Who doesn’t love nut butter? It’s certainly a very important part of my life. I eat it every day, and even travel with a jar of it. I sometimes wonder if I’m single handedly keeping Jean Hervé in business. Breakfasts of homemade buckwheat crackers slathered with delicious hazelnut butter… or cashew butter eaten right off the spoon…or almond butter to thicken up a smoothie…or tahini in a creamy garlic and lemon sauce.
I could go on.
But enthusiastic nut butter consumption comes with a price tag, so you can see where I’m going with this. Besides, it’s super satisfying to recreate shop-bought yummies with your own two hands and some imagination.
So let’s see if we can rustle up a nut butter collection to rival the ready-made favourites. (Sorry, Jean.)
You’ll remember from last week the importance of soaking nuts before turning them into super-nutritious snack foods, so I won’t go into it now.
But for those in the back, here’s the link so you can play catch up.
Place about two cups of soaked and dehydrated nuts either in a high-speed blender, or in a food processor. Consider toasting your nuts for ten minutes beforehand. This really brings out the flavour, and will make your nut butter much easier to create, since toasting releases the oils. Do be sure to let the nuts cool down completely before processing though, or you might have a melted blender on your hands.
Start processing. This will make a racket FYI, so no 3am nut-butter-making, unless you’re looking to get your neighbours back for something.
If you’re using a Vitamix, or any other high-speed blender, the trick is to move the power dial almost instantly up from 1 to 10, and then flip into ‘turbo’ mode. I’d always wondered what the turbo thing was for.
After about 20 seconds of processing, you’ll have a nut meal that looks like this:
With the setting still on ‘turbo’, use the tamper to squash your nut meal down into the blades. The machine will still be making an almighty racket, but it’s going to be so worth it.
Keep pushing down until you start to see a paste forming:
Now take off the turbo setting, and move the dial down to 1 again.
The butter at the bottom should be moving around slowly with the blades. Use the tamper to move the top of the mixture down into the blades, until the whole thing is homogenous. This should take about three minutes. Do play around with the speed settings, moving from low to high and back again, in order to keep the whole mixture moving.
With a food processor this step will take longer – sometimes up to 20 minutes. Do be sure to turn your machine off every three minutes or so, to avoid it overheating. And you’ll also need to scrape the mixture down a few times from the sides of the processor, with a spatula (after turning the machine off). Your mixture will go from a meal, to a paste, to a ball and then to a spreadable butter texture.
Add a pinch of salt if you see fit, and spoon your yummy nut butter into a recycled jam jar. Or nut butter jar if, like me, you have an extensive collection.
10mins total time could extend to 25mins if you're using a food processor rather than a blender
*pro-tip*: To make instant nut milk, just blend one tablespoon of your homemade nut butter in one cup of water, and hey presto!
I hope you enjoy making your own nut butter. Please let us know what your favourite type of nut butter is in the comments below!