For many of our readers, winter is right around the corner. That means snow, cold weather, and a hunt for hearty snacks! Nut butters are a perfect winter snack, but can also be pretty expensive to buy. Homemade nut butters are so much cheaper, not to mention tastier, than the store bought version. It’s so simple too!
As a snack, you can dip fruit in the nut butter or you could drizzle it over waffles for a hearty dessert. Today I made walnut-pecan butter served over the Phase 1 Waffle recipe with blueberries (ALWAYS HUNGRY? Book p.223).
I prefer to mix different types of nuts to create heartier, more flavorful nut butters, but you could easily use only one type of nut. You can also experiment with adding other ingredients to your butters, such as cocoa powder to a hazelnut butter, or various types of seeds. Pumpkin or sunflower seeds make great additions, but should be mixed with some type of nut, rather than blended alone, for a more substantial butter. Seeds are also great additions if you are on a budget, since they are often cheaper than nuts and will extend the quantity of your nut butter.
Homemade Nut Butters
Choose your nuts and other ingredients. Remember that nut butter usually reduces in half, so however many nuts you begin with, you will end with about half that much nut butter (2 cups of nuts = 1 cup nut butter).
Roast the nuts (see Roasting Nuts Guide: ALWAYS HUNGRY? Book p.319 for cooking times for various nuts). It’s really as simple as placing them on a baking sheet in a preheated 350 degree F oven until fragrant.
You don’t need to roast oily nuts (macadamia, cashew, Brazil nuts). Pecans, walnuts, and seeds should be roasted to take full advantage of their flavors. Almonds, hazelnuts, and peanuts can be roasted or used raw. I prefer to lightly roast since it brings out the natural flavors of these nuts.
3) Place nuts in a food processor
4) Blend, scraping sides of the bowl regularly until nuts reach desired nut butter consistency. Oily nuts, like macadamia, cashews, and Brazil nuts, will need to blend for a shorter amount of time than dry nuts. Almonds and hazelnuts are fairly dry and will blend for the longest amount of time, about 5 minutes. Walnuts and Pecans will blend for an intermediate amount of time. I’ve added photos of each stage of blending.
First, the nuts will be coarsely ground.
Then the pieces will begin to stick together.
The nuts will begin releasing their natural oils.
Until you have a creamy nut butter!
5) Store in a glass jar with a lid. You don’t need to keep these nut butters refrigerated.