Hola mi amigas! Today I'm going to deviate from the norm just a little & deliver my first ever food/recipe-related post by teaching you all how to make your own nut butter.
Over the past 12-18 months I've begun to think a little more about what goes into our food, or more specifically, what I was putting into my mouth at breakfast. On any given day, I typically eat peanut buttered toast with a bowl of fruit for breakfast. I started thinking that the commercial peanut butter I was eating was filled with sugar & salt, something I didn't feel my body needed as I was getting enough of both throughout the day. I eventually switched to a peanut butter made by a health food store I like to frequent; but that habit began to get expensive as this fresh peanut butter was priced by its weight (and I was going through it + their almond butter far too quickly), so I thought "why not make it myself? Surely it can't be that hard!"...and it isn't. Making your own nut butters might be an adjustment for your tastebuds, but I personally feel it's worth it because at least you'll know exactly what's gone into them. I won't lie, I still occasionally buy a commercial peanut butter, but I make sure it doesn't contain sugar or salt.
Here's what you'll need to make your own salt & sugar-free nut butter:
- About 2-2 1/2 cups unsalted, roasted nuts. You can use whichever nuts you like (almonds, peanuts, macadamias, e.t.c) for your nut butter or you can use a mix of nuts, if you prefer. This will make roughly 300-400g of nut butter. For this post I'll be showing you how to make almond butter as I go through it rather quickly, but I've also successfully made my own peanut butter in the past (and will continue doing so). If your nuts aren't already roasted, scroll down the page & I'll tell you how to do it.
- A blender or large food processor. I'm using a blender here because I don't own a large food processor at present.
- A jar of some kind. I've re-purposed a small-medium jar that used to hold the aforementioned health food store-bought peanut or almond butter.
- Oil (optional). Personally, I don't add any extra oil to my nut butters as I've found that the natural oils from the nuts are enough to make my butter smooth & spreadable, but that's up to you. If you need to add oil, then I'd say about a tbsp (20mL) should be enough, but YMMV.
- Spatulas (small & large), to scoop out your nut butter & place it into your jars.
- Patience. Making your own nut butter does take a little bit of time, but its worth it, trust me!
1. Place your roasted nuts into a blender or food processor. Pulse several times until the nuts are ground into a fine meal, as shown below. I pulsed my nuts for around 1-3 seconds at a time, so this took me about 20-30 seconds.
After each stop, you'll need to scrape the sides of your blender/food processor so that your nuts are evenly blended together. Also, depending on your blender/food processor, it will take up to 3-6 times before your nuts come together to form a butter. You'll know when it's ready because it will have formed the consistency of butter & the natural oils from the nuts will be evident (see last photo below).
3. Once your nut butter has formed, scrape it all out from the jug/bowl of your blender/food processor into your jars, tighten the lid & store in a cool dry place, like your pantry. I recommend storing your nut butters in your pantry as I've found that they tend to dry out in the fridge, thus losing all of their naturally oily goodness. Alternatively, you could just dig in & start eating it whichever way you please! (See below for suggestions.)
|Might look a bit gross, but tastes really good, trust me!|
- If your nuts aren't pre-roasted, put them on a lined baking tray & bake in a pre-heated 180°C (160°C fan forced) oven for around 10 minutes, or until golden brown. DO NOT over brown them, otherwise your nut butter will taste bitter & dry. I speak from experience!
- If your nut butter appears oily when you open the jar, don't panic! Just mix that oil together with your nut butter & it'll be nice & smooth & not so oily again.
- I recommend you only keep your nut butters for about 3-4 months....provided it lasts that long!
SUGGESTIONS FOR HOW TO USE YOUR NUT BUTTERS
- Put a heaped teaspoon of almond butter into your breakfast smoothie (provided it's milk-based & not coconut water based - in that case, I wouldn't try it) or smoothie bowl. I typically do this with the raw cacao & banana/banana berry almond milk smoothies I sometimes have for breakfast. It's so good! I've also used hazelnut butter in them too & it's worked well.
- Making homemade bliss balls? Why not throw in some nut butter for protein! Experiment & see which nut butter you like the most in your bliss balls. Almond, peanut & macadamia butters are most commonly used methinks.
- Want a healthier version of Nutella, minus all the sugar? Mix together your homemade hazelnut butter, some raw cacao powder (about 1-2 tbsp should be enough, but add more to taste if you need to) & a bit of coconut oil (I'd say about 1 tbsp here should be enough too, but again, add more if need be) & you've got a new sweet treat minus the guilt.
- You could swirl a nut butter through homemade ice cream or add it to cakes. I'm not too sure how much you ought to add, so again, experiment & see what works for you.
- Slather your homemade peanut or almond butter onto toast of a morning. I love homemade peanut butter on wholemeal sourdough toast - yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum!
- Want a healthier snack? Spread a little nut butter onto seeded crackers or use as a dip for veggie sticks.
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What do you think? Have you ever tried to make your own nut butters before? How easy is this recipe!