Peanut butter: it’s cheap, healthy-ish, and a tasty staple in most pantries. And when you want to go beyond the peanut, almond, cashew, and other kinds of nuts offer delectable butter alternatives—yet they’re often pricey. There’s a butter way! Making your own nut butter is a fun and simple project with endless flavor possibilities.
Food processors offer ease when making homemade nut butter, and high-powered blenders with small “twister” jars work great, too. No food processor? You can pound nuts into butter with a large mortar and pestle; it will take much longer and results won’t be quite as smooth, but it makes for a rustic, authentic nut butter.
1 cup whole nuts, lightly toasted or raw
2 – 3 teaspoons melted virgin coconut oil, mild olive oil, or good quality nut oil (walnut, hazelnut, etc.)
1 – 3 teaspoons coconut sugar, maple sugar, or organic sugar
1 pinch sea salt or to taste
In a food processor or with a mortar and pestle, pulse or pound the nuts or seeds into a sandy mixture. If using toasted nuts, do this when the nuts are still warm.
Drizzle in the melted oil a little at a time, pulsing or pounding and scraping the sides of the bowl frequently. Add just enough oil to create a dense, creamy mixture.
Pulse or pound in sweetener and salt. Store nut butter in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark place. Use within two weeks for the freshest flavor.
Some of my favorite flavor combos include:
Cashew Cardamom Turmeric Butter
Use 1 cup toasted cashews and 2 – 3 teaspoons melted virgin coconut oil. When almost smooth, pulse in 2 tablespoons of coconut palm sugar, 1/2 teaspoon each ground turmeric and cardamom, and a big pinch of sea salt.
Vanilla Chai Hazelnut Butter
Use 1 cup lightly toasted whole hazelnuts (while still warm, rub in a cloth to help remove some of the skins) and 2 – 3 teaspoons melted virgin coconut oil. When almost smooth, pulse in 1 – 2 tablespoons of coconut palm sugar, 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, a big twist of freshly ground black pepper, the scraped insides of half of a vanilla bean, and a big pinch of sea salt.
Pistachio Almond Choco Butter
Use 1/2 cup lightly toasted almonds plus 1/2 cup shelled green pistachios and 2 – 3 tablespoons melted virgin coconut oil or a mild-tasting olive oil. When almost smooth, pulse in 2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar, 2 tablespoons raw cocoa powder, and a big pinch of sea salt.
By Terry Hope Romero
Photographed by Vanessa Rees
This article originally appeared in the February/March 2018 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!
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