It’s World Vegetarian Day! In the US, where the food culture is undeniably meat-focused, eating a vegetarian diet can pose some challenges. I was thinking about how here at Leafly, our goal is to serve the consumer (meaning you). Whether that’s connecting you with the nearest dispensary or sharing knowledge on a certain strain, we aim to keep you supplied with the highest quality cannabis so you can focus your time on whatever is most important in your life. In a fast-paced, go-getter culture, we want to keep you going. Because many of our patients are health-focused with particular emphasis in natural and holistic health, today is a great opportunity to serve the Leafly vegetarian.
Despite popular belief, vegetarians can easily fall victim to poor nutrition. After all, preparing vegetables can take time and moderate cooking ability, whereas many processed foods (like cookies, chips, and bread) are vegetarian and appeal to the on-the-go lifestyle. Since not all of us like munching on raw broccoli, the name of the game is finding healthy foods that taste good without degrading their nutrient value through processing and/or heating. And with that, I present nut butter.
When it comes to the vegetarian diet, there are a couple staple items you learn to depend upon, not the least of which is the almighty nut butter. What makes nut butter so special is its transformative quality, broad applicability, and versatility. After all, what would Reese’s be without the peanut butter? Nothing, that’s what it would be. From Thai peanut sauce, to a dip for celery sticks, to spread on toast, nut butters are everywhere and we couldn’t be happier. Useful for extensive cooking projects or thrown in tupperware for a snack, prepared sweet or savory, it’s never a bad time for nut butter. To top it off, depending on your nut of choice and added flavorings, the possible taste combinations are endless.
You thought nut butter couldn’t get any better until you realized it could be medicated. And because you should never shy away from a good idea, I bring to you a step-by-step process on how to make cannabis-infused nut butter, including but by no means limited to peanut butter, almond butter, and nutella.
The Easy, Store-Bought Method
- Packaged nut butter
- Cannabis-infused oil
- Buy your favorite nut butter from the store.
- Stir in cannabis-infused oil (coconut or any nut oils are great mediums), assuring 1 dose of oil is mixed with 1 serving (usually 2 TBS) of nut butter.
Note: My most recent food discovery is powdered peanut butter, which is dried peanuts and coconut sugar. To make this into medicated nut butter, simply add enough water to 1 serving of powdered peanut butter to form a thick paste and then stir in 1 dose of medicated oil. This is a lower calorie option with 85% less fat, so if you’re trying to avoid added oils in your diet, this method equalizes the oil content by replacing peanut oil with cannabis-infused oil.
The Harder, Longer, Homemade Method
This can be challenging depending upon the quality of your food processor, but as is always the case with homemade, it can be tailored to exactly fit your dietary and nutrient needs (think raw nut butter). Also, aside from the inherent difficulty in converting nuts into paste, the actual cannabis infusion is very simple.
- Cannabis-infused oil
- Flavorings (optional)
Put your nuts in the food processor (stop snickering). Process for about 20 minutes, scraping down the sides periodically to ensure even blending. To make this process easier, grind as many nuts as the processor will take and/or roast the nuts beforehand. Roasted nuts can be bought from the store or you can spread the nuts on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 °F for around 10 minutes, being sure to stir them around once or twice to avoid burning. If you want to keep this recipe raw, use raw nuts and skip the roasting. Raw nuts will take longer to process and will result in butter with shorter shelf life.
For nutella you will want to use hazelnuts, which you may want to peel before processing (or purchase peeled). Hazelnut skins are generally removed before cooking because of their bitterness and roughness, but the skin may have beneficial health effects, so it’s really your preference. Skinning can be tedious if you want to keep the hazelnuts raw, but if you don’t mind heating the nuts, it can be done rather simply by boiling the hazelnuts with baking soda.
Stir in cannabis-infused oil (coconut or any nut oils are great mediums), assuring 1 dose of oil is mixed with 1 serving (usually 2 TBS) of nut butter.
Fold in any additional flavors, avoiding any liquid additions as they will reduce shelf life. Great options are cinnamon, cocoa powder, or vanilla bean (either powder or paste, not liquid extract). Play around! For Nutella, you’ll want to add cocoa powder and vanilla bean to your hazelnut butter. Many recipes call for added sugar, but 1 cup of hazelnuts does already pack 5 grams of sugar — it’s up to you!
And there you have it, folks. I raise my glass to all veggie lovers, I raise it even higher to all who aspire to love veggies, and I wish you a life full of rainbows, smiles, and nut butter bliss.
Note: The amount of cannabis oil specified in this recipe is a very loose suggestion; the actual amount you use should be modified based on the strength of your cannabis oil and the potency you desire. Dosing homemade edibles can be tricky (click here to learn why), so the best way to test for potency is to start with one portion of a serving, wait one to two hours, then make an informed decision on whether to consume more. Always dose carefully and listen to your body, and never drive under the influence of cannabis.