Wednesday 23 September 2015

Apricot kernel butter

I have to say I love apricots, and when I was a kid we did used to smash the apricot stone with something heavy to get to the seed. As with many fruits, not all apricots are the same, there are different varieties, and not all seeds are actually edible, some would be incredibly bitter. But the ones that are good, are so delicious.

When I was exploring Ottolenghi's online shop, which offers a lot of hard to find cooking ingredients, I came across Sun & Seed appricot kernel butter. There was no hesitation I simply had to try it. It was love from the first spoon. The taste is mildly reminiscent of almonds (appricot seeds actually look very similar to almonds, you would be hard pressed to tell them apart on the first look), but has a bit more of a marzipan tang than raw almonds do. I knew that this was becoming a staple, but sadly it seemed that this brand was no longer stocked on the website I first purchased it from. In my local health store I spotted a different brand, that seemed to offer the same product, but on bringing it home I realised that it wasn't pure apricot kernel butter, it was a mix of other nuts and even sunflower oil. I'm still getting into the habbit of reading food labels, but it is very annoying when the front says one thing 'apricot kernel butter', and ingredients clearly show two other nuts!

Luckily for me, my beloved Planet organic not only stocks Sun & Seed, but they also have an online shop (their brick and mortar stores are a bit far from me to do my regular shopping at). Still, I always try to have a back up jar of this butter in the cupboard just in case. I like this particular brand because it is just Raw appricot kernel butter, no other ingredients. When the jar is sitting in a cupboard the oil can separate, but it isn't added oil, it's just natural oil from the butter. All you need to do is give it a stir before eating. Once it is open, you need to keep the jar in the fridge, and with the cold temperature there is no separation. This butter is made with raw "sweet" apricot kernels organically grown in Turkey, the product itself has been certified with the Soil Association.

I think it tastes amazing, and it is one of my favourite things to have for a quick breakfast. I like to spread some on a brown rice cracker and top it up with some fresh fruit, or berries. This summer strawberries have been a favourite. If I'm feeling a little fancy, I cut some plums in half, and stuff them with a little bit of this butter, fingerlickingly good. Per 100g of raw apricot butter you get 23g of protein, and 303mg of magnesium, both of these are higher than what you would find in almonds (magnesium content is higher than that of pumpkin seeds too, and apparently half a cup of pumpkin seeds could provide your entire daily magnesium intake). While this is not a complete protein, apricot kernel butter is still a great plant protein source. Magnesium is incredibly important for our bodies to function properly, and naturally it is best to get it from your food.

I really like raw nut butters in general, but this is definitely a personal favourite. Have you tried appricot kernel butter? Would you like to? Let me know in the comments.

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