afternoon day per week Matthew and I spend quality time together in the kitchen prepping food for the week. I hate washing dished, but I love to cook and bake. So, to indulge my creative side and to minimize clean up I cook in large batches of similar items all in one afternoon. That way I can make all of the items one after another (or simultaneously) using similar ingredients and/or equipment. Saving me prep and clean-up time. Also, washing one large sink full of dishes uses less water than several small sink loads.
So, one day I might make coconut butter, cacao-coconut butter, peanut butter, chocolate protein bars and dough balls/lara bars. And another afternoon it might be granola, muffins and baked protein bars.
Last Friday I broke out the food processor and got to making coconut butter, cacao-coconut butter, peanut butter, chocolate protein bars, and dough balls. I don’t know why, but I hate the food processor. On second thought, I do know why… it’s heavy, takes up a lot of space and has lots of pieces to wash. I can usually be found trying to make any and everything in the Vita Mix over the food processor. However, I did not want to clean the dough ball leftovers out of the bottom of the Vita Mix. Trust me, my friends, that is not an easy task. So, I lugged the bad boy out of the cupboard and got to work.
With a little creative ingenuity, you can use the same food processor or Vita Mix bowl for making large batches of various foods and get away with not having to clean it in between recipes. 🙂 I only washed my food processor ONCE on Friday. The following is my creative order from Friday that resulted in making several different recipes in the same food processor bowl…
First up was coconut butter. I simply placed one bag of unsweetened and unsulphured dried coconut (approximately 2.75 cups) into the bowl of the food processor with 1 Tb of coconut oil, turned it on and let ‘er rip. The coconut oil is not necessary, but I find that it really speeds up the processing time and lends a smoother, creamier buttah. Also, I usually use bulk dried coconut from the co-op, which tends to be thicker and drier than bagged, so the coconut oil really helps to blend everything up. This recipe can also be made in the Vita Mix.
Next I made cacao-coconut butter. I reserved half of the resulting coconut butter and placed it into the Vita Mix along with 1/4 c cacao nibs. I blended on high until the cacao nibs were pulverized and buttery. I could have simply done this step in the food processor; however, my next creation was Allan’s peanut butter and I wasn’t sure if he wanted a slightly chocolatey peanut butter. On second thought, that sounds really good. Next time I will have to try this out and Allan can eat chocolatey peanut butter and raspberry jam sandwiches for lunch for a couple weeks.
So, on to the peanut butter. I purchased 4 pounds of roasted, unsalted peanuts from the co-op bulk bins. I froze half of the peanuts for a future batch of peanut butter. Into the food processor, still dripping with coconut butter, went 2 pounds of peanuts (approximately 6 cups). I turned on the food processor, changed Matthew’s diaper and when I came back into the kitchen 3 minutes later, I was pleasantly surprised to find this.
Using the resulting peanut butter, I made a batch of chocolate protein bars for Allan. I will be posting the revised recipe for these soon. In the meantime, you can find an older version of the recipe here.
The last thing on my prep list was to make my own version of Mama Pea’s light dough balls. I love lara bars and have made several homemade versions in the past. My favorite recipe being one from Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen that uses pineapple and coconut. Ani’s recipe is pretty complex and what caught my eye about Mama Pea’s version was its simplicity.
On a side note, there must be some sort of date shortage going on, because the co-op and Super Target have both been out of dates for over a month. However, I remembered reading on Kristen’s Raw that raisins make a good (cheaper) substitute for dates.
In the still glistening food processor (lightly coated in peanut butter and coconut butter) I combined the following:
1/2 c almonds, raw
1/2 c cashews, raw
I processed the nuts until they were broken down into fine crumbs. I then placed them in a bowl and set them aside.
Then into the (empty) food processor went:
2/3 c raisins, unsweetened and unsulphured
1 tsp vanilla extract
fat pinch of sea salt
I processed these together until they formed a ball of paste in the food processor. This took a couple minutes.
I then added back the nut mixture along with 1/4 c dried coconut.
I processed all of this until it was nicely combined. Then dumped it out into the same bowl that had been holding the nuts. 🙂
I used my cookie scoop (1 Tbsp) to form balls.
This recipe makes approximately 12 balls.
These are SO GOOD! It is hands down my new favorite recipe! I plan to make a quadruple recipe on Friday. And I plan to share…
Would you like a batch of dough balls of your very own? If so, answer the question below by commenting in the comments section of this post. Entries will be accepted until Friday, May 27 at 12:00 PM (noon). I will then chose one random winner to receive their very own batch of dough balls.
- What would you like to read about on MMM? Answer this question in the comments section of this post for one entry.
- Tweet a link to this post via Twitter and come back to let me know in a separate comment.
- Post about this giveaway on your Facebook page, linking back to it, and come back to let me know in a separate comment.
- Post about this giveaway on your blog, linking back to it, and then let me know in a separate comment.
Please ensure that you leave one comment per entry/item completed above. For example, if you complete all 4 items, you would leave 4 separate comments.
Please note: this giveaway is open to U.S. participants only.