Monday, November 4, 2019

MY NEW HOMEMADE VEGAN PARMESAN-- DELICIOUS, EASY TO MAKE, INEXPENSIVE

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Yikes! It's been about 2 1/2 months since I last blogged!  But, I haven't stopped cooking or thinking about new recipes. As I wrote about in earlier blogs, I'm on a low-glycemic diet for early stages of diabetes, which sincerely I hope will not get any worse. So, being stubborn, I do alot of research and experimentation. Sometimes it's fun and we end up with something delicious, and sometimes it goes in the compost! A learning experience! 

These last couple of months, I've spent quite alot of time working on some new vegan cheeses. To tell you the truth, I've been a bit fed up with cashews, cashews, cashews when it comes to vegan cheese!  For one thing, they are expensive, especially the fair trade, organic variety.  For another, they can be ethically compromised (See 
https://bit.ly/2oLeHgM for more on these issues.)  My aim was (and is) to make a vegan cheese that is delicious, easy to make, inexpensive and made with easily-obtained ingredients, and without the need for culturing.

I ran across 
Martine's groundbreaking recipe for Vegan Steamed Rice Cheese at lowcarb-vegan.net/vegan-steamed-rice-cheese/  I tried it right away-- it was easy to make and tasty!

BUT, it was made with white rice flour, which is not particularly low-glycemic. I got the idea to use some sort of bean flour, along with some high-resistant-starch potato starch instead, and it worked beautifully. I added more nutritional yeast, along with some white miso (for a fermented flavor), onion powder and garlic granules, for more flavor. Even better!

My far-away Australian Facebook friend Fran was also working on such things and we shared our successes and failures. I hoped (and still hope) to make a cheese that melted, but I'm still working on that. But, one day I got the idea to grate this very firm, tasty cheese and it seemed to me to be a delicious and much less expensive alternative to commercial vegan "parmesan" products.

I'm working on some other versions of this type of cheese, which I will post very soon. But I wanted to share this one with you right now because we're so pleased with it.  Let me know what you think!



Printable Recipe

BRYANNA'S VEGAN STEAMED BEAN FLOUR "VEGAN PARMESAN"
(Low-glycemic, high in protein and fiber, nut-free, soy-free)    
Makes enough to fill two 142g Earth Island/FollowYourHeart Vegan Grated Parmesan-Style Cheese shakers.

This very tasty cheese is high in protein from the bean flour, and is low-glycemic. It's also a great source of resistant starch (which acts as a soluble fiber). Potato starch [not the same thing as potato flour, BTW] is also very high in resistant starch and makes for a VERY firm cheese, suitable for grating or pulsing in a food processor. (See https://bit.ly/2PJhaU9 for info on resistant starch, which improves insulin sensitivity, lower blood sugar levels, reduces appetite and has various benefits for digestion.)

Ingredients:
    • 124 g (1 1/3 cup) chickpea flour (OR white bean flour, OR 2/3 cup of each)   
    • 41 g (1/4 cup, 
slightly packed-down) potato starch 
    • 3/4 cup water
    • 1/3 cup melted refined coconut oil (preferably Fair Trade, organic)
    • 1 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 1/2 tsp. white miso
    • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
    • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp garlic granules

Steps:
    1. Pour 2 cups water into your steamer pot, InstantPot or pressure cooker, equipped with a flat steamer basket in the bottom.

    2. Put all the ingredients into the jar of your blender, and blend until it forms a completely smooth, milky mixture, without lumps or visible oil droplets.


This is the Pyrex mold that I use.
   3. Pour the cheese mixture into a greased or parchment-lined Pyrex, metal or ceramicmold. Choose a mold that will hold 2 cups, with about 1/2 inch of “head room”. 

Place the mold onto the steamer basket.  I fold a long piece of aluminium foil lengthwise into a wide strip and use  it to lower the mold onto the steamer basket. This makes it easier to remove the hot mold from its close quarters after it's cooked, too!



