Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Nut Butters from Georgia Grinders - Inspiring Amazing Recipes!


First off, I should said hello. Hi, it's me. Remember me? I've been away for a short while. But I'm back. 
Jay and I moved into our new home about a month ago and it's been quite an adventure settling in, unpacking, and finding my way back to the kitchen and a little sanity. 
I didn't realize how much Jay likes to organize things until we moved into this house...he's like the ninja organizer. After looking for my kitchen utensils repeatedly, he finally had to walk me through the kitchen and give me a tour of his layout. And it actually all makes sense. This also explains why he is a much better dishwasher loader than me. And you should see the layout he has in the garage....unreal!
I'm still finding my way around.

Getting an invitation to attend a food blogger dinner with Georgia Grinders was the perfect excuse to reacquaint myself with some fun recipe development. All the bloggers were invited to pick out two of Georgia Grinders nut butters, create some tasty dishes, and bring them to share at the dinner. What a cool concept to bring food-lovers together.

Jaime Foster left the corporate world in 2012 to start Georgia Grinders. She wanted to start a food business with a high-quality product that would express her passion for a healthy lifestyle and she began making almond butter in small batches based on her grandfather's recipe from the '70's. 
Based out of Atlanta, the family company has continued to thrive and grow and create delicious new products. They have a wide variety, including several NaturAlmond almond butters and almond flour, peanut butters, cashew butters, and pecan butters. They recently released three powdered peanut butters as well - oh hello breakfast smoothie!
With flavors like Maple Caramel Almond Butter and Cinnamon Vanilla Pecan Peanut Nut Butter how can anyone resist? 
I can't...I eat it right out of the jar. 
High quality, natural and non-GMO ingredients....just some straightforward goodness.




My two picks were the Creamy Cashew Butter and the Pecan Peanut Butter Nut Butter.
First thought....some kind of Asian Chicken Salad with a spicy cashew nut butter dressing and lots of crunchy vegetables. Then I decided to do a Banana Whoopie Pie with a pecan peanut nut butter buttercream. Actually, it was a toss-up between making banana and pumpkin whoopie pies, but I guess some Elvis-inspiration won out!
Second thought...I need to work some candied bacon into the whoopie pie. Good call.



I have made some whoopie pies in the past. Some turned out well and some were not my favorite.
A whoopie pie is like a sandwich of two cake-like cookies, filled with a creamy, frosting type of filling. They were said to originate in the Pennsylvania Dutch country, as an Amish dessert, with a chocolate whoopie cake being the most classic.
I was so pleased with how these came out....not too sweet with the taste of the banana, bacon, and the nut butter shining through. 
Make them big or make them itty-bitty bites....up to you. 
Definitely don't skimp on the buttercream filling.



Can I just say? I LOVE this salad. It's an Asian-style Chicken & Vegetable Salad with a Spicy Cashew Nut Butter Dressing. I served it over one of my favorite mixed greens, Organic Girl's sweet & butter Mache Blend. I think I got a little carried away with how much I made....enough for a football team, not a small group of food bloggers! 
The husband was not complaining with the leftovers and neither was I....so good! Healthy and a rainbow of colors.

I really enjoyed my time at the blogger dinner and got to sample some flavorful dishes from the other bloggers! I especially liked the raw apple and almond butter pie that Lisa brought. 
It was great to meet and have the opportunity to chat with Jaime of Georgia Grinders during our meal. She was genuine, friendly, and shared openly about the company, her family, and stories about being a local business owner.
I am thrilled to be featuring her and Georgia Grinders products for a "Getting Nutty in the Kitchen" cooking class for families at Salud Cooking School early next year. I know it will be a fun time for parents and kids!

A big thank you to Debbie Rosen of The Rosen Group Atlanta for coordinating and hosting the dinner; Jaime of Georgia Grinders; and fellow bloggers:

Melissa Pelkey-Hass of The Front Porch Gourmet
Christina Russell of Body Rebooted
Lisa Washington of Set the Table with Love 
Lia Picard of The Cardigan Kitchen
Stephanie Anderson of Dishes Delicious

It was a fun and delicious night! 

For a full list of retailers that sell Georgia Grinders products, look here! For lots of recipes using Georgia Grinders nut butters, look here!


