Peanut and other nut butters are packed with the flavor and nutrients we all love and need. So, why not save a few bucks and learn to make some at home?
Homemade vs. Store-Bought
Peanut, almond, and cashew butter all hold a very special place in our hearts. The subtle sweetness combined with those salty, nutty flavors we adore make them all hard to stop eating.
Store-bought peanut butter, however, includes fillers, like salt, sugar, and other preservatives. Between the hydrogenated vegetable oils and diglycerides, you’re filling your body with trans fats, which isn’t so good for heart health.
Don’t get us wrong—we love some Jif and Skippy. Most of us were raised on those and will continue to enjoy them, as is. However, if you’re looking to add more natural foods to your diet, this is one way to start.
The Benefits of Homemade Nut Butter
When you consider the small amount of peanuts required to make peanut butter, it’s surprisingly expensive. Other nut butters cost even more, especially if you go all-natural.
With that in mind, here are some of the benefits of making your own:
- You’ll save money: Yes, nuts are expensive, too. However, a few cups will go a long way, and sometimes, you can purchase them online to save even more money.
- You’ll know what’s in it: You’ll know you’re getting 100% natural, wholesome ingredients, which is something to feel good about.
- You can add new flavors: Whether it’s pumpkin spice, maple, or vanilla, experiment!
Different Types of Nut Butter
Surprisingly, you can make nut butter from a multitude of different legumes, nuts, or seeds. Using raw nuts is possible, but makes it much more challenging to achieve that creamy consistency. You’ll need to roast the nuts (or purchase them already roasted) before you blend them in your food processor.
You can make butter out of any of the following:
- Peanuts (which are actually legumes)
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sesame seeds (aka Tahini)
How to Make Nut Butter
Because you’ve likely bought your nut butter in premade jars for years, you might think the process of making it is complicated, but it’s definitely not. With some nuts, a food processor, and a little time, you’re in business!
Here’s how to make your own nut butter:
- If you’ve purchased raw nuts, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and then roast them for 5-10 minutes or until golden brown (they’ll make your home smell lovely).
- Put the nuts in a food processor and blend on high. (We love our 11-cup Cuisinart because it holds a good amount, is solidly built, and powers through even the toughest nuts.) It can take up to 10-15 minutes to reach that creamy consistency. You’ll likely have to turn your food processor off a few times to scrape down the sides.
- If you’re having trouble reaching that silky-smooth consistency, add a tablespoon of coconut oil to achieve that perfect uniformity.
While you can add another oil or fat like coconut oil to make things a little creamier, resist the urge to add anything that isn’t a creamy/fatty substance, like water or liquid sweeteners. These will cause your beautiful, creamy homemade butter to seize up and clump into a gross, unappetizing mess.
Optional Flavor Boosters
You can add more ingredients or flavor boosters to your nut butter for a little extra flair. Live out those food-science dreams in your kitchen and try some new, exciting flavors. Just always add any flavor boosters toward the end, after your nut butter is the right consistency.
Try any of the following:
- Pumpkin spice
- Vanilla extract
- Cocoa powder
- Granulated sugar
How to Store Homemade Nut Butter
For the best quality and shelf life, store your nut butter in a glass (or plastic) jar with a lid in the refrigerator. This will allow it to last for several weeks.
You can also store it in the freezer for up to four months—just be sure to label your jars and include a date.