4. Steam the cheese for about 45 minutes (or 25 minutes on Steam function in Instant Pot, or pressure cooker).  Release pressure in the InstantPot or pressure cooker after cooling down for about 20 minutes. 


Use the aluminum foil to lift the hot mold out of the pot onto a cooling rack.



After the steaming, the cheese will still be a bit soft. Don't worry, it will firm up once it cools. If a thin layer of water dripped onto the cheese from the pot's lid, drain this off carefully.

5. Let the cheese cool to room temperature and then cover it and put it into the fridge overnight to firm up.


 
Once it is firm, you can release it from the mold and store it in a lidded container for a week or so, or you can freeze half of it, well-wrapped. The cheese tastes best if you leave it to firm and develop flavor for a day or two before eating.
6.  You can grate the cheese on a box grater, if you wish, 


but I use a food processor. I cut the block into small squares and place them in a food processor. 



Pulse until they are chopped and then process until it looks like commercial grated parmesan. Taste it-- if you like, you can mix the ground cheese with a bit more nutritional yeast for a stronger flavor-- but add it a little bit at a time.

   
 Scoop the resulting "granules" into two shaker bottles-- I use two 142g Earth Island/FollowYourHeart Vegan Grated Parmesan-Style Cheese shakers. Or, if you prefer, cut the block in half,  process one half, and freeze on half, well wrapped, for grating later.




Enjoy!


Saturday, August 17, 2019

MY "SAUCY NEATBALLS" RECIPE: EASY, VERSATILE, INEXPENSIVE

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Neatballs in sour cherry sauce

Neatball Pho containing baked and cooled Neatballs that have been browned and simmered in the Pho broth.
Neatballs coated with a curry sauce
This is a vegan "meatball" recipe that I developed over 10 years ago (yikes!) and meant many times to share on this blog, but, somehow, never got around to!  The recipe was originally supposed to be included in one of my books, but that never happened.

I love "meatballs", not only because they taste good and are so versatile, but also because so many cuisines boast at least one, and often dozens, of delicious recipes featuring them.  Real comfort food, the world over!

You can make several times the recipe at one time and freeze them for future meals. One time I was very ambitious and made 150 Neatballs in one morning! Here are some photos:






Printable Recipe

BRYANNA'S BASIC SAUCY NEATBALLS
Servings: 5 
 Yield: 25 neatballs

These Neatballs, when removed from the oven, resemble rather dry, round cookies. However, when they are simmered in broth, or in a sauce of your choice, they plump up and have a texture almost alarmingly meatlike! 

You can add whatever appropriate spices and herbs that would go with the final dish you are making, or just make the basic version. The recipe can be doubled, tripled, quadrupled, etc.,  if you would like to freeze some for a later date. Serve with pasta, rice, bulgur, quinoa, etc., or bread.

Dry Mix:
1 1/2 cups textured soy protein granules (TVP)
3/4 cup pure gluten powder (vital wheat gluten)
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs (not dried), packed down
1 1/2 tsp garlic granules
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
freshly-ground black pepper to taste
herbs and spices, to your taste
Wet Mix:
1 1/4 cups plus 3 T. cold water
3 Tbs soy sauce or tamari
1 1/2 Tbs ketchup
1/2 T. vegan gravy browner, such as Kitchen Bouquet (for color)
Flour for coating
Cooking spray or oil in a pump-sprayer
Optionals: For ethnic recipes, you can add some chopped vegetables (well-drained or squeezed, if very wet), grated ginger, fresh garlic, vegan parmesan, chopped green onion,
etc…..

Instructions:
Mix together the Dry Mix ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk the Wet Mix ingredients together and pour into the Dry Mix, adding whatever optionals you like. Cover and let the mixture set for at least one hour. If made ahead, the mixture can be refrigerated for several hours or days before cooking.

Preheat the oven to 400° F.

