How to make Homemade Nut Butter

CATEGORIES: Condiments, Sara

Premium nut butters are becoming more and more popular, and for good reason.  Freshly made butter tastes out-of-this-world amazing when compared to it’s pre-made, processed counterpart.  Fancy nut butters can also be incredibly expensive, but with a little  know-how (and the right tools), you can easily make these amazingly flavorful mixes at home.   A few weeks ago I posted this photo on Instagram, and it caused quite a stir!  The subject of my affection: This Designer Series Blendtec Blender.  In SEAFOAM.  Anyone who knows me knows that I loved this color long before it took over Pinterest.  We’ve talked so much over the years about things we love about our Blendtecs , but we’ve never actually posted about nut butter!  Let me just say first- if you want your dreams to come true and you’d like one of these bad boys delivered to your doorstep fo’ free, be here tomorrow.  On the Scoop.  Don’t claim we didn’t warn you.

Choosing Nuts
You can use pretty much any variety of nuts to make nut butter.  Each variety yields a different flavor, and a different texture.  Nuts with higher oil contents, like macadamia nuts for example, will yield looser butters.  It’s really fun to experiment with different varieties, but it’s safe to say, that if you like a certain nut, you’ll probably like it in butter form!  This link is an awesome resource from Cooking Light that gives a general description for different nuts and the type of butter they yield.

Prepping Nuts
I always always toast my nuts before making butter with them.  You might prefer the flavor of a raw nut, but I’ve never made a nut better that didn’t taste better when the nuts were toasted first.  To roast at home, roughly chop your nuts and spread out on a baking sheet.  Bake in a 400 degree oven until golden brown. You can usually smell them when they’re just right.  Cooking time really depends on the variety so just keep an eye on them.

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My local Fred Meyer (Kroger) sells roughly chopped, toasted nuts in the bulk section that are literally labeled “Almond Butter”.  They’re a great deal, so it makes it quick and easy!

The Blendtec has a Twister Jar  (there’s also a mini Twister Jar option) that is specifically made for making things like nut butter.  It makes it SO easy.  If you don’t have a high-powered blender like a Blendtec, you can use a food processor.  The amount of nuts you use is going to be dependent on the container you’re working with.  I really love my  Twister jar because I can make nut butter with as little as a cup of nuts, or up to 2-3 cups.  If you have a large food processor, you’ll need enough nuts that they can fully process in there.

As you start blending, the nuts go through 3 phases.  In this photo below, I’m making cashew butter, and I’ve added a fresh vanilla bean to it, which is why you’ll see little dark specks.  First, they become finely chopped, almost like a powder:

As the oils release, they start to have a paste-like consistency, like a really thick peanut butter dough:

Then finally as all of the oils are released, they transform into this smooth, creamy, in some cases pourable mixture:

Now with a food processor, you sometimes have to be patient for that process to happen.  Depending on the nut variety, and the volume, they can turn to butter quickly, or other times take up to 15 minutes or so.

One thing that’s especially awesome about a Blendtec is that it happens fast.  Like, really fast.  I timed it.

Less that 30 seconds, not bad.

Sweeteners
When you’re making your own nut butter, you can choose how and to what level, you sweeten it.  Kate had a great idea she shared on Instagram recently, where she just processes a can of honey roasted peanuts.  Brilliant!  If you want to control sweetness a little more,  just add your own to taste.  Granulated sugar is always a good bet.  I like to use dark brown sugar for a delicious warm sweetness.  You can also use honey, or my favorite: pure maple syrup.  Add your sweetener (and salt, if you like) at the very end.

One thing I’ve learned about liquid sweeteners, honey in particular, is that it often changes the consistency of the nut butter.  Generally it causes it to immediately thicken (which can in some cases be a good thing.)  Because of this, I recommend stirring in a little honey by hand to a spoonful of your butter in a separate little bowl, just to make sure the consistency is okay, and then go ahead with the whole batch.

Flavors
You can also add spices and seasonings to your butter.  One of my favorite things to add is vanilla bean paste. I also almost always add a little cinnamon.  This one pictured below is Maple Vanilla Almond Butter and it’s amaaazing.  You can also experiment with cocoa powder and even melted chocolate.  Have you all seen our recipe for Homemade Nutella?  You’re basically just combining homemade hazelnut butter with melted chocolate, cream, and butter.  Can’t go wrong with that.

