Last year, I vowed never to buy pre-packaged nut milks again. This year, it’s nut butters. Not only is it easy, but you can get creative by using ANY nuts you like or mixing in fun additions (see below). It’s also potentially more nutritious, as there’s always the option of soaking the nuts first before blending. Pictured here is Brazil nut butter.
Cooking Tip: Making homemade nut butter is easy, but takes longer than you’d think. All you need is a good food processor; one that won’t burn out after 10 minutes. It takes a good 12 minutes of blending for the nuts to release their oils for the right creamy texture. Stopping before this stage will not yield the expected buttery consistency.
Nutrition Tip: Soaking the nuts will extract the phytic acids (compounds that bind minerals) making them more digestible. But, to get the expected creamy texture of a true nut spread, soaked nuts should be dehydrated for 10-12 hours or the water will restrict the oils from releasing. That said, if I don’t have time to dehydrate, I make the butter anyways! The texture isn’t typical, but it still tastes delicious.
Food processor or high-speed blender (Vita-Mix)
2 cups organic raw nuts, optionally soaked in water to cover for 8-12 hours, and dehydrated
Stevia, honey or maple syrup
Vanilla or almond extract
Raw cocoa powder or cocao nibs
Puree of dried fruit
Place the nuts into a food processor and start blending, leaving out the optional sweetener, salt or any other additions for now. Blend for 11-12 minutes, scraping down the sides frequently (especially in the beginning) until the oils release and you have a creamy, smooth butter.
Note: the nuts will go through several stages along the way: they will crumble, clump, ball, redistribute and then finally… the oils will release and you’ll have a nice, creamy buttery spread. Don’t give up until you reach this imperative stage!
Mix any of the additions in by hand (I recommend adding a little salt, if anything). Keeps in the refrigerator for several weeks.