I’m so amused by my freezer clean out project! Sometimes I think I come up with my favorite ideas when I’m working with what I have on hand. This evening’s quick project is an example of that. I’m a bit nutty, and that is definitely reflected in my freezer. Here are a few of the nuts that were partying in the chiller:
I always keep a variety of nuts in the freezer. Since I love to bake, they are definitely go to items for me, and the varieties that got used up immediately went on the grocery list to be replaced. I do think it’s useful to clean out the old and get new, fresh ones every once in awhile. I had some raw almonds that I bought once when I made skillet roasted almonds– tapas style. I also had some slivered almonds that I bought when making one of my favorite holiday cookies. I’ve been eating walnuts, a few at a time, from the big bag for ages now. I always keep pine nuts in case I need to make pesto or want to toss them on some pasta. Finally, my parents have some amazing pecan trees in their yard in Arkansas, and they keep me well supplied with pecans. My poor dad picks them out of their shells during the winter. I guess it keeps him out of trouble? 🙂 I’ll have to double check with my mother on that one. It’s certainly much appreciated, and I don’t think that their flavor can be beat!
All these little bags were certainly adding to the clutter in my freezer door, so I decided to make some nut butter a la Heather to use up the rest of the almonds and walnuts. I invited a few of the other freezer nuts to the food processor party for a bit of variety, so there are some pine nuts and pecans in the mix too. I also had about 1/4 cup of dried mixed berries that have been around for awhile, and I thought they would make a good sweetener. The freezer clean out is having a positive influence on my pantry too!
I toasted up the nuts and tossed them in the food processor along with the dried berries. A few minutes later, I had “Spring Cleaning Berry Nut Butter.”
I plugged all of the quantities into a recipe calculator so that I can keep track of the number of calories based on the number of grams I eat. Of course, I had to try some on a graham cracker. 🙂
The verdict? YUM! I thought the pine nuts might be an odd addition, but I kind of like that little contrast of flavor. I was surprised that it really comes through despite the stronger flavors in the mix, like the walnuts. This butter is toasty and good, with a little berry sweetness. As a bonus, the freezer door looks a little bit less crazy.
I also remembered today that I had forgotten to tell you about the bee pollen tea I bought at the farmer’s market on Saturday, and I wanted to give you the scoop.
Here’s the write-up from the back of the label:
“Historically, pollen is called “The World’s First Health Food” because of its healing powers. Pollen contains nearly every known nutrient required for a balanced human diet. In a random sampling of pollen, 25 minerals and 18 vitamins are found. It lacks only roughage and water for complete and balanced nutrition. Bee pollen provides an energy boost whenever you need it, in addition, regular use helps to desensitize allergic reactions to pollen.”
I don’t think I’m going to replace my diet with bee pollen and roughage anytime soon, but I think that I will be enjoying this tea from time to time. In addition to the claims above, I can add that a cup of this tea has a delicate and slightly nutty flavor that I really enjoyed. Mine came mixed with lemon balm, so there is a bit of lemony flavor, but the package also suggests brewing a bag of this tea along with whatever your favorite tea might be. I might try that, but I liked it on its own. It reminds me of the honey vanilla chamomile tea that I often enjoy from Celestial Seasonings. It is kind of funny that the bright yellow pollen in this bag makes me think of all of the pollen coated windshields I’ve seen around here lately. That’s a strange thought to have while sipping your tea. 🙂
I’ve seen pollen for sale in a grain type form, for stirring into yogurt and that sort of thing. Have you ever tried bee pollen, and, if so, how did you eat it? I’m very curious about it, and, since I know that the Bee’s ‘n Blossoms people will be frequenting my farmer’s market, I may be tempted to buy some pollen and give it a spin.
I’m going to finish my tea now and head off to bed. I hope it won’t give me too much of an “energy boost” or I may be in trouble! It’s been Monday all day long. I’m glad that it will be Tuesday when I wake up tomorrow. I hope your week got off to a good start! Ciao for now!! 🙂