Roll the mixture into 25 equal-sized balls, squeezing firmly. As you can see in the photo below, you can also shape the Neatball mixture into oval "kofta" shapes for Middle Eastern recipes. Dredge in flour to coat all over. 


Place the balls on an oiled cookie sheet and spray with cooking spray or oil from a pump-sprayer. Bake 20 minutes-- smaller neatballs may need only 15 minutes cooking time. 


The "Neatballs" will look quite dry, as I mentioned, but this is their advantage-- when cooked in a sauce, they become plump and tender, but don't fall apart. Cool thoroughly.
They can be frozen  at this point and then cooked in a sauce or soup at a later time, if you wish.  

To cook the dry, baked Neatballs in a sauce:
Drop them into a pot containing about 5 cups of your preferred sauce (commercial or homemade-- homemade should be fully-cooked), mixed with 2 cups of water and brought to a simmer. If necessary, add a little more liquid to the sauce, in the form of wine, broth or juice. Simmer them for at least 20 minutes, during which time the Neatballs will "plump up". 

OR, if you are planning to use them later in recipes 
coated in a sauce, or to use them in a soup, cook them in a pot containing simmering vegan broth of your choice to cover. 



















If they have been simmered in broth for future recipes, remove the Neatballs from the pot with a strainer spoon, rinse them off gently, and let them cool thoroughly. They can then be frozen. Otherwise, add them directly to a soup, or  browned in a bit of oil and coated  with a sauce of your choice, such as a curry sauce.




Baked, simmered (in broth) and cooled Neatballs that have been browned.

My Version of Italian "Wedding Soup" ("Minestra Maritata" or "Zuppa Maritata"), containing baked and cooled Neatballs that have been browned before simmering in the soup.
Try this delicious Vietnamese Pho recipe, using Neatballs instead of the vegan "steak":




Nutrition Facts (calculated using low sodium soy sauce and ketchup)
Nutrition (per serving; 5 Neatballs): 
195.6 calories; 3% calories from fat; 0.8g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 404.9mg sodium; 86.3mg potassium; 19.7g carbohydrates; 0.7g fiber; 1.9g sugar; 27.4g protein.

Enjoy!





Wednesday, June 26, 2019

BRYANNA'S LOW-SUGAR CHICKPEA CHOCOLATE SPREAD, TWO WAYS

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I haven't been blogging lately, but I have been cooking and researching!  My new doctor sent me to an internist a few weeks ago and I've been told that I am not pre-diabetic, as I was previously told by another doctor, but I am actually diabetic. It's not so bad as to need insulin, and my glucose levels have actually gone down, but I do need to be more strict about my diet and exercise. So, I am still on a low-glycemic diet, of course, but also counting carbs and sugars, and I am getting back into walking, weights and other exercise, now that my shingles nerve pain has lessened quite substantially (after 6 months!).

So, a lot of my time has been taken up with research and experimentation, as you can imagine!  It's not that hard for me to resist the temptation of white bread (my husband's homemade, with some oats and wheat bran in it), pizza, and desserts, etc., because I am determined not to ever have to use insulin, to lose some weight, and to still make food that is delicious and health-promoting. Sprouted grain bread is my choice now, farinata instead of pizza dough (see https://veganfeastkitchen.blogspot.com/2014/04/farinata-italian-chickpea-flour-pancake.html ), fruits for dessert, and the odd 
homemade low-sugar treat.

That said, I love chocolate and I don't want to give it up!  I can have a bit of dark chocolate (at least 71% chocolate) for a treat, but I want to create some chocolate recipes at home, too.  I had heard about chickpea chocolate spreads and, since I always have a supply of cooked chickpeas in my freezer, I decided to try making some.  Below is my recipe and, with two options for sweeteners,  and Nutrition Facts.  You have the choice of using some natural sweet syrups (agave and maple) , or a homemade date paste. It's very quick and easy to make, by the way.

