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How to make your own nut butter

Ever wonder how peanut butter is made? Supermarket peanut butter usually contains peanuts, oil, salt, sugar and ingredients we can’t pronounce. Homemade nut butters have a fresh, nutty flavor and a crunchy texture. Some nuts, such as almonds, are too hard to grind up in a food processor. Try to find unsalted nuts so that you can control the salt. The nuts should be roasted, not “dry roasted.”

What You’ll Do:

1 cup unsalted, roasted nuts (peanuts, cashews, macadamia)
1 teaspoon - 2 tablespoons canola oil
Pinch of sugar
Salt to taste

What You’ll Need:

1. If you need to roast the nuts, do that first. Let them cool for 10 minutes or so before using. Put the nuts into the food processor. Grind until a paste starts to form. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the food processor bowl and grind again.

2. Add a little oil and pulse the processor a few times. Add the salt and sugar. Continue to add oil until the butter is the consistency (thickness) that you want. The butter should be creamy but it will have tiny bits of nuts, which give it a crunchy texture.

3. Taste to see if the butter needs more salt. Store in a jar or plastic container. For a thicker butter, store in the refrigerator.

Macadamia Butter: This is our favorite but macadamia nuts can be expensive. Check for sales or shop at discount markets such as “Trader Joe’s” or “Costco.” We found that since macadamia nuts contain more natural fat than other nuts, only a teaspoon of so of canola oil is needed. Also, we prefer to roast the macadamias a little longer until they’re browned (not a dark brown) because it gives the butter more flavor.

Roasting Nuts: If only unroasted nuts are available, it’s easy to roast them yourself. Preheat the oven to 400. Spread the nuts out on a large baking sheet. Bake for about 6-7 minutes; remove from oven. Stir the nuts so they’ll brown evenly. Bake for another 3-4 minutes just until they start to brown. (Don’t let them burn or your nut butter will have a burnt taste.) Remove from the oven and let cool on top of the stove.

Tools:

Food processor
Measuring cups and spoons
Rubber spatula
Baking sheet

-Anne Vassal 

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by GL | 2/1/2016
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