I’m a nut and seed butter fanatic: I devour whole wheat peanut noodles, toss salads with tahini dressing, stir globs of walnut butter into my morning oatmeal, and even eat almond butter straight off the spoon for a snack. High in healthy fat, nut and seed butters are creamy, satisfying, and will add bulk to a meal so you’ll stay full for hours. And since they’re a plant-based protein, they’re easy on the environment.
One thing that’s not so awesome about nut and seed butters? The price. With the exception of peanut butter, these spreads cost a pretty penny. My local co-op sells almond butter and tahini at around $9 a pound, and walnut butter at a whopping $15 a pound (hempseed, pumpkin seed, and pistachio butters cost even more. Yikes!). As a vegetarian, it’s easier for me to justify the costhormone-free, humanely raised meat would, per pound, cost a whole lot more, and since I’m not eating that, I can splurge on the nut butters instead. Still, I don’t always feel like spending half my grocery budget on the stuff, so I make my own.
DIY nut butter is simple: Toss at least a cup’s worth of nuts or seeds into your food processor, and whirl away. You might think it’s not working at first, but after a few minutes (and maybe a good scrape or two down the side of the processor with a spatula), you’ll end up with a rich nut or seed butter. Add a pinch of salt, if you’d like, or additional flavoring like maple sugar or cinnamon, and you’ve got some seriously tasty stuff. Happy eating!