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Fit 4 Thursday - Fuel Butter...The Scientific Way!

Hello, all!  Dana here.  If you know me at all, you know I have a very curious mind.  You may also know that I often will venture out on my own to discover my own answers.  What's that you say?  The answers for why or how to do pretty much anything probably already exists on that amazing place we call the Internet?  Super-duper!  I will now ignore all that and embark on my own journey of discovery.  That's just how my brain works.  I have to see it for myself, much to the chagrin of those around me.

Pro-tip for dealing with me: If you tell me something and I don't immediately believe you, opting instead to investigate for myself, do not be offended.  I repeat, do not be offended.  You'll only waste both our time and energy.  It's never anything personal; I do this to literally* everyone around me.

*Please note, actual, proper use of the word "literally" here.  Not just using it for emphasis.
Okay, so still on this subject, you know that old almond vs. peanut debate?  I see almonds touted as the superior foodstuff online a lot, but then you see other people promoting peanuts.  But superior in what way?  Is the latter just because peanuts are cheaper and easier to grow?  Is the former perceived as better because it's more expensive, or is there some actual truth to that claim.  Aye, there's the rub.  Being the born and raised skeptic that I am, whenever someone says, "Such-and-such is better", I must ask, "Better in what way?".  Doesn't that all depend on what you're looking for?  As is my way, I decided to look into this and decide for myself which I thought would be better for me as a running fuel food.  My explorations soon led me to this handy-dandy website:

That, dear readers, is the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, and what a handy tool it is!  Click the "Start Your Search Here" button and then you can look up the nutritional information on any number of foods.  I am a proud geek at heart, so I started a spreadsheet and used conditional formatting to compare things like vitamin and mineral content, poly and monounsaturated fat levels, calorie content, etc....all the factors I wanted to compare in this tiny, personal study.  Using a quarter cup as my control amount for both peanuts and almonds, peanuts came up the winner for me!  I didn't stop there, though.  I then began to wonder how other nuts (I know, peanuts are not actually nuts) would stack up.  And I began to add seeds to the mix, too.  My spreadsheet grew.  In the end, I had five front runners--First was sunflower seeds, followed by peanuts, followed by pumpkin seeds, and almonds and hazelnuts were just behind.  You know what happened then?  You guessed it!  I decided to make a recipe.

Dana's Fuel Butter

  • 1 part sunflower seeds, hulled
  • 1 part peanuts, shelled
  • 1 part pumpkin seeds
  • 1 part almonds
  • Canola or olive oil, enough to thin your butter as desired
*Astute readers may have noticed I left hazelnuts out.  I like them, but I wanted to keep this a little more simple.
**I used a mix of canola and olive oil since olive oil can have a pretty strong flavor, but ranks higher in poly and mono unsaturated fats.  Yes!  More research!  This came from Wikipedia's cooking oil chart.

Toss all the nuts and seeds into a food processor and let 'er rip until everything is a gritty consistency (you will not get a completely smooth butter).  Drizzle in your oil until the butter reaches the desired consistency.

I've mentioned before that Trader Joe's is my #1 source for seeds and nuts.  I sometimes go there just for these, and when almond butter can go for $11 just for one little jar, buying an entire bag is a savings in the long run.  Oh, and you might notice that most of my seeds and nuts here are raw.  I often buy raw seeds and nuts so that I can have the option of toasting them (another issue that people like to argue about).  I didn't end up doing that this time around, though I might next time just to see what the flavors do. 

There's everything together.  Like my initial research, I only did a quarter cup of each for this batch.  After all, if I ended up hating this concoction, I didn't want to have too much left over.  Now, BRRRRRRRZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!

All done!  And it's so delicious!  I'm really glad I chose the proportions I did because everything is balanced.  I can taste the sunflower seeds and the peanuts, while a friend of mine really noticed the pumpkin seed flavor.  And with this, you get goodness from all the ingredients!  You can switch this up however you like, add less or none of one ingredient, add in some new ones.  I can tell you, though, this went great with the banana pictured, and it's really nice with apple slices, too.  Great fuel food that's fully customizable to every taste and desired result.


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