In recent years, and especially as I become more in tune with nature, I have come to really notice a difference in all aspects of my life as the seasons shift. I don't spend too much time thinking about it, but when I stop to acknowledge my dietary patterns, cravings, thoughts, feelings, moods, emotions, body temperature and other physical and mental adjustments, I notice that most of them are changing in sync with the weather, the moon phases and the elemental adjustments of each season. Typically, pecans - although nowadays not especially seasonal as they are available pretty much all year round - are harvested from late September through to the end of November. Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches that nuts are warming and hot in nature and so eating nuts during Autumn and Winter is thought to help to keep us warm, internally. With their healthy fats, high protein content and abundance of vitamins and minerals, most nuts are known to nourish and strengthen the kidneys, the brain and the heart, which all need a little extra attention during the colder months as we become more susceptible to illness.
This pecan and cinnamon butter is so simple yet highly effective, both nutritionally and energetically speaking. Cinnamon, a spice associated with the Fire element (which is the element of confidence and action, and which helps to cleanse and protect) adds extra warmth to this recipe, as well as adding aromas that can reduce fatigue and drowsiness - common side-effects of seasonal transitions into colder, darker climes. I've been enjoying this by the spoonful, stirred through breakfast bowls (such as Qnola and coconut yoghurt, chia seed porridge and smoothie bowls) and added to smoothies, tonics and adaptogen lattes. It's also delicious used as a dressing or blended into other dressings for savoury meals.
1. Preheat the oven to 160c. Spread the pecans evenly on a flat baking tray and once the oven is warm, place on a middle rack. Leave to toast for 10-12 minutes, until they begin to darken in colour and become aromatic.
2. Remove from the oven and transfer immediately to a food processor. Pulse for a minimum of 5 minutes on highest speed, stopping the machine to scrape down the sides, as required. The length of time required for the nuts to bind a liquified 'butter' will depend on the strength of your food processor. If necessary, pulse for up to 12 minutes until smooth.
3. Transfer to a jar or other pot and enjoy, or store in the fridge for up to 2 months.
200g raw pecans
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla powder, paste, extract or seeds from a pod
½ teaspoon Maca (optional)
Pinch of salt (himalayan pink or sea)