How To Make The Creamiest Homemade Nut & Seed Butter
There is so much irony in me writing this post this week. The week I’m out of my homemade peanut butter and the same week I stocked up on peanuts and the irony lies in the third coincidence - that being that my food process broke. Yes! I don’t break appliances. They usually last me years. I have all my kitchen appliances from when I got married over 12 yrs ago. I think that’s a special feat especially since the ones these days are so flimsy and seem like they’re not built to last like my moms old blender that I used when I moved out that she had since she was a newly wed. Yup they just don’t build them the same-saying this line is a true sign of old age setting in. Hee hee! That being said I am kind of clumsy sometimes and I did have to replace my glass pitcher from my blender before and now this happened. Both the pitcher and the bowl attachment from the food processor broke slipping off the dry rack after washing. At least this plastic food processor piece didn’t shatter into 1000 tiny shards and pieces like the pitcher did. I swear I feel like I’m still sweeping up pieces months after. Anyways I will be getting a new one tomorrow cause now that I have lived owning one I cannot live without!
Making your own nut butter specifically peanut butter is way more cost effective and also healthier. Have you read the label of your favourite non organic peanut butter brand? I will not mention any names. Its a long list of additives and tons of powdered sugar, essentially its whipped peanut butter frosting. Totally delicious no doubt, but not the greatest for you especially if you enjoy it daily like I do. The organic brands out there with no additives are fantastic and I have many favourites but they are so expensive over here, like anything imported and good for you is naturally. Totally legit reasons for making my own. I use predominantly peanuts because they are the cheapest that I can buy here but the principles of making your own butter applies to any nuts or seeds you chose.
The smoothness of the butter depends on the natural oils found in the nut. It also depends on the speed and quality of your food processor or high speed blender and their blades. It also depends on other additives and flavours you add your your butter.
Let’s tackle that first one, the oil content. I firmly believe that you really don’t need to add any oil to a nut butter to get it smooth enough to enjoy. It may not be as creamy smooth as a commercial brand but it will still be creamy, as you can see in my pictures. What helps the natural oils release from the nuts is roasting them. I usually buy raw shelled ones and roast them from raw, but even if you use dry roasted ones it’s beneficial to roast them for a few minutes even though they have already been roasted. The heat from roasting helps in releasing the natural oils and thus making the butter creamier. Once I have roasted them I let them cool for only a couple of minutes and then I dump them right into the food processor while they are still warm. I find doing so while they are warm helps blend them faster and smoother. Roasting them also gives a nicer flavour to the butter as well. I always use unsalted. If you want to add a little later that is fine.
Speed and quality of equipment
As for the speed and quality of your blades and blender or food processor – I wouldn’t worry too much about this one. I have a very mediocre one – correction “had”, but I plan on buying the same one again because it’s one of the more inexpensive ones and it does a great job. I wouldn’t use a blender to make nut butter unless you have a very high speed one. Mine is neither new or that high speed so I would never dare making it in mine. The point is, even an inexpensive food processor (not a mini chopper) will help you yield a delicious nut butter. You may just have to process a little longer.
Flavours and add-ins
Lastly there are add ins that you can totally add to flavour your nut butters and even sweeten them. I never sweeten mine unless I’m making a flavoured one. The reason I don’t add the sweetener is because I usually pair it with a jam or something sweet like bananas so I don’t need it to be sweetened but if you want it sweetened then definitely add some honey, maple syrup or agave or even some date syrup. The caution when adding syrups and extracts and even chocolate or chocolate spreads to the butter is that it can seize up your nut butter mix. So I recommend that if you are adding the syrup or extract, process your nut butter fully until creamy, add your syrup or extract and process again. If it seizes or starts to thicken into a weird consistency start adding a little oil a little at a time while you continue to process which will smooth it back out. I usually use extra virgin coconut oil and it works like a charm. If you are adding flavour via powder and spices like pumpkin spice or cinnamon or cocoa powder, you don’t have to worry about it seizing up but if it does you can add the coconut oil in this instance also.
Some of my favourite add in combos are: I love adding chocolate by adding room temperature chocolate chips or cocoa powder (the heat from peanuts usually melts the chocolate chips while processing).
I also love maple cinnamon - self explanatory as is salted honey. I also love salted vanilla where I add a dash or two of vanilla extract. I love adding pumpkin spice mix to mine too. You can even toss in some extra peanuts after your initial processing and pulse a few extra times and you will get yourself a crunchy PB. You can also add a couple tbsp of Nutella for a delicious twist to your PB as well. You can totally get creative!
Bottom line is you should definitely make your own if you possibly can. It’s easy and you only really need one ingredient. It’s even worth borrowing a friends food processor to make it once or twice a month if you don’t own one yourself. You will love it and you really won’t go back to buying the other stuff.
Yields approx 1½ cups of nut butter
- 2 cups of raw shelled peanuts or unsalted dry roasted peanuts
- 2-3 tbsp of liquid sweetener of choice (optional)
- 2-3 tbsp of extra virgin coconut oil or vegetable oil if you are adding honey or syrup and butter starts to seize up.
- a pinch of salt for flavour (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F
Line a baking sheet with parchment and place the the raw nuts on top of it and roast for 10-15 minutes or until peanuts are golden in colour and glossy with oil tossing them a little in the pan half way though roasting. If using dry roasted ones just roast until fragrant and glossy which will only take 5-10 minutes max. Keep a close eye on the dry roasted ones so that they don’t burn.
Remove and allow to cool for only a couple minutes.
Put them straight into your food processor and process non stop for 1 minutes. Remove lid and scrape down the side of the fitted bowl and continue to process until creamy and smooth stopping every minute or so to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Should take 5-10 minutes depending on all the factors I discuss above. Be patient it takes a little while but the magic eventually happens right in front of your eyes.
Once smooth incorporate your add-ins to the PB and continue to process until smooth adding coconut oil a little at a time if mixture starts to seize as we discussed above.
Use immediately or it can be stored refrigerated in a sealed container for up to two weeks