Saturday, July 4, 2015

Homemade Nut Butter

Disclosure: you're going to need a high-powered blender for this recipe. A Vitamix, Blendtech, or something of that nature is necessary to avoid busting a perfectly good, mainstream appliance. The nice thing about homemade nut butters is that you can get creative with add-ins. This photo features a creamy almond and peanut butter, naturally sweetened by a large handful of dates. I also added cinnamon and nutmeg. Using a damper tool, or an actual "nut butter attachment" (for those who plan on eating $200+ dollars worth of the stuff to justify the investment, haha), process up to 3 cups of nuts at a time. Of course, you could always get to work and use a mortar and pestal to grind a smaller batch of nut butter (which I have done out of necessity to satisfy a craving many times), but the end-product won't be as smooth. As for sweetening your butter, agave srup, honey, maple-syrup, stevia, yucon syrup, etc., are all good options. Of course, you could go au-natural and not add any sweetener at all.
Certain nuts are known for their inherent sweetness. Ie: pecans and almonds. When processing, make sure to give your blender a few moments in between to rest. You'll want to avoid over-heating the machine. I made this mistake once and had to let the whole appliance cool outside. If you must, a touch of almond milk helps the butter get moving in the machine, but I advise against it unless absolutely necessary. It will change the texture of the nut butter. It'll move-away from a rich, oily butter, into more of a "desert spread"... if that makes sense. To store, seal in an airtight container or glass jar and pop it in the fridge. Sure, it'll be a little harder to scoop, but it's worth the price of keeping it longer. Off the top of my head, some rockin' nut-butter/sweetener combinations might be:

  • Pecan, pumpkin, maple-syrup 
  • Walnut and honey 
  • Almond, dates, and cinnamon
  • Macadamia nut, coconut, and white chocolate 
  • Sesame seed, basil, olive oil and salt - for a pesto-y tahini 
  • Peanut and banana 
  • Hazelnut and cacao - ie: Nutella 
  • Cashew and vanilla 
  • Plain sunflower seed or pumpkin seed butter
  • Etc. 

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