Nut and seed butters are getting lots of love from nutritionists touting their nutritional value. When eaten as part of a healthy diet, you’ll benefit from cholesterol lowering monounsaturated and polyunsaturated (good) fats, omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E, plant sterols and fiber.
While it’s a positive and pleasurable addition to your diet – the price can be painful.
Peanut butter is an inexpensive and certainly kid friendly source of protein but peanuts are a legume, not a nut. Besides legume allergies, peanuts aren’t considered acceptable on some nutrition plans like paleo and low carb.
What about the expense of pecan butter, hazelnut butter, cashew butter, walnut butter, macadamia butter or the most popular – almond butter? It’s crazy! And that’s if you can find them.
Some “gourmet” brands are $15 for eight ounces!
Pardon me but I have to say it – that’s nuts!
So let’s make our own. It’s really easy and for purists the only cost is the nuts.
Here’s how to make any kind of nut butter: Get some nuts, about 2-3 cups. Warm them in the oven and take them for a spin in your food processor or blender, keep scraping it down until it’s creamy. You may need to add a drizzle of neutral flavored oil for dryer nuts (I’m pointing at you, almonds). Tada!
DIY ALMOND BUTTER
Time: 20 minutes Yield: One cup
What You’ll Need:
- 2 cups dry roasted unsalted almonds
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil, like canola or vegetable – see Diva Tip below
- Special Equipment: Quality food processor or high speed blender
I can recommend these: – Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Stack and Snap Food Processor Hamilton Beach Wave Crusher Multi-Function Blender
- Preheat oven to 225°. Place almonds on a baking sheet and pop them into the oven until fragrant, about 10 minutes. This warms the oils and make them easier to blend. But keep an eye on them because burned nuts are bitter nuts.
- Place the warmed almonds in the food processor and take them for a whirl. Process, scraping down the sides frequently with a spatula. If the nuts seem so dry they’re not blending add one teaspoon of oil at a time until it comes together.
- When the butter is creamy to your liking, add a pinch of salt and blend it in. If it seems a little liquid it’s because it’s warm, just pop it in the fridge.
Diva Tip – Use melted coconut oil for a great flavor twist. You can also add honey in place of oil.
Make small batches. There won’t be any preservatives so you’ll need to keep your nutty butter in the fridge and use it fairly quickly.
Want to find nuts at great prices? Check this out – Almonds Whole – Roasted Unsalted – 2 Pounds
Now you can customize to your heart’s content.
You can make your custom concoction silky smooth or super crunchy.
Add salt, sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, molasses, or stevia. Add flavorings like vanilla, nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice.
My favorite add ins for almond butter are two tablespoons of maple syrup and one teaspoon of cinnamon. Try that on French toast. Oh, baby!
Mostly you want it to taste like fresh roast nuts so don’t cancel out the health benefits by engulfing your nut butter in sugar and chocolate.
Did I say chocolate? Go big or go home. You can add melted chocolate (milk, dark or white) to any nut butter for a dessert worthy spread. Try it on good quality toast, warmed over ice cream, sliced fruit or . . . drum roll please . . . on toasted pound cake. Gah!
Take a savory twist. Who says nut butters always have to be sweet?
You can make nut butters savory (think Thai peanut sauce) by adding piquant ingredients like Sriracha, chili powder, chipotle, or parmesan and Italian seasoning. This makes a unique appetizer served with toast points, pita chips or crackers.
Or bump it up to be the main attraction as a dipping sauce for chicken or pork or add to pasta sauce.
What else to do with this wonderful stuff??
Upgrade your PB&J sandwich.
Make gourmet Ants on a Log with celery, nut butter and raisins or dried cranberries.
Add it to smoothies.
Smear it on sliced apple for a delicious snack that’s sweet as candy.
Make a pinwheel from a tortilla, nut butter and a banana.
Make a morning habit of almond butter on whole grain toast with local honey and you’ve got the breakfast of reduced allergy champions.
What do you think would happen if we took little scoops this decadent nut butter and froze them and dipped them in chocolate like a precious indulgent little truffle?
Here’s how to make truffles – The Diva’s Secret Recipe for Microwave Chocolate Truffles (don’t tell anyone!)
I don’t think I would ever look at peanut butter cups again. You?
Hamilton Beach Wave Crusher Multi-Function Blender
Almonds Whole – Roasted Unsalted – 2 Pounds