There are no question nuts are some of the healthiest foods on the planet. They come with a range of health benefits, but at the same time, they are the perfect snack that keeps you full until your next meal. Nut butter, for instance, is just one yummy way to reap the many benefits of nuts. Plus, it combines well with baked goods, smoothies, and simple snacks.
But, commercial nut butter is not only expensive, but it’s also loaded with additives such as canola oil and preservatives. Making your own nut butter is the best alternative. As an added bonus, you can use the recipe below to make seed butter as well.
Step #1 Soak and Dry
If you want a better result, start with this step; however, you can also leave it out of the process. What you get from soaking nuts and seeds is a better quality product as soaking eliminates the protective anti-nutrients on the outside of the seed.
These anti-nutrients actually protect the seed from pests and untimely sprouting. But, when ingested, they bind to minerals reducing their bioavailability in the body. Moreover, soaking nuts improves your body’s ability to digest them.
The good thing about soaking is that it doesn’t need constant attention; simply cover the nuts or seeds with water and let it sit. The time needed differs from nuts to nuts.
- Almonds: 8-12h
- Pecans: 4-6h
- Macadamia nuts: 8h
- Brazil nuts: no soaking required
- Cashew nuts: 2h
- Peanuts: 8h
- Hazelnut: 8h
- Pistachios: no soaking required
- Walnuts: 4h
Although most seeds usually need 4-5 hours soaking time, you can also leave them overnight.
The next thing you do after soaking is dry the nuts/seeds on a clean dishtowel. Pat dry then use a dehydrator to eliminate all the humidity. You can also put them on a baking sheet and bake at 150F for 12-14 hours.
Step #2 Roast nuts or seeds (optional)
Step 2 is important to improve the taste and texture of the nut butter. Plus, this step draws out the oil making it easier to process and turn into butter.
There are two ways to roast the nuts/seeds. One – toast them in a dry pan over medium heat for a few minutes tossing them frequently so as to avoid burning. Two – bake them at 300°F for 10-15 minutes, shaking the baking tray every 3-5 minutes to avoid burning.
Step #3 Simple Homemade Nut/Seed Butter
The good thing about this recipe is that it’s easily adaptable meaning you can combine different nuts or seeds, or you can even add other ingredients like dried fruit, honey, or vanilla bean. By using hazelnuts and a spoonful of cocoa, you can easily turn it into Nutella.
- 2-3 cups nuts and/or seeds of your choice
- 1-2 extra virgin coconut oil or oil of your choice
- a pinch of salt (optional)
- Blend the nuts/seeds in a food processor while still hot.
- Break the nuts down by pulsing at high speed. Make sure you take regular breaks so as to prevent the motor from burning. Also, scrape the sides of the container before blending
- When you get the fine powder, add the oil and blend until creamy and smooth. Adding water or milk will spoil your butter too quickly.
- In the end, add salt and flavoring and mix until well-blended.
- Adding 1-2 of crushed/roasted nuts or seeds will make your butter crunchier. Stir these in instead of pulsing.
- Store the butter in a jar and refrigerate. Enjoy!