That moment when you realize all of your uncertainties should be savored for the mystery..the opportunities that they contain. This has been the theme for me lately, just trying to be open to whatever comes my way and seeing where that leads me.
I’ve been having mixed thoughts on my specific RD career path since starting my dietetic internship. I was totally set on the direction I thought I wanted to follow, but there’s so much out there to choose from and I feel my internship will allow me to find my niche eventually. It’s interesting how much you learn and grow professionally once you’re able to actually apply all of those hours studying in undergrad. I’m in my clinical rotation right now. It’s definitely tough, so I’m looking forward to seeing the end results, i.e. my growth when the 12 weeks are up. I know I’m going to miss it when it’s over, clinical is a skill I definitely want to hold on to. Lately the drive to work doesn’t seem long, when the reflection of all the dedication that has been made to get to where I currently am is only a fraction of what’s to come.
The last blog post I wrote was before the move to NC. Still, unpacked boxes line the exteriors of my room. Nothing feels permanent anymore, but I suppose a journey shouldn’t. I sometimes have to remind myself that I live in NC. There are wildflowers on the side of the freeway and the foliage is just starting to turn colors..I’m really looking forward to actually experiencing seasons for once in my life (native Floridian). Even the roadkill is glorious, although very sad, but foxes and deer..poor things, but I’m only used to seeing squirrels and opossums. Morbid environmental appreciation?
I feel as if someone picked me up and put me on a map and said, time to try out life in this spot now…it’s like a game. I feel lucky, yet it does feel well deserved too.
With the new blog layout and some time to focus on my site, I rejoined Recipe Redux to immerse myself in the blogging world of RDs, dietetic interns, and health conscious food bloggers a like. I took some time off from the blog over the past year or so, as there were other opportunities that I wanted to embrace. I’m happy to be back with the Redux, to be inspired and engage in a dietetic related blogging community.
October’s theme was a recipe involving nuts, nut butter, or nut flour, etc. After recently attending FNCE in Nashville, I was able to sample a variety of products that are out there on the shelves and being marketed to consumers. Some very innovative products, whey concentrate based low sugar ice cream, savory granola bar flavors, and tons of other trendy products that you can imagine. I received a jar of spicy peanut butter from Pb & Co and loved the heat. I often find myself adding various dried pepper flakes to my almond butter sandwiches and loved the idea of having a spicy nut butter on hand in the kitchen. I enjoyed Pb & Co’s hot pb, but wanted to make my own version with various flavors, one that focuses on the particular crunchy texture that I adore from homemade nut butters. I prefer being able to taste that the nut butter was freshly ground, ya know the slight grittiness..maybe it had to do with Pb & Co’s added palm oil or the mechanism in which their peanuts are ground that made it so smooth.
I used an almond and cashew base, roasted first of course. Almond butter is a great base, but I wanted to add some cashews for that creamy taste that they can provide. The heat was brought upon by the cayenne peppers I bought from the farmer’s market a bit ago. I dehydrated them in the oven and crushed them into flakes. They have a bit of a sweet taste and smell coupling with the spicy.
From the bulk spice section at my local grocery store, I purchased: dehydrated orange peels, chipotle pepper, smoked paprika, and smoked sea salt. The result was a sweet, spicy and smoky nut butter to add to foods for a snack or meal topper. I loved adding this to baked sweet potatoes and butternut squash for a snack. Could eat it out of the jar..
2 C raw whole almonds, roasted*
1 C raw whole cashews, roasted
1-3 tsp cayenne pepper flakes
1-3 tsp dehydrated orange peels, ground
1-3 tsp ground chipotle pepper
1-3 tsp smoked paprika
1/4-1/2 tsp applewood smoked sea salt
*I’d say start with 3 cups of nuts, but you can use more or less. I always just make a larger batch, around 4+ cups if my food processor can handle it.
-Roast nuts in oven and then let cool. I roast them until they start to turn tan/light brown and can start to smell them. They will keep toasting when you take them out of oven to let cool. Place a handful or two of the nuts aside if you want to make a crunchy nut butter.
-Place roasted nuts in food processor and process until smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides intermittently.
-Add in the spices. I didn’t measure ingredients, but I did use a lot of spices. I love spicy, I love when my nose is running from the capsaicin. I used about a tbsp of everything except salt (~1/4 tsp). So what I recommend is per ~3 C nuts, 2-3 tsp dried orange peel, 1-3 tsp chipotle, 1-3 tsp paprika, 1-3 tsp cayenne, 1/8-1/2 tsp salt. Adjust to your taste buds. I used cayenne flakes, which would measure out differently than ground cayenne pepper. Just start with a small amount (1/8 tsp) and add in small increments. If you happen to add too much spices, you can add more nuts to mild out the flavor, or give it to your masochistic friend.
-Once satisfied with the spices, add the previously set aside whole nuts to the processor and process just a few times to break up the nuts into smaller pieces throughout the nut butter to make crunchy nut butter.
-Store in a jar in fridge. The flavors get better over time, spicier too
A side note, October marks the four year anniversary of my blog :). I remember just starting it. Reading some of my old posts were quite funny, it’s nice to see how things/I have grown since Oct 2011. Time is going by too quickly..I’m looking forward to continuing my blog throughout my career as an RD.