The Chia Charge Nut Butters are delicious and nutritious containing high amounts of protein and the Chia Seeds add omega 3 goodness plus from the nuts you get healthy essential fats, vitamins and minerals. There are no artificial sweeteners and they are also wheat free and vegan friendly.
The most general use of a nut butter is to spread on your toast, delicious as it is but why not try spreading it on some other things such as rice cakes, oat cakes, pancakes, malt loaf, biscuits (sweet or savoury), cakes, banana slices and you could even spread on top of cereal/granola bars. The list is endless really, pretty much anything to can put a spread onto you could add chia nut butter to. One of my favourites is rice cakes with coconut and cashew butter topped with sweet chilli chicken, sounds odd but don't knock it until you've tried it as it tastes amazing!
The nut butters are perfect for adding to your morning porridge, or even adding a spoonful to yoghurt, frozen yoghurt and cereals especially granola or muesli.
3) Energy bars or Snack balls
I love this one, you can create your own recipes using your favourite ingredients, add a bit of nut butter to current recipes or why not try these snack balls which I created a while back.
All you will need to makes 4 of these balls is:
To make these add the sultanas, oat bran, dates, mixed spice and chia nut butter (either the coconut or the chocolate, I did a mixture of each but it’s the same method and ingredients).
Mix until it all starts to combine then add the quark of yogurt small amounts at a time until the mixture combines into a really thick paste which can be rolled into a ball.
You can then roll it into ball shapes, about the size of a meatball. (You can make yours any size you like but I like the meatball size). Once rolled coat in hazelnuts (for the chocolate nut butter) or desiccated coconut (for the coconut butter). Then you are finished, it really is as easy as that, quick, easy and hardly any mess.
When made store in the fridge and consume within three days.
These are perfect as a little snack when you are feeling peckish or you could take them out on long rides for a bit of energy as the oat bran provides perfect slow release carbs but the fruit and nuts provide a bit of an energy and sugar boost.
The nut butters are perfect for dipping, I particularly like carrot sticks dipped in but you could use anything you like such as- breadsticks, apple, pear, biscuits (sweet or savoury), cucumber and potato wedges.
5 & 6) Marinade and Sauce
I think the coconut and cashew butter goes really well with savoury dishes especially chicken so created to following recipe which coats the chicken in nut butter before cooking and includes a nut butter sauce.
This serves 2 and to make it you will need:
First you will need to use a heaped teaspoon of Chia Charge Nut Butter (per chicken breast) and rub it into the chicken, then place it on a tray and cook in the oven at 180degreesC/gas mark 4-5 for around 20-30 minutes. The cooking time varies depending on the size of your chicken, I tested mine by slicing it in half (it will be sliced at the end anyway), it should not have any pink colour and should be white.
While the chicken is in the oven place your rice with 1.5 cups of water into a pan along with the pepper and carrots and place on the heat. (Using a lid on the pan helps cook it quicker) You will need to check regularly that it’s not boiling dry, otherwise it will burn to the bottom! (If it is and is not cooked yet then add a little bit more water). The rice takes around 20 minutes to cook, but give it a little taste when you think it’s ready to get it how you like it, I like to have a tiny bit of crunch rather than have it really soggy. It’s your personal preference. Once it is cooked drain any excess water and complete the next step.
I added a level teaspoon of all spice to my rice after it was cooked, as I wasn’t sure how it would taste but it was good. If you fancy experimenting you can always try adding this into the water and rice before cooking, I think it will be just as nice and perhaps infuse the rice more. This is something I think I will try next time (this is definitely a recipe that may become a regular for us!).
Once you have completed the above tasks place your rice on the plate then slice your chicken and lay it on top of the rice. If you would like spinach then sprinkle this around the edges of the plate.
Finally you need to make the sauce, this is so easy you just need to put a heaped dessert spoon of Chia Charge Nut Butter into a pan to heat and add small amounts of water while continuously stirring until you get a creamy sauce consistency. You will need to make this right at the last minute as it doesn’t take long at all and is best served straight away. For an extra bit of Chia Charge you could add a sprinkle of Chia seeds over the top.
You could go all out and freeze the whole tub of nut butter creating an awesome and indulgent ice cream or you could create your own ice lollies such as these:
To make them you will simply need to blend together the following ingredients, place into lolly moulds and freeze.
You could also try making some nut butter ice cream using 1 banana which has been chopped up and frozen in advance and 2 tablespoons of nut butter. All you need to do is mix your frozen banana and nut butter in a blender, place into a tub or bowl, freeze for a few hours and finally eat your yummy creation.
There are so many ways you could use nut butter in your baking, one option is as a cupcake filling where you can cut out a hole in the middle of the cake (normally filled with jam or buttercream) and add a bit of nut butter... Perhaps creating nut butter butterfly cakes?
You could also make a nut butter buttercream by mixing it with some milk and icing sugar adding until you like the taste and consistency.
You could add a tablespoon or two into your normal cake or biscuit mix or maybe even replace the butter with your nut butter (although I haven't tried this one so not sure how it would work).
You could also try this cookie recipe:
Mix all the ingredients together and roll into 1inch balls, place onto a tray lined with baking paper and press down with a fork then bake for 6-8 minutes in an oven which has been preheated to 160/170 degreesC. Leave on tray to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling then enjoy.
Smoothies and shakes are so popular at the moment and there are so many endless smoothie possibilities, let your imagination run wild and add your favourite ingredients with a spoonful of nut butter included. You could have sweet and savoury options.
One I like:
Why not try replacing you cream or ice cream that you have with those indulgent treats for dessert with a nice helping of nut butter? It would be a delicious different style pudding and would go well with lots of different desserts hot or cold.
by Natalie Thomas, Triathlete