When they make peanut butter jar for the store, sometimes you find that they use a whole lot of ingredients…many of them un-pronounceable! Natural nut butters have started becoming more popular, but what most people don’t know is that these nut butters – whether it’s peanuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, etc. – are all EASY PEASY to make – especially when you have a Vitamix!
The Vitamix will blend your as chunky or as smooth of a nut butter you want. This week, we made a batch that was half almonds and half cashews. Feel free to mix as many nuts together as you want!
When you want to make peanut butter or any other nut butter, use dry roasted nuts, and keep your container BONE-DRY. It is important to eliminate any water because oil and water DON’T MIX! These two big rules will ensure you the best nut butter. If you can’t buy your nut-of-choice dry-roasted, you can just roast your nuts in a single layer at 350F in the oven for 15 minutes, but wait at least a couple of hours before blending so it doesn’t hurt your container.
Basic Nut Butter
4 cups of nuts
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp cane sugar
Blend all ingredients on high speed. Use tamper to push ingredients down towards blade until it starts to churn. Blend until smooth, or stop at the consistency you desire. For large chunks, add in a small handful of nuts at the end and pulse on lower variable setting.
*Optional ingredients for flavor: honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, cocoa power/chocolate, banana, raisins, etc.
Note: Remember – oil and water DO. NOT. mix! So when adding ingredients like honey, stir it into the nut butter mixture by hand. You can try to blend it in the blender on a speed 1 or 2, but if you accidentally blend it in too quickly, you risk “seizing” the mixture – it will still taste good, but it will be a hard, thick, mass and not very spreadable!
When your nut butter finishes blending, it is going to be HOT. Be careful when you’re emptying out your container – I made the mistake of dipping my finger for a taste – it burned my finger…AND my tongue when I licked it off! Definitely let it cool off before storing in the fridge, especially if you’re storing in a glass container, but feel free to spread some on toast right away and enjoy the delicious goodness that is HOT NUT BUTTA~
Keep your nut butter in the fridge; it is going to last you a long time! Nut butters without preservatives and all the extra chemical ingredients may naturally separate between the oil and the nut pulp (this will happen with store-bought “Natural” nut butters, too). We’ve personally never experienced separation in any of our nut butter blends, but if your nut butter starts to separate, one solution is to just stir it up with your butter knife before you start spreading. If you experience separation *often*, then another solution is to keep the jar upside down so that the oils end up being at the bottom of the jar instead of the top.
Our favorite thing about making nut butters is that you can kill two birds with one stone. Once you’ve scooped out as much of your nut butter out from your container, you can use that leftover paste to make…NUT MILK! So if you just made a batch of almond butter, you can use the leftovers to make a small container of almond milk! Or leftover cashew butter to make cashew milk! Heck, you can even make peanut milk out of your leftover peanut butter. Just fill your container with a cup of water and a few cups ice and you’ve got a no-filter nut milk ready to go! It also saves you a more complicated cleanup 🙂
No-Filter Nut Milk
3 tbsp of nut butter
2 cups water
2 cups ice
Sweetener or flavor extract for taste
Blend on high speed until all ice is melted. Add more almond butter, water, or ice depending on your flavor and texture preference.
Let us know your own favorite nut butter concoctions! Do you like plain peanuts, or plain almonds? Or do you like to mix up other ingredients as well?
— Justine Wan, 2015. Edited by Will Eddy, 2017