If you have to be very strict about sweets, you could use your favorite sugar-free sweetener. Personally, I really dislike stevia, so I would use sucralose (Splenda) or erythritol if I had to use a sugar-free product. After much research, I don't see that using those products once in a while would cause any harm.  The most important thing, in my opinion, is to work steadily towards curbing your taste for sweets.

Anyway-- enough chatter!  Here's the recipe!



My husband and I are enjoying this yummy spread on toast, or on apple slices-- small amounts, of course. It's not as sweet as Nutella, for sure, but I now prefer less sweet.  (You can check out the nutrition facts for my spreads at the bottom of the page,and there is a photo of the nutrition facts from a jar of Nutella just below.)UPDATE: You can make chocolate milk by mixing 2 tablespoons of the spread with a cup of ypour favorite plant-based milk-- I used an immersion/stick blender.

BRYANNA'S CHICKPEA CHOCOLATE SPREAD, TWO WAYS
Makes 1 7/8 cups (2 cups when made with Date Paste)
15-16 servings-- 2 T. each serving

This delicious spread is a much more nutritious and dairy-free, palm oil-free option than Nutella, and also less expensive. (See Nutella nutrition label just below, to compare with both versions I have devised .) It's not as cloyingly sweet as Nutella, but the chocolate flavor is deeper and more pronounced, which is a plus, in my opinion!


See Nutrition facts for Chocolate Chickpea Spread made with syrups, or with date paste, at the end of this post. NOTE: When made with Date Paste, the spread is not quite as sweet, but calories, carbs and sugars are somewhat lower.

1 1/2 cups canned or cooked chickpeas, drained (14-15 oz. can)
2 tbsp nut butter (I used peanut butter)
2 tbsp oil
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup maple syrup
(OR, if you prefer, use 1 cup Date Paste [5 ounces dates) instead of the the 2 syrups-- see just below for Date Paste recipe; OR try 1/3 cup of Splenda [sucralose])
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp water (you may not need this if you use the Date Paste)

Blend all of the ingredients in food processor until very smooth.  Store in jar in the refrigerator in a tightly-closed jar for up to two weeks.

HOMEMADE DATE PASTE  (Makes 3 cups)
NOTE: I use organic Deglet Noor pitted dates, but you can use Medjool dates, if you like.
***You can also use the more inexpensive, tightly-packed block of pressed baking dates from your supermarket, but you will need to weigh the dates -- 15.25 ounces for this recipe. You may also need to add a bit more hot water when processing.***

2 cups (tightly packed) pitted, chopped dates (See Note above)
3 cups boiling water


Soak the dates in the boiling water in a COVERED heat-proof bowl or batter bowl for about 30 minutes.

In the bowl of a large food processor fitted with an "S" blade, combine the soaked pitted dates and water.

Process until very smooth, scraping down the bowl to make sure all of the dates are pulverized. Add a bit more water if the mixtured is too thick.  It should be thick enough to mound up on a spoon, not runny.

Store the date paste in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or you can freeze it in amounts that suit your cooking or baking needs.

NUTRITION FACTS


Nutrition Facts  (Using agave nectar and maple syrup)
Serving size: 2 tablespoons
Servings: 15
Calories 77
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3.4g 4%
Saturated Fat 0.7g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 33mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 8.3g
Protein 1.7g
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 7mg 1%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 97mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Recipe analyzed by https://www.verywellfit.com

Nutrition Facts (using 1 cup Date Paste)
Serving size: 2 tablespoons
Servings: 16
Calories 68
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3.2g 4%
Saturated Fat 0.6g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 30mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 10.6g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1.5g 5%
Total Sugars 6.4g
Protein 1.8g
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 7mg 1%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 80mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Recipe analyzed by https://www.verywellfit.com

Enjoy!



