Nut Butter: A Staple Part of an Athlete's Diet
Creams and butter made from nuts and seeds can really add to the nutritional value of your meals in a healthy way. Some of the best known include tahini (a sesame seed purée) and peanut butter. But did you know that you can use almost any nuts or seeds? Have you ever tried to make nut butter?
How to make nut butter
The most basic recipe pretty much just involves crushing the nuts of your choice in a food mixer or food processer. But how much should you use?
For a decent amount, we recommend that you use 7 oz of peeled walnuts, toast them, and crush them with a pinch of salt and cinnamon or vanilla extract.
But you’ll need to be patient because this can take 10-15 minutes, even with a powerful mixer. Gradually, the mixture will become creamier. As you crush the nuts, they release their oils to create a smoother texture. In fact, this oil makes nut butter a great source of polyunsaturated fats.
Recipes for athletes
Tofu, dried tomato, and nut paté
Being an athlete and a vegan can be challenging, but this recipe can help break any monotony in your diet. After all, nuts are a source of vegetable protein.
Combined with proteins from other vegetables, such as legumes, nuts are the main source of protein in a vegetarian diet. You can spread nut butter on bread or use it as an ingredient in another paste.
Ingredients (serves 2)
- 4.5 oz of tofu (made from soy)
- 1 oz of dried tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons of ground almonds
- 6 nuts
- One teaspoon of nutritional yeast
- Half a glass of unsweetened soy milk
How to make it
First, blend the nuts with soy milk. You can also do this to make nut butter. Then, add the rest of the ingredients and continue processing until you have a smooth texture.
We recommend you leave it to rest in the fridge before you consume it, for a smoother texture. You can use it as a dip for carrot sticks or even as a garnish for a rocket salad.
Homemade cold cuts
Cold cuts are one of the most popular foods amongst athletes. However, sometimes, it’s not quite as nutritious as we might think.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not a good source of protein since it contains starches or caseins to make the product cheaper. This recipe is an alternative for those who want to eat good quality cold cuts.
- Two eggs
- 10.5 oz of skinless chicken breast
- Three Brazil nuts
- A handful of pistachios (about 1.5 oz)
- Oregano, ground black pepper, turmeric, salt, and sesame seeds to taste
How to make it
First, mix the chicken with the eggs in the food mixer. Once you have a smooth mixture, add the nuts and spices until you have a sticky paste.
Next, pour the mixture in a pre-greased mold, sprinkle the sesame seeds on top, and cook in the oven for 30 minutes at 350º F. You can eat it hot or cold.
Roasted yams with gremolata
Potatoes and yams are very complete foods and are a common part of an athlete’s diet. Here’s a recipe that combines the sweet taste of roasted yams with a variant of an Italian sauce, gremolata.
- One yam
- Virgin olive oil to prepare the yam in the oven
- Two closed handfuls of chopped walnuts (approx. 3 oz)
- Half a glass of chopped parsley
- Lemon zest
- Red chili, garlic, and salt to taste
How to make it
Roast the yam in the oven for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the gremolata by putting all the ingredients in a food processor or mixer until you get a light texture. If you don’t have a mixer, just finely chop everything with a knife. Then, remove the yam from the oven and serve with the gremolata on top.
There’s so much you can do with nut butter!
These suggestions are a great way to increase your protein intake. After all, nuts are a good protein source and there are lots of things you can do with nut butter!It might interest you...