Today I have some yummy news to share with you 😉
Although I was never a huge fan of the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches when I was a kid, nut butters have definitely gained their place in our kitchen these days. They make a great addition to smoothies, breakfast bowls, snacks, sauces, and dressings.
Recently I started to experiment with making my own nut and seed butter, not only because resources and decent quality are hard to find in Cambodia, but it is also so much cheaper and easy to make.
I know nuts can be quite pricey, but it will still be cheaper to make your own jar of almond butter instead of buying a $10 jar in the grocery store. And the best part, you only need 1, or maybe 2 ingredients and 15-25 minutes of your time to make nut butter (depending on the power of your blender or food processor).
Ohh and if you are allergic to nuts, no worries. The Same process can be used for seeds as well. Think tahini, which is made from sesame seeds or pumpkin or sunflower seeds have a great taste, too.
FYI: also check out my post on how to make your own nut milk here.
How To Make Nut Butter: 3 Easy Steps
1. Soak and Dehydrate (optional)
The first step is entirely optional. If you are not planning to dehydrate them again, then don’t soak them. So why then soaking them in the first place if you are going to dry them again?
Well, most nuts and seeds are covered with a natural toxic layer (including enzyme inhibitors, phytates, polyphenols, and goitrogens) to protect them from predators and premature sprouting. Phytic acid is one of these substances. It has the ability to combine with many of our essential minerals (like calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc), making them less available to our body.
Soaking seeds and nuts before using them helps to release and wash away these chemicals. This will benefit your body as it will get more essential minerals and nutrients, and it also improves digestion.
Soaking and dehydrating takes some time, though. Soaking can be between 2 and 8 hours, depending on the seed or nut.
Here’s a small list of my favorite nuts and their soaking times:
- 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
You can also use seeds or other nuts to your liking. Soak at least 4-5 hours. Overnight is best.
No dehydrator, use your oven instead. Spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in a warm oven for 12-14 hours. Or until completely dry. Do not turn the oven higher than 150°F or 65°C.
2. Roast nuts or seeds (optional)
Again entirely optional, but highly recommend if not on a raw food diet. It will improve the taste of your nut butter. The heat will also make it easier to process the nuts and release their oils to turn the nuts into butter.
There are 2 options here. Toast them in a dry pan over medium-high heat for a few minutes. Make sure to keep tossing them around so they do not burn. You could also use your oven. Add nuts and/or seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast them for 10-15 minutes at 150°C/300°F. Stir regularly to avoid burned nuts and seeds.
Scroll down to learn how to make the nut butter.
3. Simple Homemade Nut/Seed Butter
This recipe works for all seeds and nuts, or why not try and make a mix. You can either use raw nuts or toasted, soaked and dehydrated if you want.
- 2-3 cups nuts and/or seeds of your choice (feel free to experiment and mix a few together)
- 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, etc. (optional)
- Pinch of salt (optional)
- Add the nuts to your food processor or blender when they are still hot. If using a small food processor, use half of the nuts. When the jar is too full the nuts don’t have enough space to move around and they will release their oils much slower.
- Start by pulsing the nuts/seeds to break them down. Then run at high speed, often stop to scrape down the sides. At first, it will still be quite chunky; then it turns into a fine powder, and then magically the oils come out and they convert it into a creamy nut butter. If at any time you feel your blender or food processor is getting really hot or smells burned, allow to cool down before resuming the blending process.
- When it is turned to powder, you could add some oil, but this is entirely optional. It will ease the blending process and make it a bit creamier.
- The butter is done when the mixture turns into a thick creamy paste which blends smoothly. If not add a little oil. Do not add water or nut milk, or your nut butter will spoil so much faster.
- Add a pinch of salt or another flavoring like raw cacao powder, vanilla extract, raw honey, maple syrup, etc.
And that’s how simple making your own nut and seed butter is. No rocket science…. The only thing you’ll need is patience. Depending on the nut, the power of your blender, and whether you use oil or not the whole process may take as long as 15 to 20 minutes.
I like my peanut butter a little crunchy, so I added 1-2 tablespoon finely crushed, roasted peanuts, hence the chunky bits you see in the pic. (I did add 2 tablespoons liquid coconut oil and a pinch of salt)
This week I’m planning to make hazelnut butter to make my own healthy take on Nutella spread or rawtella. Gonna roast the hazelnuts, though… so mine is not gonna be raw!
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Have you ever tried to make your own nut butter? How did it go? Share your thoughts with us in the comment box below!
Thanks for reading. I hope this information was helpful. Until next time!
Crazy cat lady, life and food lover, certified biologist, and holistic health coach.