Making your own delicious nut butter is a quick and easy task that takes less than 10 minutes, and the only equipment that you need is a food processor. When you buy nut butters at the store, even the most natural options often have added sugars in the form of agave syrup, cane sugar or honey. When you make your own nut butters at home, you can control exactly what ingredients you consume.
Start with your favorite type of organic nuts, and make sure they are fresh. Nuts contain oils, which can spoil after a while and go bad. If you’ve had your nuts for a while, check them before you begin the recipe. You’ll know it if your nuts are spoiled, because rancid oils have a putrid smell and taste. Nuts should always be stored in an airtight container, preferably in a cool, dry, dark place. Your pantry is a fine home for your nuts for the first three months. For storage up to six months, keep the nuts in your pantry; for storage up to one year, stash them in your freezer. Don’t forget to label your nuts with the date. Whole, roasted, unsalted nuts tend to keep longer than chopped, raw, salted ones.
This recipe makes about 1 ¼ cups of nut butter.
- 2 cups almonds, cashews, pistachios, pecans, walnuts, peanuts or macadamia nuts (raw, shelled and unsalted)
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (coconut, extra-virgin olive oil, or hemp oil are good choices)
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine your nuts, salt and oil. You can always start with a smaller amount of oil, and then add more as needed until the butter develops the right consistency.
- Blend the mixture, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally, until the butter turns from chopped to creamy – about 5 to 10 minutes.
- If needed, add more oil and salt to taste. If you like your nut butter chunky, add extra chopped nuts after your butter becomes creamy and smooth.
- Store your nut butter in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Tips & Alternatives
For easier spreading, remove the portion of nut butter that you will be eating or serving, and let it come to room temperature first.
Upgrade the nutritional profile by tossing in a few teaspoons of ground flaxseeds or chia seeds. If you have whole seeds, you’ll have to use a spice grinder to grind them up – food processors usually aren’t fine enough for these little seeds.
If you prefer a bolder, deeper nut flavor to your spread, simply dry roast the nuts before you get started. Spread your nuts on a single, even layer on a cookie sheet and bake for five minutes in an oven pre-heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. After five minutes, stir your nuts well and return to bake for three more minutes. Continue stirring and checking every two minutes, until your nuts are a few shades darker and they start to smell nutty. The whole process rarely takes more than 12 minutes.
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Nut butter image via Shutterstock