Wednesday, May 29, 2019

NEW MOIST & VERY CHOCOLATE-Y LOW-FAT OAT BROWNIES (CAN BE GF)

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I love brownies!  You will find quite a few brownie recipes on this blog, but, because I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes last year,  I've been working on a version that is not only very chocolate-y, moist and low in fat, but made with low-glycemic ingredients. (See this post and this one.)

I did devise a very good low-glycemic brownie last September, which included the addition of yellow split pea puree and unsweetened applesauce.  (See about the low-glycemic advantages of split peas and other pulses here.)

In this new recipe I still use my favorite low-glycemic flour combination of oat flour and chickpea flour, but, in addition to split peas and unsweetened 
applesauce, this new recipe utilizes prune puree , which provides sweetness (thereby cutting down on the amount of sugar needed) AND a whole lot of other goodness. (It seems that prunes contain lots of fiber, which is slow to digest, leaving you satisfied for a longer time. Prunes also have a low glycemic index count, which means that they raise the glucose [sugar] levels in your blood slowly.  See this article for more about the benefits of adding prunes to your diet.

Printable Recipe
BRYANNA'S NEW MOIST AND VERY CHOCOLATE-Y LOW-FAT OAT & CHICKPEA FLOUR BROWNIES
(It also happens to be gluten-free if you use GF oatmeal.)
Makes 18 brownies
This is the latest (and maybe the last!) recipe in my quest for a really delicious dark chocolate, vegan, low-fat, low-glycemic brownie.  It's easy to make and, dare I say it, even healthful, despite being a delicious dessert item.
       Oat flour and chickpea flour are both low-glycemic flours. Applesauce, prune puree and yellow split pea puree add plenty of fiber and nutrients, as well as moisture. 


NOTE: I make oat flour by grinding oatmeal flakes in my Vitamix-- just make sure the container is absolutely dry!

DRY MIX:
3/4 cup oat flour
1/2 cup +1 Tbsp dark cocoa powder
6 Tbsp. chickpea flour (also called besan) (or other bean flour)
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. 
baking powder
WET MIX:
1 cup unsweetened smooth applesauce

1/2 cup Prune Puree (see end of blog for homemade recipe) OR babyfood pureed prunes in a jar
6 Tbsp. yellow split pea puree (see how to and store make below)

6 Tbsp. maple syrup or agave nectar
1 1/2 Tbsp. oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
ADDITIONAL: 
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

INSTRUCTIONS:
Turn the oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare a 7 x 11" baking pan by lining with baking parchment.

Or, as I do, grease the bottom and sides of the inside of the pan lightly with my Homemade Palm-Oil-free, Non-Hydrogenated “Cake Release” (Pan Coating or Professional Baker's Grease) with GF Option


Whisk the Dry Mix ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.  

In a larger bowl, whisk together the Wet Mix ingredients until smooth. Add the Dry Mix into the bowl  and stir until smooth. Add the chopped walnuts and stir just to distribute evenly.

Scoop the batter into the prepared pan (using a silicone spatula to get as much as possible) and then spread it evenly into the pan with the spatula.

Bake for 18 minutes and cool thoroughly on a rack before cutting into 18 pieces.

HOW TO MAKE PRUNE PUREE:
Note: 2 cups of large pitted prunes, pressed down a bit, with make about 2 3/4 cups of prune puree.

In an appropriately-sized bowl, cover your prunes with hot water. (Make sure that they are completely covered with water.)  Let the prunes sit until they are more or less lukewarm.  Then pour the prunes and water into your blender and blend until VERY smooth.  You can safely keep this in your refrigerator in a tightly-closed container for 2 or 3 days, or you might prefer to store it in 1/2-cup containers in the freezer.


HOW TO MAKE YELLOW SPLIT PEA PUREE (Makes 5 cups):

Mix 2 cups of dried split yellow peas with 4 cups of water in an Instant Pot and cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. (PS: You could use any other type of pressure cooker, OR you can simmer, covered, for 30 minutes in a medium saucepan on your stovetop.) The resulting soft mush just needed a few stirs to "puree", or, if it looks a bit lumpy, you can cool it off a bit and puree it in your blender.

