Recipe by: Mary White, MS, RD, LD
Advantages of Making Your Own Nut Butters
Why take the time to make your own nut butter? Commercial nut butters often contain hydrogenated oils, added sugars/salt, and additives needed to enhance shelf-life and act as emulsifiers/stabilizers. With the aid of a food processor, making your own nut butters is a quick and easy task. When making your own nut butter at home, you have more control in regards to the ingredients (example: amount of added sugar/salt/oil, choice of flavorings, addition of heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids such as flaxseeds or flaxseed oil, etc.) and the source of nut (example: country of origin, organic nuts vs. non-organic nuts, single type or multiple types of nuts, etc.).
4 Easy Steps to Make Your Nut Butters
- Go Nuts! – Select Your Nut: If you can locate them at your grocery store or food retailer, try using shelled green or raw nuts and roasting them for optimal flavor. Another way to experiment with flavors is to try making nut butters with one variety or a blend of nuts. Because cashews are more expensive per pound, I love making peanut-cashew butter!
- The Toast: By toasting nuts in the oven, their natural, often buttery flavors are more enhanced. To toast, spread nuts evenly on an unlined baking sheet. Roast on 400 degrees F for about 5 minutes. Stir nuts halfway through cooking to ensure even baking. Alternatively, you can toast your nuts on your stovetop. To do so, pour nuts into skillet and place on stove. Heat skillet over medium heat. Spread nuts into single layer. Toss nuts to make sure they are toasted and fragrant, approximately 5 minutes.
- Blend It Up: Using a food processor, blend your choice of toasted nuts and oil together! I recommend using canola oil since it is cost-effective, mild flavored, and helps give nut butters a desired smooth, shiny consistency. How long you blend your nut butter for will depend on your texture preferences. Less blending will produce a chunkier nut butter, but more blending will give you a smoother, creamier nut butter.
- Nuts About Flavors: Got a sweet tooth? Need just a pinch of salt? Craving a spicy kick? You decide what and how much spices, dried herbs, natural extracts, added sugar, and/or salt to add to your nut butters.
- 2 cups peanuts, unsalted, dry-roasted
- ½ cup cocoa
- ½-¾ cup powdered sugar*
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp canola oil
*Note: I like to use ½ cup of powdered sugar in this recipe for my family. However, feel free to adjust based on taste preferences.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread peanuts in an even layer on an ungreased cookie sheet. Roast peanuts about 5 minutes, stirring them halfway to toast evenly. Pulse peanuts in a food processor until they create a paste. Scrape down the sides on the food processor. Continue to pulse until peanuts reach desired creamy consistency. Add cocoa, sugar, salt, and oil. Process until well blended. Stir down the sides on food processor again, if needed.
Honey Cashew-Peanut Butter
- 2/3 cup cashews, unsalted, dry-roasted
- 1/3 cup peanuts, unsalted, dry-roasted
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of chipotle chile pepper
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread cashews in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Roast cashews for 5 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time to toast evenly. Once cooled, process cashews in food processor until ground. Add honey and spices. Continue to pulse till mixed. Scrape down sides on food processor, if needed. Add melted coconut oil and process until desired consistency is reached.
Do you make your own nut butters? Share your favorite recipe in the comments below. For more information on how to include more nuts in your diet, check out our blog post on 5 Tasty Ways to Get Your Daily Dose of Nuts.