Giveaway + Recipe: Nut Butter Universe

Hello! Firstly, I’ve been hearing a lot lately about the FTC (Federal Trade Commission, for those of you who give a shit) tightening guidelines related to humble (and usually piss poor, I might add) bloggers and what they call “sponsored content.” I hardly think that reviewing a cookbook or product that I think is freaking amazing – with zero fiscal remuneration – is being “sponsored” (air quotes), but to protect myself and, most importantly, Banjo (she’s had some scuffles with the law in the past), I gotta preface this otherwise rad post by denoting that it is SPONSORED.

banjo the little foxes subaru commercial vegan recipes style

Look closely at the driver. Taken from a traffic cam on Lakeshore Drive. Those were some bleak days when Banjo was refusing haircuts and carjacking.

Nut Butter Universe by Robin Robertson

Okay, now that we got that outta the way, let’s talk about nuts. This is probably my pal, Claire’s (from Eat Well. Party Hard) happy place book because she’s in China and she ain’t got no peanut butter (or machine to make any), so I’m sending her some. Let me just start by saying that if you’re the kind of person who can be found with a spoon in the jar of peanut butter at 3am, hair a mess and an expression of bliss on your face, (1) you’re my kind of people and (2) this book is going to be your new bedside companion.

nut butter universe the little foxes vegan recipe review style

Robin Robertson has done it again with Nut Butter Universe (Vegan Heritage Press, 2013). She’s prolific (like the Danielle Steele of the veg cookbook realm) in the kitch and on the page, and this book, with its delightfully colorful and gummy-feeling cover (seriously, I can stop touching it. Am I weird?) is one of my favorites. For one, the recipes are easy-to-follow with mostly simple, whole ingredients that one can acquire pretty much anywhere. This is good because I plan on giving this to people for the holidays and I really don’t want to field calls about black salt and Ultratex and stuff like that.

Secondly, the recipes are patently delish. Like, you really can’t go wrong here. Why? Because unless you have an allergy, everyone loves stuff enrobed in creamy nut butters. Duh. Plus, Robertson lays out the basics, so you can start by making your own tahini and cashew mayo to incorporate in to more elaborate dishes later.

Here are the recipes I made and really, really enjoyed:

  • Nutty Parmesan
  • Raw Sesame Butter (Tahini)
  • African Peanut Soup
  • Smoke and Spice (my two favorite things in food) Almond Hummus
  • Cashew Goddess Dressing (#totesamaze)
  • Almond Mashed Potato Cakes
  • Nutty Buddy Burgers (these were a PROBLEM for me)
  • Peanut Butter Cups (drool over the photographic evidence below)

nut butter universe the little foxes vegan recipe review style

Oh, and these. Which Robin and VHP have kindly allowed me to share with you beautiful people.

nut butter universe the little foxes vegan recipe review style

Spicy Walnut Green Beans

If you don’t want the heat of the red pepper flakes, there’s no need to pass on this dish – it’s very flavorful without them. Mirin is a sweet Japanese cooking wine made from rice. It is available in supermarkets, Asian markets, and natural food stores. To make this soy-free, use coconut aminos instead of tamari.

Yields 4 servings


  • 1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons walnut butter
  • 2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon mirin or water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon neutral vegetable oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste


  1. Steam the green beans just until tender, about 5 minutes. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the walnut butter, tamari, sesame oil, mirin, and sugar and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the reserved beans in batches and stir-fry for 30 seconds, transferring the cooked beans to a platter.
  4. When all the beans have been removed, add the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes to the same pan and stir-fry for 10 seconds.
  5. Return the beans to the pan and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
  6. Add the reserved walnut butter mixture and stir-fry until the beans are hot and coated with the sauce, about 30 seconds.

From Nut Butter Universe by Robin Robertson. ©2013 Robin Robertson. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press. Photo by Lori Maffei.

 Nut Butter Universe Giveaway

You know I don’t play on here. If I’m gonna review something, I’m also gonna give it away to one of you. This SPONSORED post is no different. Enter to win here. US residents only, please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  • aimeed28

    I would have to say it’s a toss up between walnuts and pecans, although I do love all, except maybe Brazil nuts – just can’t seem to like those.

  • Abby @ The Frosted Vegan

    Look at those cups!! Gimme them all!!

  • Martha

    That nut butter cup! OMG! I need that in my life…

  • Jeni

    Pecans are my favorite!

    • The Little Foxes

      That’s the right answer. Pecans are always the right answer.

  • Kitteeeeeeeee

    Your sponsorship stresses me out!

    • The Little Foxes

      Right? Me too. Apparently any cookbook review and giveaway is considered a sponsorship. You, too, Kittee have been bamboozled in to sponsorships. AHHHHHHH. Free me from the shackles!

  • Nora

    Really people? I’m the only pistachio nut? Fine. More for me!!!!! mwhahaha

    • The Little Foxes

      HA! I love you. And your pistachios.