I refrigerate the puree in a covered container for a day or so-- it will firm up considerably.  You can press then the puree into silicone cupcake liners or large silicone ice cube trays in 1/4 cup portions, or into normal ice cube trays in 2 Tbsp. portions and freeze them.  Then pop out the frozen portions, bag them up and place them back in the freezer for future use.
(See more about yellow split pea puree at this link.)




Enjoy!




Friday, May 10, 2019

NEWLY REVISED, EASIER, CHEAPER CRUELTY-FREE, PALM OIL-FREE VEGAN BUTTER-Y SPREAD

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New version of Butter-y Spread made with liquid oil and a small amount of cocoa butter or a bit more of coconut oil for a more solid texture and no separating.  This works well with either soy or non-soy versions.

In this post, have steamlined my easy, inexpensive Vegan Butter-y Spread and added a version using cruelty-free coconut oil instead of cocoa butter for those who cannot access affordable, organic, fair trade cocoa butter (especially here in Canada). It also includes a non-soy version.

I was going to post it in a revised version of the last post I did on this recipe, but I decided to keep this post relatively short and steer you to the older post if you want more info on cruelty-free coconut oil (and why that's important) and on cocoa butter.
So here's the post with all that info:
What do I mean by "cruelty-free"?


A word about affordability:

Use organic, fair trade cocoa butter, if you can.  If you live in the USA, this is a reliable vendor with decent prices-- Chocolate Alchemy.

Affordable prices are harder to find in Canada, so you might want to try using an organic natural, UN-deodorized cocoa butter, which is cheaper, from a health food store [wafers or chunks].  It's such a small amount that it may not make a difference.

Use Cruelty-Free coconut oil. In Canada, Nutiva seems to be a good buy.  "Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil is unrefined, cold pressed, GMO-free, and made from fresh coconuts. All of their coconut oil products are human-picked, but look for the Fair Trade logo when purchasing."

"If you shop at Trader Joe’s [in the USA], you might be glad to know that their coconut oil is human-picked and certified organic. In their Trader Joe’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil,  the main ingredient featured is fresh coconuts that are cold-pressed."
(Both quotes from:
http://www.vildamagazine.com/2016/03/coconut-oil-cruelty-free/ )

So, without further ado:



Printable Recipe

BRYANNA'S NEW, EASY PALM OIL-FREE VEGAN BUTTER-Y SPREAD 

Revised August 30, 2019
(Soy & Non-Soy versions; made with liquid oil and a small amount of either cocoa butter or coconut oil)

© Bryanna Clark Grogan 2019.   All rights reserved.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups for cocoa butter version; 2 cups for coconut oil version

This is an inexpensive, delicious and easy-to-make butter-y spread to use on bread, toast, muffins, etc., in sauces on and cooked vegetables.  It may not be firm enough to use in place of butter or solid margarine in some baking-- though it often works if used in a frozen state. Frozen, both are firm and can be scraped with a knife to use on toast, etc..

NON-SOY VARIATION:
Instead of soymilk, use a non-sweet (original) coconut creamer, or you can use a creamy sort of plant-based milk that has a pleasant taste. (Rice milk is too thin).  
NOTE: Silk and So Delicious brands use cruelty-free coconut products.

**NOTE: August 2019  This is an amalgamated, revised and updated version of my two previous posts on making this easy and delicious homemade vegan Butter-y Spread.

