Homemade Nut Butter

I love my food processor. It was given to me for my birthday this year (thanks Dad!) and I have used it almost every day since – that is, unless you count the few weeks that I was separated from it when I recently moved. I had food-processing withdrawals. Luckily some awesome people brought my processor down to Vancouver for me and I was back to blending, slicing, and grating in no time.

One thing I love to make with my food processor is nut butter. It is so simple to make and you have total control over what ingredients you add. Some store-bought peanut butter brands, for example, contain ingredients like salt, oil, sugar, shortening, dextrin, and molasses. My homemade peanut butter contains peanuts. And that’s it.

You can make whatever varieties of nut butters you feel like. Variety is good. Right now my personal faves are hazelnut butter and almond butter.

Ingredients

This ingredients list is pretty simple:
-a few handfuls of the nut of your choice (almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, cashews, etc. or even a blend of different nuts.)
Use more nuts for a larger batch, fewer if you just want a small amount of nut butter (you know, in case that wasn’t already very obvious to you)

Directions

The directions are also pretty simple:
Place raw or roasted nuts (your choice) in a food processor and blend until smooth. There is a very big difference in the taste and texture of the nut butter depending on whether raw or roasted nuts are used (scroll down for explanation.)

When you first start out, you will end up with a coarse nut flour. Keep blending and the nut powder will begin to clump. Keep on blending and you will eventually get a smooth nut butter. This entire process can take 10+ minutes depending on the quality of your food processor and whether or not the nuts are roasted. As you are processing the nuts, you may feel like they will never turn into butter and may be tempted to add oil, particularly if you are using raw nuts. Adding oil shouldn’t be necessary- just be patient and the nuts will eventually smooth into a paste. Make sure you scrape down the sides of the processor a couple of times with a spatula.

Some nuts will make nut butter more readily than others. Hazelnuts, for example, turn into a paste much more quickly than cashews or almonds and will give a much runnier paste (you can see this in the photo above.)

You can also make nut butter using a Vitamix blender. Although if you own a Vitamix, you probably already know this (and also, just know that I am extremely jealous… I’m dying to get my hands on one.)

Raw vs. Roasted Nuts for Making Nut Butter

It actually makes a really huge difference whether or not you use roasted nuts.

Some people swear that using raw nuts is the only way to go, usually for health reasons. Roasted nuts, on the other hand, are much easier to blend into a paste and have a more spreadable texture. Roasted nuts also have a nicer flavour, in my opinion.

When nuts are roasted, several chemical reactions occur that alter the nuts’ flavour and texture. These can include a breakdown of the fats in the nuts, lipid oxidation, breakdown of the proteins, and reactions called Maillard browning.

Raw nut butters definitely have a raw taste to them and do not spread as well. Roasted nut butters spread more easily because, with heat, the fats begin to degrade, which alters their consistency. The extent of the chemical changes in the nuts depends on the heat they are subjected to. The nice thing about roasting the nuts yourself at home is that you have full control over the roasting temperature/time. Also, some store-bought roasted nuts have added oil or salt, which obviously makes them less healthy.

To roast the nuts, simply place on a baking sheet and stick in a preheated oven (325-350 F) for up to 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them because you don’t want them to burn! If you are using hazelnuts, transfer them from the oven into a tea towel and rub them until the skins are removed. Then go ahead and proceed with your nut butter-making.

 

, , , ,

10 Responses to Homemade Nut Butter

  1. Abhilasha June 8, 2012 at 9:32 am #

    Nice post. My mom actually makes sweets at home using almond or peanut paste and little sugar added to bind the paste. She roasts the nuts first and the end product is delicious with a very smooth texture of nut paste which is easy to set on a tray.

    • Ashleen June 11, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

      Thanks for commenting! Mmm sweets using almond butter? I know I would like that!

  2. Rhiannon June 8, 2012 at 11:31 pm #

    1) As a house (apartment/suite) warming gift could you pleaseeeee make me some nut butters and perhaps even try canning some jams for your beloved sister

    2) Have you tried mixing nuts for one butter?

    3) How long would one of these butters last stored in the fridge?

    • Ashleen June 11, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

      I can do that! And I don’t store these nut butters in the fridge. I just leave them in the cupboard. I don’t actually know how long they last because I usually go through them quite quickly. I know that nuts and nut butters go rancid if left too long so you wouldn’t want to make a huge batch at once.

  3. Arisa July 4, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I was looking for hazelnut paste recipe and how to make it ‘butter’. I tried it once impatiently and it was just a coarse nut flour, just like you said ^_^

    “When you first start out, you will end up with a coarse nut flour. Keep blending and the nut powder will begin to clump. Keep on blending and you will eventually get a smooth nut butter. This entire process can take 10+ minutes depending on the quality of your food processor and whether or not the nuts are roasted. As you are processing the nuts, you may feel like they will never turn into butter and may be tempted to add oil, particularly if you are using raw nuts. Adding oil shouldn’t be necessary- just be patient and the nuts will eventually smooth into a paste. Make sure you scrape down the sides of the processor a couple of times with a spatula.”

    I will be patient next time. Thank you for the tip.

    • Arisa July 7, 2012 at 10:59 am #

      I forgot to ask this. Why do you need to remove the skins of hazelnut. It will ruin the paste color or texture?

    • Ashleen July 7, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

      No problem :)

      You don’t need to remove the skins, but I prefer the taste without them.

  4. Alan January 24, 2013 at 9:05 am #

    Nu Butters if put in the fridge can keep up to 2 months. about a fornight at most if left in the cupboard.

    • Alan January 24, 2013 at 9:06 am #

      And in an air tight container like a jar

  5. Missy May 16, 2014 at 6:36 am #

    Hi,
    Could you tell me what brand of food processor you use for your nut butters and the wattage? I’m shopping for a new one and want to be sure it can handle it without burning the motor out.
    Thanks,
    Missy

Leave a Comment