How to Make Nut Butter
Making your own nut butter at home is far easier than you think. Read on for a basic recipe, tips and tricks you can use to make nut butter from any nut (or combination of nuts) of your choosing.
STILLNESS • SNACKS • ANY SEASON
I eat a lot of nut butter.
And when I say ‘a lot’, I mean that I regularly visit the cabinet where the nut butter is kept with a spoon in my hand. And not just any spoon, but the biggest spoon I can find in the drawer. Let’s just say, if I could fit a shovel filled with nut butter into my mouth, I would.
Needless to say, at some point, it became very clear that I was going to need to address my nut butter habit, or I was literally going to eat us out of house and home. Those little jars are expensive, after all, and they don’t tend to stick around for very long when you add me into the equation.
Not willing to consider a life deprived of ample nut butter supplies, however, I got crafty and learned how to make my own. The thing is, it’s so simple you will cry at all the time you’ve wasted not making it yourself. All it takes is a good food processor, a few minutes and some nuts. And maybe a pinch of salt. That’s it.
Why should I make my own nut butter?
Everyone is busy, that I know. I wouldn’t suggest adding any extra kitchen labor into your life unless I felt confident that it was time worth spending. Your own home-made nut butter is just so worth it. Here’s why:
You will never have to stir another jar of separated nut butter again.
Is this not reason enough? Trying to force oil back into a solid mass of nut pulp has got to be one of life’s more torturous activities and one I would gladly never have to do again. I’ve had home-made nut butter I’ve made sit for months in the cabinet and it has NEVER SEPARATED. Not once.
It’s better for your budget.
A 14 oz jar of organic cashew butter costs $15. You can buy one pound of organic cashew pieces for around $10 to make the same amount, saving you $5 every time you make nut butter. That’s over a $100 in savings per year if you eat nut butter the way that I do (probably more…).
It’s better for the environment.
If you use one jar of nut butter per month, making your own means 12 less containers to be recycled or worse, end up in the landfill. Making your own means you aren’t wasting containers you don’t need.
It’s better for your health and your tastebuds.
Oils go rancid. This is a fact of life. And the longer that jar of nut butter sits on a shelf before you consume it, the higher chance the oils have degraded and oxidized, leading to inferior flavor and negative impacts in your body. If you make your own, you know you are getting the freshest product possible.
You can make it your own.
The world is your oyster. Add chocolate or a touch of honey and cinnamon. Throw in some hemp seeds, some freeze-dried raspberry powder or a little flax. Sneak in a few tablespoons of maca or reishi mushroom powder. Once you start making your own nut butter, an entire universe of possibilities opens up for you.
What do I need to make my own nut butter?
Now that I’ve hopefully convinced you of the worthiness of making your own and have you raring to get started on your first batch, let’s talk about what you are going to need.
Most health food shops have a good selection of bulk nuts or you can order them online in bulk. I like nuts.com (I’m receiving no financial incentive for suggesting them, I just really like their product). You can also find them on Amazon quite easily. Just make sure they are fresh and store extras in the fridge. I tend to go for peanut, almond and cashew but you can really use any nut, combination of nuts, or combination of nuts and seeds. If you use seeds, I find using 2/3 nuts and 1/3 seeds works best.
A high powered food processor
If you don’t have a good food processor, you just won’t be able to make good nut butter. Or you will, but it will be a horrible, time intensive process involving over-heating your motor, stalling the machine, waiting for it to cool, repeat until eventually the machine just dies. I have killed A LOT of food processors in my time, and almost always by making nut butter.
The very best food processor on the market, in my opinion, is the Breville Sous Chef (affiliate link). It’s a hulk of a machine with a high torque 1,200 W motor that can handle just about anything you throw at it. It also has all sorts of bells and whistles, like a super wide feed shoot, an adjustable slicing dish and — my favorite feature — a closed shaft for the blade so you don’t have things leaking out the bottom. It’s a little bit of an investment, sure. But would you rather have one amazing food processor that lasts 30 years and can do everything you want? Or a cheap one that you will have to replace every few years that can’t do much?
You can of course add salt and other embellishments, but the rest is up to you.
How to Make Nut Butter
Total time: 25 minutes
Makes 1 jar
3 cups (400 g) nuts of your choice
1 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Roast the nuts on a baking tray for 10 minutes, or just until lightly golden and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
Place the nuts in a food processor and process for about 1 minute, until the mixture has formed a meal and starts creeping up the sides. Open the top and scrape down the sides and then continue to process. The nuts will eventually form a clump and then will break down completely into a smooth, creamy nut butter. This will take about 10 minutes depending on the nut (a little less for peanuts, more for almonds). Just keep going, scraping down the sides as needed, until you’ve reached the consistency you like. I typically keep processing until the mixture is runny and falls off my spatula.
Scrape into a clean jar or container and store in cool, dry place.
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