All natural nut butter, handmade by Zoe Roberts of new stall, Butter Nut
The ‘clean eating’ trend of recent years has seen the rise in popularity of many a supposedly healthy foodstuff, from courgetti to charcoal—but there’s one that seems capable of bridging the considerable gap between those who treat clean eating preachings as gospel, and those who just like their food to taste nice: nut butter.
The nut butters found at Zoe Roberts’ new stall, Butter Nut, are both healthy and genuinely delicious. “You can go to health food stores and buy products with all these supposed benefits, but they taste like cardboard. It becomes a chore to eat them,” says Zoe. “For me, flavour is key.”
As with all four varieties of nut butter found at the stall, this cashew, maple and turmeric number is made by Zoe herself in south London. “It’s incredibly time consuming, but there’s something special about hand-making it; taking care with every single batch and jar. It’s really important to me.” The ingredients are mainly from local businesses in Tooting, south London. “Those I can’t buy locally come from an ethical wholesaler,” she continues. “I’m actually in the process of being certified by the Soil Association and going all organic, which is exciting.”
Everything is natural: “There are no additives or preservatives. It’s also gluten and palm oil free. The only allergy I don’t cater for is nuts.” The exact recipe, though, is a guarded secret. “There’s a particular method, which I can’t tell you! I tried lots of different ways before landing on a recipe I loved.” Roasted cashews (“I tried it raw, but I just really like the taste of roasted”) are combined with sunflower seeds, maple syrup, coconut oil, turmeric, cinnamon and ginger, and whizzed up into a smooth, sweet-spicy paste—excellent in all manner of recipes.
“It’s fantastic to cook with and I encourage my customers to do so. I like it as a marinade: just separate a bit out in a bowl, then I usually combine it with a little coconut oil, as it doesn’t have an overly powerful taste,” she explains. “You can then use that with whatever you like. It’s lovely with chicken or white fish. It’s vegan, too, so a lot of my customers like to use it with tofu.” Or, just use it with any recipe that calls for peanut butter. “It’ll make it that much more interesting—while the flavour is subtle, it’s very complex with different layers to it. You get sweetness first from the maple, then warmth from the spices.”
Zoe’s favourite thing to do with it? “I love it just with thinly sliced apple,” she smiles. “Cinnamon apples were one of my favourite foods growing up. It takes me back to my childhood.”