My recipes:


Asian Chicken and Vegetable Salad with Spicy Cashew Butter Dressing
Serves 10 or more


1 roasted chicken, cooled and shredded {I used a roasted chicken from Whole Foods}
1/2 green cabbage, shredded
1/3 red cabbage, shredded
2 large carrots, grated
1/2 bunch Lacinato kale, shredded
1 cup yellow bell pepper, 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup red bell pepper, 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup roasted, chopped cashews 
Your favorite greens {I used Organic Girl's Mache blend}

Dressing:
1/2 cup Georgia Grinders creamy Cashew Butter
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
4 Tablespoons lime juice, fresh
1 teaspoon fish sauce
3 Tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
1 large garlic clove, minced
1-inch ginger root, peeled and minced
1-2 Tablespoons Sriracha
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 Tablespoons warm water

In a large bowl, gently mix the cabbages, carrots, kale, and bell peppers. Set aside. 
Make dressing: place all dressing ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.

In a large bowl, mix the shredded chicken with enough of the dressing to lightly coat the meat. Set aside. If not serving right away, refrigerate your veggies and your chicken and remaining dressing.

To serve: scatter some of the mixed greens on a platter. Mix together the veggies and the chicken, tossing with remaining dressing. Place chicken salad on top of the mixed greens, scatter on roasted cashews.


Banana Whoopie Pies with Candied Bacon and Pecan Peanut Butter Nut Butter Buttercream
Serves 10

Candied Bacon:
3 strips Applewood-smoked bacon
Some light brown sugar
Pinch of sea salt

Whoopie cakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup ripe, mashed banana
1/2 cup plain yogurt
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
4 Tablespoons shortening {I used Earth Balance}
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Buttercream:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened but still chilled
1/2 cup Georgia Grinders Pecan Peanut Butter Nut Butter
Pinch sea salt
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 ounces confectioners' sugar, sifted

Make candied bacon:
Set the oven to 350F. Line a half sheet pan with parchment or a silicone mat. Dump some light brown sugar and a pinch of salt into a medium bowl or onto a large plate. Dredge each strip of bacon in the sugar mixture, pressing well to cover both sides. Lay strips of bacon out on the sheet pan. Bake in the oven until caramelized, about 10-15 minutes or so {watch so it doesn't burn}. Remove from oven. Using a fork, lift bacon slices off the pan and place onto a piece of parchment to completely cool. Tear or crumble candied bacon into small bits. Set aside.

Make whoopie cakes: 
Set oven to 350F. Line two half sheet pans with parchment or a silicone mat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. In another bowl, mix mashed banana with yogurt.
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, cream the butter, shortening, granulated, and brown sugar together till light and fluffy.
Add in the egg mix till incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla and mix.
Alternate adding in the flour mixture and the banana mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing just until incorporated. Do not overmix the batter.
Spoon or pipe about a tablespoon {or more for larger ones} of the batter onto the sheet pan and repeat, leaving 2-inches in between each whoopie cake. Using your finger, lightly pat down the tops of the whoopies so they are flat. Place in oven and bake about 10 minutes or until just barely golden and set. Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack.

Make buttercream:
Place butter, pecan peanut butter, salt, maple syrup, and vanilla into bowl of stand mixer that is fitted with paddle. Start on a low speed till blended and then turn up to medium speed, beating for several minutes till creamy. With speed on low, add in confectioners' sugar slowly. Beat a few more minutes till light and creamy, stopping to scrape down the bowl and paddle as needed.
Place the buttercream into a pastry bag {no need to use a tip unless you want to}.

Assemble:
Take two whoopie pies that are the same size and pipe some buttercream onto the inside of one whoopie. Take some of the candied bacon bits and sprinkle on top of the buttercream {I like getting some near the edge, so you can see them when the whoopie pie is sandwiched together}.
Place the second whoopie on top and gently press down. 
Continue with remaining whoopie cakes.













1 comment:

  1. Both of these look fantastic! Welcome back here and I hope you are enjoying your new house. Do you think you could send Jay over to teach Leslie how to load the dishwasher? (I just end up re-loading it each time!!)

    ReplyDelete