how to make nut butter

did you know that the very first argument I had with my now-husband was over nut butter?

i kid you not. 

almond butter to be exact. 

he was hanging out in my apartment one day while I was at work and I had made a fresh batch of almond butter the day before.

now let me stop here and give you a little more context: at that time in my life, I was paying off some hefty student loans and fed myself on an impressively tight food budget. He, on the other hand, had lived alone for more than 10 years and had never been told what he could or couldn't eat.

Anyway.

I came home from work and the entire jar of almond butter was gone.

the ENTIRE thing. 

that would have fed me for 2 weeks! 

And good nuts are expensive. 

needless to say, i was not too impressed. 

and so began our future of many disagreements over food. 

the only way to make homemade nut butter last more than a few days in my house nowadays is by hiding it in the back of the cupboard in an opaque container. Unfortunately he usually finds it there anyway but at least I get a bit of a head start.

right?

seriously though. nut butter remains one of my most favorite treats of all time and when you make it yourself there are endless flavor possibilities. 

chocolate hazelnut

eggnog

spiced pecan

cinnamon almond

salted vanilla

savoury rosemary

crunchy

smooth

....you get the idea. 

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here are the basics: 

roast about 2 cups of nuts at 350 for 10-15 minutes. keep a close eye on them and toss them around every few minutes so the don't burn. **

allow the nuts to cool for a few minutes, then transfer to your food mixer/vitamix. 

just a note on quantity: I usually stick to 2 cups at a time as it is easiest for my vitamix to process. If you have a fancy food processor you could probably double the recipe. If you have a vitamix, don't do more than two cups. trust me - you've been warned. 

now turn your vitamix/food processor on low and wait. Seriously, patience is key here. Don't go blasting the thing on high or it will over heat. Slow is best. 

every once in a while, stop the machine and scrape down the sides, then turn it back on.

once the nuts reach a creamy consistency you can up the speed to make the butter smooth. 

at this point you have made nut butter. 

now (and only now - not before!! seriously, only now) you can add in flavours. 

my current favorite is: 

  • 2 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • a sprinkle each of cinnamon and vanilla powder
  • a few drops of nunaturals vanilla stevia

blend for a minute or two. 

and voila.  

You have a delicious treat made in under half an hour that hopefully won't be devoured in the same timeframe.

some notes on nut butter: 

  • its great for you
  • tons of healthy fats
  • but even 1tbsp is a lot. Like 100 calories a lot. 

so be modest, and please please please do not eat the entire jar in one afternoon - for your girlfriend's sake AND your own :) 


**technically, you can also make raw nut butter. Personally, I prefer roasted because it brings out a great 'nutty' flavor. Cashew butter is my exception. If you buy really good organic raw nuts - raw nut butter is best. But if you're like me and can't afford to feed your husband's nut butter habit with organic raw nuts so you buy the cheap ones at Costco - then you should stick to roasting.