As much as I love peanut butter on toast for breakfast, I have never tried making it at home until very recently. I didn’t even know it was possible until I tried it at a friend’s place which was far tastier than the usual so I couldn’t stop myself from asking where she got it from. I was surprised to find out it was homemade, involved only 1 ingredient and the magical appliance that goes by the name of food processor.
Since then I have tried making all the different kinds of nut butters using my food processor and they always turn out great. The fact is, the jar of nut butter that you will buy at a supermarket will only have a small percentage of nuts and the rest is just fillers and preservatives. What you will make at home will not only be cheaper but also 100% nuts! Since the experience was so great, I thought I should share my secret with you. Here are the few, simple steps you will need to follow:
Roast the nuts:
Roasting the nuts before starting to make nut butter in a food processor benefits in two ways:
- It enhances the flavor of nut butter.
- Warm nuts from the oven are much easier to grind than fresh nuts.
To roast the nuts, preheat the oven first at about 350 ᵒF. Spread the nuts out on a baking dish and place it in the preheated oven. Let the nuts roast for 10 to 15 minutes before taking them out. Be careful to check the nuts after 10 minutes so that they don’t get burnt. Let the roasted nuts rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes before moving on to the next step. This will ensure that you place warm and not hot nuts into the food processor. Processing hot nuts will not only damage the blades but will also result in poor quality nut butter.
Process the nuts:
Transfer the warm, roasted nuts to the work bowl of your food processor fitted with the multi-purpose blade. If you have a large amount of nuts to process, process them in batches depending on the size of your food processor. A medium sized 11 cup food processor for example, can manage up to 2 to 3 cups of nuts at a time.
Pulse the machine a few times to grind the nuts into a powder form. Now start processing the ground nuts until they turn from powder to a smooth, creamy butter. This process will take a long time somewhere between 5 to 15 minutes depending on the quality of your food processor and the amount of nuts you are processing. Give the machine breaks between processing so that the motor does not overheat. In these breaks you can remove the lid and scrape the sides to ensure uniform processing of all the nuts.
Add optional flavorings:
Some people prefer the natural flavor of the nuts while others like to add additional flavorings to the nut butter. If you choose to add flavors, do so at the end when the nut butter turns smooth and creamy. Salt can add more flavor to the nut butter. If you have a sweet tooth like me you might like the flavor a little bit of honey or maple syrup adds to your nut butter. If you add flavorings, process some more until the additional ingredients are completely incorporated and the nut butter turns smooth again.
Let the nut butter cool down until it reaches room temperature before transferring it to a mason jar. Cover it tightly with the lid and store it in the refrigerator so that is stays fresh and can be consumed for up to 2 weeks.
I’ve tried this technique with almonds, peanuts, cashews and hazelnuts and they all turn out really well. My favorite, though, is almond butter with a tinge of honey which I love having on toast with a cup of coffee. Pick your favorite nut and try this technique out. You will be surprised how simple it is to make rich, creamy, yummy nut butter!