Have I ever mentioned that I have a weakness for nut butters? Spread on toast, whizzed into my smoothie, mixed into oatmeal, rolled into cookie dough balls, sandwiched in between chocolate, or straight up on a spoon- anything goes! As soon as I get to London, I will definitely be stocking my freezer with one of these new Peanut Butter Love Cornetto ice creams- well played Walls!
Due to laziness, I usually buy peanut butter but when the natural option is not available, I go back to the basics and make my own. Although it had been a number of months since I whipped up my own batch, I broke my hiatus when I was in China. I kinda felt I needed to after taking my sister a jar of Natural Skippy Peanut Butter & then proceeding to finish a good chunk of it (pun obvi intended 😉). As peanuts are freely available in the market over there, I made a simple batch of Crunchy Peanut Butter with a Hint of Sea Salt:
When I came back to Bombay, I made another batch although this time was Almond Butter:
And now for my latest favourite as of last Tuesday: Hazelnut Butter:
You guys- this stuff is LEGIT! All it contains is hazelnuts & salt but the flavour is out of this world. It honestly tastes like Nutella without the chocolate. Of course for a more authentic flavor, you could add in some cacao (or unsweetened cocoa) powder & maple syrup.
Aside from containing minimal ingredients & hence being inevitably healthier, I find homemade nut butters taste so much richer & creamier than store-bought varieties. And the beauty of it is that they don’t require any fancy machinery. Although pricier blenders like the Vitamix & NutriBullet certainly get the job done, I’ve never had an issue using a basic blender. I personally use a Morphy Richards Icon Classique 750-Watt Mixer Grinder, which works like a charm. The process of making homemade nut butter may initially sound intimidating and laborious, but it’s actually dead easy – I promise! There are plenty of precise recipes online, but essentially it’s just a matter of adding nuts to a blender/food processor and whizzing until the nuts yield a creamy texture. In between whizzes, you’ll need to scrape down the sides.
Some other tidbits I’ve learnt about making perfect homemade nut butter include:
- Buy your nuts in bulk to reduce overall costs.
- Roasting the nuts beforehand significantly enhances the flavour.
- Use at least 1 cup of nuts– anything less tends to affect the overall texture.
- As it contains no preservatives, store your homemade nut butter in an airtight jar in the fridge to avoid it going rancid. I’ve kept mine for up to 2 weeks in the fridge without any issue.
- Due to the natural oils in nuts, I typically do not add oil when making my nut butter. However in some cases (e.g. when using a less powerful blender), you might need to add a teaspoon or 2 of oil to help get things moving.
- To add an oomph to the flavour of your homemade nut butter, great mix-ins include:
- Cocoa or cacao powder
- Honey or maple syrup
- Sea salt
- Vanilla bean
I personally prefer to wait till the absolute end to add in my mix-ins.
And the most important tip:
- Have patience! The first few minutes of processing will result in the nuts looking dry, crumbly & incredibly unappetising (as seen below). Take a deep breath, blast some music and continue letting the blender/food processor do its thang. After an additional minute or 2, the nuts start to release their natural oils and suddenly develop a softer & smoother texture. If you’re adding any mix-ins, this is the time to do so. Give it one final blitz and you are good to go!
- As the process is essentially same for all nuts, experiment beyond almonds & peanuts. A few nut butters which I plan to make soon include:
Happy nut butter’ing – because let’s be honest, it’s always a happy time when nut butter is involved ;)!
What’s your favourite nut butter flavour?
Have you made nut butter at home? Any tips?