Am I the only one who stocks up on peanut butter when it’s buy one get one at the grocery store?
Peanut butter and jelly are a go-to quick lunch in my house, and one of my favorite comfort foods is peanut butter toast, so making sure I have back stock of both creamy and crunchy is pretty much necessary.
But you know what rarely (or never goes) on sale? Every other nut butter ever. After cost comparing a jar of almond butter versus a pound of raw almonds, I realized it would be more frugal to just learn how to make nut butter myself. Not only is it cheaper, you know exactly what’s going in to it, and you can add fun flavors you wouldn’t find on the shelf!
So how do you go from this
To this, in a Ninja blender?
It’s actually really easy! But it can be pretty time consuming (not to mention patience-testing), so make sure you have at least a couple hours to dedicate to it, depending on what nut you’re using, and how many batches you’re making.
For the step by step photos, I went with my cashew butter. It was the fastest of the three to make because cashews contain more oil than almonds and sunflower seeds. The finished product tastes almost like nutty ice cream – it’s absolutely delicious!
How To Make Nut Butter
So, no matter which nut or seed you’re converting, you want to start with 2-4 cups of nuts/seeds. I used 2 cups of dry roasted salted cashews here. Make sure that if you use a blender as opposed to a food processor, you’re using a high-powered blender. You don’t want to risk burning out the motor, and if you notice the machine starting to overheat, let it rest for 10 or 15 minutes before resuming your nut butter creation.
The process is just a matter of stages. After about 1-2 minutes, you’ll have a finely ground powder, which will begin to form dry clumps after about 5-6 minutes. In about 8 minutes, the clumps begin to release oil, and a primitive-looking paste starts to slowly spin around the blender. As the pasty clump continues to warm, more oils are released, and it starts to spin a bit easier. At this point, if you want to give it a little help, drizzle in 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil or another neutral-tasting oil. I found the cashew butter needed very little, and I only added 2 teaspoons.
I also drizzled in a couple teaspoons of maple syrup, and a tablespoon of vanilla bean paste in the last minute, for a little extra sweetness and flavor.
After 15 minutes or so (depending on your blender/processor), your patience pays off, and you’re in nut butter heaven! I love to dip apples and bananas in the cashew butter, and it is an excellent addition to a breakfast smoothie!
Now, about that almond butter. Using my Ninja to make it was a learning experience. Almonds are less giving with their oils, so you’re going to want to use more than 2 cups of nuts. If you don’t, you’re going to be using your paddle, as well as your four-blade attachment to get it to cooperate!
Save yourself the headache and use 4 cups of raw almonds, 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, 2 tablespoons of honey, and a dash of cinnamon and sea salt. It will make enough for you to share a jar with a friend, and I promise, you’ll both have a hard time keeping your fingers out of the jar! It’s a great flavor, with hints of fall throughout.
“But I can’t have nuts!”
Well, sunflower seeds are your best friend, and this sunbutter is very easy to make. It’s a wonderful craving calmer for those who are nut-free. I toasted 2 cups of the raw seeds for 12 minutes in a 325 degree oven first (don’t go much longer than that or the end result will taste burned!), then took the same steps as with the cashew butter.
I added 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, but you can flavor it any way you like!
As far as storage solutions go, nut butters will keep for several weeks in a glass mason jar with a cover in the fridge. If you make too much, you can freeze them for up to 4 months.
So, even though homemade nut butters take a bit of work, the end results are so tasty, and have the potential to last quite a while! That’s something I can put my stamp of approval on!
Here’s a printable version to pop in your cookbook for reference! Remember – if it’s a nut or seed you love, it can become a nut butter!
How To Make Homemade Nut Butters
- 2-4 cups raw or toasted nuts or seeds
- 1-3 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil (coconut, light olive oil)
- 1-4 tablespoons sweetener (honey (honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, cane sugar, etc.)
- Fine sea salt
- Adds-ins such as vanilla bean, cocoa powder, spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, etc.), herbs (chili powder, cumin, garam masala, etc.) (optional)
- Decide whether or not you want to toast your nuts/seeds first. If yes, toast them in a single layer on a baking sheet for 10-15 minutes in a 325 degree F oven. While still slightly warm, add the nuts/seeds to the bowl of a high-powered blender (fitted with the four-blade attachment) or food processor. (If you have a smaller processor, reduce the amount as needed. There needs to be enough room for the nuts to move to convert to butter, but also enough nuts for the blades to actually reach.)
- Process on high speed for about 10 minutes, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl frequently. Depending on the type of nut or seed, you may want to add a bit of oil to help the process at the 10 minute mark, or when the ground nuts begin to form a dry paste.
- Continue to blend (and scrape!) until it becomes smooth and creamy, and moves easily around the bowl, another 5-10 minutes, adding more oil as necessary. The butter will be very warm, almost hot, to the touch as it processes - this is normal due to the friction created.
- Add any desired salt, sweetener, and/or add-ins at the very end of the processing time.
Which nut butter is your favorite flavor?
I’m all about DIY recipes – if you love to make your own stuff, too, try these out!
- DIY Nesquick Recipe
- Chia Seed Freezer Strawberry Jam
- Roquefort Dressing Recipe
- Homemade Baking Mix (Bisquick Copycat)
- 5 Homemade Flavored Butter Recipes
Food is my love language. But so is saving money. So I like to combine the two a lot and make thrifty make ahead and freeze meals to save time. Because life is busy, and freezer meals can come to the rescue for all of us. And yes, they actually CAN taste good. Read more...