It is time to begin thinking about ideas for small cozy christmas giveaways. I always bring some sort of homemade treat when I am visiting friends and family during Christmas, or include a little jar or box with some mouthwatering joy when I give presents to my loved ones on Christmas eve. I think it gets more personal and I have so much fun developing, making and preparing these homemade treats! Last year I was on a granola wave, very much inspired by this recipe, and the year before where I made all sorts of healthy cookies and gingerbreads! This Christmas I would like to give away jars. Jars filled of jam, date spreads, chocolate spread and of course nut butters. We all know the classics: peanut butter, almond butter and some maybe cashew nut butter, but do any of you know chestnut butter??
I for sure hadn’t tried it before and that’s why I absolutely needed to experiment with it. Since chestnuts are very different from other nuts, especially in their content of fats, I needed to make the butter in another way than the classic ones, with nothing but the nuts and a brilliant food processor. So I have teamed the chestnuts up with walnuts, giving the butter a very healthy fat profile due to the content of omega 3 & 6 fatty acids in both walnuts and chestnuts, and then adding water and a little sunflower oil to ensure the perfect texture.
You can push this butter in many different directions. For a sweeter spread you can add dates or honey and different spices, e.g. cardamom or vanilla. You could also add cream cheese + dates to give it a fresh twist (trust me – it is actually delicious), or maybe add garlic, herbs and lemon to make it a savoury spread or snack dip?? Everything is possible.
My version is just the basic recipe for a ‘plain’ chestnut butter, and it is very mild and creamy. I think it is delicious with jam or honey and banana slices. It is not as distinctive in it’s flavours as e.g. peanut butter, which makes it very suitable to play with and to add all sorts of new and different flavours. And it is more healthy and less calorie dense than all of the other nutbutters!
It is very easy to make. I actually just saved a good handfull of pitted chestnuts from when I made the speltotto the other week. Then added everything in a blender and bam there it was!
So if you need a little giveaway inspiration or simply a new touch to spice up a little snack meal, then I recommend you to give it a go, and be creative and remember to share your results with us in the comments!!
Makes about 1 cup
1 cup baked and peeled chestnuts (2,5 dl)
½ cup walnuts (50 g)
2 Tbsp sunflower oil
½ tsp salt
3 Tbsp water
1. Prepare the chestnuts by: Preheating oven to 400 °F/200 °. Use a sharp knife to cut a cross in the top of the chestnuts, place them in a baking pan, and roast for approximately 30 min in the oven. While they are hot, use a knife to remove the shell, it can be a little tricky, but it will be worth the effort! (Tip: Bake a few more minutes in the oven if it is impossible!!)
2. Use the same baking pan and heat from oven to give the walnuts a little roast, approximately 5-7 min until they look slightly golden and oily.
3. In a blender add all walnuts and chestnuts and blend until very fine texture. Then add oil + salt and a pulse, and 1 Tbsp of water a time and pulse until the perfect creamy texture is reached. Season to taste.
Keep the butter in a jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or maybe more.
All the best Chritmas wishes and snowy hugs!