Almonds, cashews, macadamias, Brazil…
Whether combined or simply on their own, nut butters are such a wonderful staple to have in the pantry. And yes, I’m talking about the no-added-anything nut butters, pure and simple. You can buy them in the supermarket, such is their popularity these days, but when a tiny jar can cost up to $10 (?!?) it can be easily struck off the shopping list.
So, why not make your own? Seriously easy, taking hardly any time at all and 100% satisfying (watching the transformation from crunchy nuts into delicious gooey-ness makes me strangely happy), you’re almost guaranteed to never buy ready-made again.
Almonds are the best starting point and make a delicious butter on their own. But combined with cashews, macadamias or Brazil nuts you can subtly change the flavour and change the texture too.
Feel free to experiment with your own combinations – and even try adding in spices like cinnamon or cardamom!
2-3 cups whole raw almonds (or combination of nuts of your choice)
Himalayan sea salt, to taste
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius.
Place almonds (or whichever nuts you’re using) on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes or until they’re nice and golden brown. Watch them carefully as they can go from barely baked to burnt pretty quickly!!!
Remove the tray from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes before popping the nuts in a food processor (you can use a good blender but a food processor works best) with the salt.
Start blending on a low/medium speed (my food processor only has one speed so I just push the ‘ON’ button and let it do its thing). Scrape down the sides of the bowl as required. The nuts will turn from roughly chopped to fine crumbs pretty quickly and then the process will probably seem to have hit a plateau…
Now, this is the part where you need to be PATIENT! Like a saint – seriously. I have found that blending the nuts when they’re warm helps speed up the butter-making process so hopefully you won’t have to spend more than 15 minutes here. But if you do, don’t panic – it will work.
As the blades continue to gnaw away at the almonds, the natural oils will start to bind the crumbly mixture together. At this stage, a dough-like consistency will form. KEEP GOING! Eventually, the oils will separate and the ‘dough’ will become more liquified and a beautiful butter will begin to ooze around the bowl. (I usually keep the processor running for a minute or so more to get the consistency nice and gooey)
Store in a jar in a cool spot in your pantry. I don’t refrigerate mine but if you prefer to, just remember it will solidify so if you want that gooey texture, just remove it from the fridge first and let it come to room temperature.
I would love to hear how you go making your own nut butter. And what combinations you have tried!