#1.) Ingredient List for Cocoa Butter Version:(see recipe intro for non-soy version)
1/2 cup soy milk (I used Silk Organic Original) 
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 fine salt 
2 tsp liquid soy or sunflower lecithin
1/2 tsp guar gum or xanthan gum
3/4 cup neutral tasting oil
1 1/2 oz.(44g) steam-deodorized organic cocoa butter, melted to make 1/4 cup (See note on cocoa butter above photo)
pinch tumeric (optional)

#2) Ingredient List for the Coconut Oil Version:(see recipe intro for non-soy version)
1/2 cup soy milk (I used Silk Organic Original) 
3/4 tsp. lemon juice
1/2-1 tsp. fine salt

2 tsp. liquid soy or sunflower lecithin
2 tsp guar gum or xanthan gum
3/4 cup neutral tasting oil
3/4 cup cruelty-free refined coconut oil, melted (See approved cruelty-free brands here.)
1/8 tsp. tumeric (optional)

Important Note: I melt the cocoa butter or coconut oil  in a small cream pitcher in the microwave for a minute at medium power. If you prefer, place the pitcher in a small saucepan with hot water and heat over medium heat until it melts. Either way, remove carefully using a potholder. You can add the neutral oil to this and use the little pitcher to pour the mixed oils into the blended mixture with more control and no spilling.

Instructions:
Pour the milk and the lecithin into a high-speed blender container, add the lemon juice, salt and xanthan or guar gum, and place the cover on it, with the central cap off.  Mix the liquid oil with the melted cocoa butter or coconut oil together in a small pitcher (like a cream pitcher)-- see Important Note at end of Ingredient List. Turn the blender on to Low speed and pour a thin stream of a mixture of the two oils slowly into the milk until all of it is used up.  (When I say “slowly”, that’s what I mean-- a slow steady stream, but NOT drop by drop.)

Increase the speed of the blender to High. Blend for a short time, just until it thickens to the consistency of a very thick mayonnaise.



Use a small silicone spatula to scoop the mixture into  one or two shallow glass refrigerator containers with lids, or a larger butter dish with a lid. Scrape as much of the blended mixture out of the blender container as you can. Smooth the top.  Cover and refrigerate for several hours before using. You can also freeze it, or freeze it until the mixture is firm and then refrigerate.

Makes 24 Tablespoons

Nutrition Facts, made with cocoa butter (Serving size: 1/24 of a recipe/0.5 ounces/1 tablespoon.)
Calories 84, Total Fat 9.45g, Saturated Fat 2.5g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 41.29mg, Sugar 0.13g, Protein 0.15g

Nutrition Facts, made with coconut oil  (Serving size: 1/32 of a recipe/0.5 ounces/1 tablespoon.)
Calories 91, Total Fat 10.3g, Saturated Fat 4.8g, cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 56g, Sugar o.2g Protein 0.13g

CLEANING YOUR BLENDER CONTAINER AFTER MAKING YOUR "BUTTER-Y SPREAD":

My friend Brenda Wiley said that she had a heck of a time cleaning the greasy blender container after making this.  She was using Dr. Bronner's Liquid Castile Soap, which I also use as an all-purpose cleaning product, but not for dishes.  She said she had to wash the container about 3 times.

I have not had this problem, and, no, I do not use Dawn!  I use Nature Clean Dishwashing Liquid (I like the Lavender & Tea Tree Oil one  -- there's an ingredient list at the link) and very hot tap water and have never had a problem.  (Nature Clean is a sulphate-free Canadian product and you can buy it online or in most supermarkets and drug stores in Canada.) Before I add the soapy water to the greasy container, I rinse out as much of the greasy residue as possible with hot tap water, using a bottle brush in the corners.  I dump that out and add more hot water and a generous squirt of the dishwashing liquid.  I scrub the inside with the bottle brush and rinse with more hot tap water.

I looked online for some US products that looked similar.  This looked like a good one, and the price seemed reasonable: Natural Home Logic Eco Friendly Liquid Dish Soap, Powerful & Pure Non-Toxic Cleaning | Plant & Mineral Derived.  It's available on amazon and their website gives you other locations.  If you have any other ideas, please leave them in the comment section-- thanks!

All the best,