(I did not notice until just now- but look at that above photo.  Doesn’t it look like a little almond butter man lying face first waist-up in a puddle of almond butter??  Like he tried so hard to get out and just gave up.  Sorry little dude.)  Have fun playing around with seasonings.  Pecan butter is out of this world when sweetened with maple syrup, and spiced up with cinnamon, cloves, and a little nutmeg.  You can also play around with savory seasonings like curry, chili, and cumin.  Savory nut butters work beautifully in Thai dishes like peanut noodles or satays.

And of course sweet butters are killer on toast, waffles and pancakes, swirled in oatmeal, on a sandwich, or even mixed into ice cream.

 

Now, I definitely want you all to enjoy the beautiful world that is nut butter, and what better way to do it than with a brand spankin’ new Designer Series Blendtec Blender??  I’m going to make you be a little patient though, so you have to wait until tomorrow.  Actually, it will be live on the Scoop tonight at midnight.  Set an reminder on your phone for tomorrow so you don’t forget to come back and enter!

And let me know if you have a favorite nut butter combo!

 

 

28 comments

  1. Oh my word!! I seriously LOVE that color of Blendtec. Beautiful!! I’ve been dying to incorporate that color into my house for years and hubby just doesn’t care to. LOL Some day I will figure it out! I have nuts in my freezer (we have a walnut tree), so I definitely gotta play around with nut butter now!

  2. I totally see the nut butter man!! LOL! Hilarious!! I would love that blender, and not just because I love that color…I mean, who wouldn’t want a blendtec?!

  3. We have a peanut/nut allergy in our house…but I’ve actually made nut butter with roasted soybeans and it’s delicious! Perhaps I’ll try sunflower seeds next. You’ve inspired me!

  4. I just got a blendtec and I love it! I’ve been wanting to try and make nutbutter with it but I only have the wild side jar. Do you know how much Id have to put in for it to work? I’m just wondering if it’s worth trying in the bigger jar. Thanks for all the great ideas!

  5. I know you are both blendtec gals, so you might not know, but I have a vitamix and I’m wondering if I can use the normal jar. I know they do make a small jar with a different type of blade, and I’m wondering if that is what the twister jar is.

    On an unrelated note, I am about as obsessed with the Justin’s maple almond butter as you are, Sara. Are you willing to share your ratios for the maple vanilla combo you mentioned. Or do you just eyeball it?

    1. Hi Laura- I also have a vita-mix and have made nut butter in the regular jar often. I usually use about 2 cups of roasted nuts, and just use the plunger thing to push the nut butter back into the middle until it reaches the consistency I want. Enjoy your nut butter! (The regular jar is the only one I have, so I don’t know about the small jar…)

      1. Thank you, Kira! I am making some today! I only have the big jar too and don’t want to fork out more moolah (and precious cupboard space) for a different jar.

  6. He’s a little man DIVING IN to that almond butter awesomeness!! I’ve made oreo/peanut butter before – rich and yummy. So not good for a diet. = )

  7. I’ve been toying with the idea of making peanut butter in my vitamix and this might be just the push I need to go ahead and try it. If I make more than I need for one day, how long does it keep?

  8. Thank you for this! I have wanted to make nut butter with my Blendtec but haven’t been brave enough. I have the wildside jar. Will it work? And what button to you use i.e. pulse, speed, sauces, soups? And one more, I made Kate’s vanilla last year for Christmas presents (it was a big hit). The beans have been sitting in the jars since then with the lids on. Can I still use them to put in the nut butter? And how much do I use? Sorry for so many questions. I can’t wait to try making my own nut butter!

    1. Do you mean your beans are in the vanilla jars? I don’t see why you couldn’t use those. I just add to taste. Usually one large bean per batch does the trick for me. I just pulse it, no setting necessary. Have fun!

  9. Mmmm…I love homemade almond butter and haven’t made it in way too long. I like your suggestion to get the broken nuts in the bulk section to make it a little cheaper. And I’ve never considered flavoring my nut butters. Sounds dangerous. Like I might eat the entire jar with a spoon. Yum!! Beautiful pictures by the way.

  10. This has nothing to do with nut butter, but I figure this is where you’ll see the comment. When I looked at this post this morning one of the “you might also like” pictures was for Lemon-Herb Zucchini Fettuccine, which is a recipe I had never seen before. I made it (or something similar with the ingredients I had here) for dinner and everyone in the family thought it was amazing. I’ll definitely make it again.

  11. I am supposed to be trying to get more healthy/plant based fats in my diet, and nut butter sounds like the tastiest way to do that! I need to win the Blendtec first though, because I’m not sure my little mini food chopper can handle it!

  12. I love this peanut butter. Everyone who has tried it says it is better than store bought. I know mine won’t last 15 weeks. Maybe a month, but I am not sure about that.

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