  • Bianca- Vegan Crunk

    Love this book, but I have it so don’t enter me (that sounds dirty, but you know what I mean!). On the whole FTC thing though, the way I read the rules disclosure of a sponsored post is required when you’re being compensated or have an affiliation with a company. But most blogger review are simply reviews. A company sends a product or cookbook for free, and you’re asked to review it. But like with reviews in newspapers and magazines, you’re free to share your honest opinion with no obligation to only say nice things. I work at a newspaper, and we get free stuff to review all the time, but since its not advertising but editorial content, we don’t have to say anything is sponsored b/c unless there’s compensation (other than the free sample product), it’s not sponsored but rather an editorial review.

    But I’m not a lawyer, just a journalist….so I wouldn’t necessarily trust me 😉 But that’s how I believe it works.

  • Margot C

    Sorry, I can not say ‘filberts’ while pecans exist in the world – my love for them is deep

  • Danielle

    I really like them all but cashews are probably my favorite with pistachios and Brazil nuts as close runner-ups! What can I say, I’m nuts about nuts! Love me some nuts! Okay, I’ll stop now.

  • Ellery

    The peanut makes me feel like a little girl again, so I love it, but I love almonds for their butter, and I love the experience and taste of pistachios, and I love cashews for making sauces, and I love walnuts for their health benefits! I love them all – cant choose!!!

  • Kim K

    My favorite nut is pistachios!

  • AshleyN

    Walnuts are my favorite nuts to put in EVERYTHING- muffins, pasta, salads, or just plain as a snack! Also though, even if it’s not a nut, pumpkin seeds are seriously addicting too! :)

  • Cassandra

    Oh, nut butters. Filler of my belly and my soul. You know what I miss from my college days? Those gigantic five-pound tubs of Adams peanut butter. Where can I get my hands on some of those?

  • Margot C

    I can not in all honesty say ‘filberts’ while pecans exist in this world – I love them.

  • Becky Striepe

    My favorite nut is cashews. Also, “nut butter” makes me laugh like a middle schooler, even though I cook with it and say it ALL THE TIME. I’m not sorry!

  • Hailey

    Pistachios for sure. But nuts are great all around, obviously. I’ve been dying to get a copy of this book. Thanks for the giveaway :)

  • clairesuellentrop

    Oof, you’re right on the money up there, gal. That shoutout made. my. DAY. And now I know where the inspiration for that unbelievably delicious-looking peanut butta cup photo came from. Droooooooool.

  • gigiveganville

    Only 6 days 2 minutes left, woo got here just in time. Glad to see that there are some other bloggers who have had a scuffle with the law. Banjo is a blogger right. I think I need this book, since I am feeling the need to steal nut butter books again. My Probation Officer won’t like that, so I would rather win. Happy to find another another theatre geek, vegan, blogger, Hellman lover :)

  • Lydia Claire

    Peanuts are number one and cashews are very close behind.

  • Tari Allen

    Any nut makes a unique and flavorful butter!

  • Tari Allen

    Any nut makes a butter that has its own unique deliciousness.

  • Tari Allen

    Any nut I love, and they all make unique and flavorful butters!

  • Kim Oakes

    Actually, I do like filberts! They are the ones I always eat first when I buy mixed nuts.

  • Jennifer K

    My favorite nuts are macadamias but they’re so darn expensive!

  • Margot C

    I can not, if I am honest, say ‘filberts’ while there remains even one pecan in this world.

  • thepeacepatch

    Cashews are my cheap thrill, pistachios rock when I want to get spendy. But I’ll dump any and all of them into a blender to make nut butters which I could eat all day, straight from the blender if I’m craving a nutbuttery coma.

  • Laurie


  • jacquie

    actually i’m enjoying some hazelnut/filbert nut butter currently and is seriously good. Next up on my list to try is walnut.

  • ammauceri

    Flavored almonds! YUM :)

  • Becca F

    My favorite nuts are almonds, especially when they’re smoked!

  • Suzanne Sanger

    I’ll happily say filberts. My all-time favorite cookie is “Crescents”, made by my mother for decades with ground filberts. I don’t like them salted, but in these cookies, they are to die for. Of course, now that I’m a vegan, I can’t eat Mother’s cookie recipes anymore. LOL.

  • Kelly G.


  • gaildawson


  • Pingback: Lots of giveaways today! No really… I mean a lot! | Vegan Perks()

  • Ali Seiter

    Hazelnuts, pistachios, almonds.

  • Ryan D

    Cashews. These might be the most versatile nut.

  • Chelsea

    Almonds are my favorite!

  • whittney


  • Gaby

    Cashews and macadamias…of course I love the expensive ones! Second (or third place) is almonds.

  • Laura

    i love beechnut…but as they are not to find in bags :-( i mostly eat almonds and cashews and walnuts (ahhhh i cant decide)!

  • Laura

    i love beechnuts but as you cant find them in a store 😛 i mostly eat almonds, chashews, sunflowerseeds, walnuts….damn i cant decide :-/ i love them all!!!

  • Allison (Spontaneous Tomato)

    Almonds or pistachios! …or walnuts… I’m so torn!

  • Nicole Selah Destrampe

    Brazil Nuts and Hazelnuts it’s a toss up!