Before I say anything, let me put this straight: these “spreads” have absolutely nothing to do with what you find in the supermarket under the same name. A very important point to make here is: any vegetable oil should drip, not spread. If you use ANY vegetable oil that has been turned into a spreadable cream, you are consuming a heavily processed food. Natural vegetable oils drip and only saturated fats harden at room temperature or in the fridge. That’s the nature of these fats and for that reason I say: if you ask me which product is healthier, spread or butter, I will tell you with no hesitation – butter! Yes butter is a saturated fat and saturated fats are not evil. They can actually be very beneficial and I encourage their consumption as part of a natural balanced diet. If you worry about cholesterol, heart disease and weight, there’s a lot more you need to know about fats. The demonization of saturated fats is a farce and it has been going on for decades. The cracks have more than started to show. They are beginning to crumble down on our heads. But that’s another story for another post. I will no doubt talk more about it as it’s one of my favourite myth busting subjects. Now let’s continue with our home-made versions of spreadable flavours made out of many things but vegetable oils…
I put the title of this recipe in the plural because it’s more like a collection of quick suggestions to inspire people’s imagination about different alternatives to conventional spread. Of course, the easiest improvement on spread is the straight swap for butter. I suppose I’ve made that clear here so I better move on to other suggestions now 🙂
Sweet potato spread
2 sweet potatoes
Pierce the potatoes with a knife and bake for about 50 minutes. The clue to when they’re ready is: the skins become loose and the flesh comes apart with no effort whatsoever. Before you start to peel the skin, make sure they have cooled down to avoid burned finger tips.
Put the potatoes in a narrow bowl and process until smooth (I use a hand blender that is easy to wash and quick to put away). Roast sweet potatoes are naturally sweet and have a very delicate pleasant flavour that resembles vanilla.
This spread is ready to use as is but you can mix and incorporate lots of other flavours to create different versions.
Coconut and sweet potato
When blending the potatoes, you can add 1 tbsp of coconut pure and take the advantage of the warmth of the potatoes to help melt the pure whilst it gets blended in the mix. The coconut pure will add some healthy fats to the blend and make it more balanced.
Almond and sweet potato
Add 1 tbsp of white almond paste to the plain potato mix and blend well. This will incorporate the consistency a bit more and add some protein, making it more balanced.
Cashew and sweet potato
Add 1 tbsp of cashew butter to the mix and blend well. The consistency will increase in density a little more and the spread will now benefit from some added protein.
Pumpkin seed and sweet potato
Add 1 tbsp of pumpkin seed butter to the mix and blend well. The pumpkin seed butter, which you can buy from a health shop, will add protein value to the spread and also harden the consistency slightly.
As you can see, there are many versions of this spread and you can come up with your own. The nut and seed butters tend to be relatively expensive products but if you use them in this way, you will notice that a little can go a long way.
You can also use some spices such as cinnamon or add the content of a vanilla pod to the sweet potato cream. There are lots of different possibilities and you can combine three or more things into the same spread mixture. I just wanted to get you started to stimulate your imagination here. Have fun with your experiments and let me know your favourite creations. For something to use your spread on, check my recipe of savoury biscuits.