later, I headed home sweaty and high on endorphins. 

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I had a snack of home-made ghetto pumpkin butter (WF canned pumpkin, NuNaturals vanilla extract, cinnamon, WF vanilla protein powder, and Xagave agave syrup) with apple slices.  Not gonna lie, I was pretty pleased with this poor man’s version of pumpkin butter, especially because (unlike the canned versions), this one didn’t have enough sugar to send me into a diabetic coma.  Success!  After this snack I headed off to my hot date physical therapy appointment.  I cheated on my regular PT because my spine was in desperate need of some man-handling (and he’s only avail on Mon/Wed). 

On the way home I stopped at WF for some basic groceries, and then got home to prepare dinner.

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Here’s the arame seaweed soaking (ironically it is ON the stove, but only because there was nowhere else to put it).  After 15 minutes, it was soft and ready, so I drained the water, and added in the rest of the Tokyo seaweed salad.  The excess oil and vinegar from the packaged salad coated the arame that I made, so in the end it was a less saturated dish. 

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On the side, I had some vegan sushi.  You’ve seen me eat this several times before.  It is actually my go-to meal before races because of the perfect ratio of carbs to fat and protein, and it is very easy on my stomach.  I love brown rice in sushi and even more, I love TVP in sushi.  I wish more sushi restaurants went with vegan options aside from simple avo and veggie rolls.

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How amazing does this look!!  I think I am in a seaweed rut. 

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Dessert was fruit.  What else? 

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OK!  I’m off to celebrate my birthday 🙂

Oh, it hit the fan alright!

I apologize for being away (I missed you all, even if you didn’t notice I was gone, haha).  These past few days have been insane

I can’t even begin to try to condense it into a blog-worthy Cliff’s notes version.  So…

(a) I was working a LOT – gotta get the cash flow to pay those billz, yo!

(b) A patient stroked out RIGHT before I was supposed to head out on my lunch break (the blogger meet up, no less) – ahhhhhh!  I hate to say which part of that last sentence disappointed me more.  SHOOT!  I’m a good nurse, so even though it wasn’t my patient, I obviously had to take over that nurse’s other patients while they called a code and went through all the shenanigans that go down when a patient has a stroke.  Not. Fun. Period. 

(c) We are moving!!!  After a loooooong time discussing all the pros/cons of this decision, Kyle and I are SO thrilled to make this upgrade.  We are still staying in NYC, and we are still staying in our same Upper West Side neighborhood, but we are going to be upping the square footage BIG time.  EXCITING!  The closet space alone, y’all…

(d) We had our friends from CA staying with us.  Party time?

(e) Kyle’s birthday.  A lot of chocolate.  Not a lot of exercise.

(f) My computer and the Geek Squad were having a sleep over (for a week), and I just got it back today.

Since I was pre-occupied with the above, the food stuff came to play second fiddle this past week. Here’s a few highlights.

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Picture 018

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Hope that holds you over for a bit.  I’ve got a google reader with hundreds of posts to catch up on…alas, I head back to CA for my cousin’s wedding in a few days. 

When the hell am I gonna have the time to MOVE by April 1st?

It must have been the gym

I’m pretty excited to be using Windows Live Writer since I’ve been hearing all about how amazing it is for the last few months.  Hopefully, I too, will have nothing but the highest praises for it.  Only time will tell.  But for now, I’ll stick to the day’s eats.

I slept in, so the morning was already going well.  Then I had some coffee (Starbucks’ x-mas blend) with lactaid, while I enjoyed the first 2009 episode of The View.  Don’t hate on the guilty pleasures 🙂

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Later I decided to give in to my stomach, so I made some of what I was really craving…Food for Life’s English muffins.  I couldn’t find the Ezek 4:9 ones that I got last time and loved so much…but I’m sure these will be just as delish (they already have me drooling and they are still frozen)!!

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Slather on some hummus and that’s what I call breakfast.

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What a heavenly start to the day.

For the next 5 million hours I was struggling with Windows Live…no joke.  I’m either a tech retard or my computer sucks at life because this installation was the complete opposite of smooth.  Anyways, I took a break from my labor intensive downloading to eat some lunch.  As I predicted, the Food for Life English muffins were pretty much all I could think of.  Ummm, I’m in love!? 

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These are my sando ingreds (romaine lettuce, smart deli “turkey”, and Sabra hummus)…def finished the hummus container and opened a new one.

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Now is this a beautiful picture, or what?!  Holy YUM.

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The hummus was underrepresented in my sammie, so I had a bit more with some apple slices and then brocc (and 2 lonely cauliflower florets).  I freakin’ love Sabra hummus. 

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Since I was still unable to get my blog crap working, I decided some exercise would be good to get my mind off my annoying computer situation. 

Lately I have been insanely energetic at the gym.  Not a bad thing, maybe I’m getting in better shape or something?  I warmed up running 30 mins on the tread mill and then switched to the elliptical machine, which I did for 30 mins also at a high level resistance.  After that I cooled down walking on the tread mill, then headed to the mats.  After half an hour of stretching, arms and ab work, I was ready to go home. 

It must have been the gym that cleared my head, because after the time-out, my computer was suddenly ready to work again.  Hooray!  Windows Live Writer comin’ at’cha!!!!

I did some errands in the neighb and then got my dinner under way.  I was the mood for greens.  Salad time!!!

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Spinach, brocc slaw, dried cranberries, cherry tomatoes, and my NEW ingredient…Diced Chik!!!

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I’m nervous/excited to try it.  Being canned, I was skeptical from the start.  The good news: the sodium level isn’t horrible, and the rest of the nutritional info looks pretty good.  The bad news: it looks weird.

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Fortunately, I am a pretty open minded eater when it comes to vegan food.  I mean how bad could it be, when it’s not made from any animal products…

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Here it is all mixed together.  I also added these on top…

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Yummy!!  I really liked the chik in the salad.  It doesn’t have a very strong flavor, which was nice.  I’d imagine it tastes a bit like seitan, but not as hard.  Anyways, I really wanted more, so I made another salad EXACTLY like the one shown above (no photo).  It was just as good, and filled me right up. 

I finished the night off with tea and water.  Yup, I’m snapple free in ‘09.