By Fredrica Syren:
Nut butters are so versatile and can be used in a nut butter sandwich for a quick lunch, or as a snack with apple slices or veggie sticks. I even use nut butters for homemade desserts and creamy soups. When I was growing up, there were only two kinds of nut butters: peanut and Nutella — and neither of them were particularly healthy. Today you can find all kinds of nut butters on the market — almond, tahini, sunflower, cashew and even raw Nutella. The problems with buying nut butters are either they are quite pricy, or they are made with unhealthy oils or questionable ingredients.
With three kids and two adults who love nut butters but try to eat heathy on a budget, I finally started making my own nut and seed butters in order to save money, make sure they are healthful, and reduce waste.
The reasons for making your own nut and seed butters are as follows:
- It saves money.
- You know exactly what’s in it.
- It reduces waste.
- You make all kinds of fun flavored butters you might not find in a store.
Here are my favorite nut butter recipes:
Homemade Nutella — My kids’ personal favorite
- 2 cups of raw hazelnuts
- 1 pinch of salt
- ½ cup vegan chocolate chips
- Agave nectar to taste to make it as sweet as desired
Preheat oven for F350
Roast hazelnuts on a cookie sheet for about 12-15 minutes. This will warm the natural oils and loosen the skins, making it easier to blend into butter.
Place nuts in large kitchen towel and use hands to rub off skins. Try to get off as much of the skin as possible since the skin will make the butter slightly bitter. Some skin will still stay on, so they do not have to be perfect.
\Place nuts in a food processor and begin mixing. This will take some time and, from time to time, you must stop and scrape down the sides. Eventually the natural oils will release and the magic happens. Voila! You have a perfect, creamy nut butter.
While the nuts are mixing, it’s time to melt the chocolate. You do that by heating the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave in 30 second increments. Set aside.
Once nuts are creamy and runny, add salt, melted chocolate and some agave if you want that, and blend until completely mixed. Pour into a jar and enjoy!
Strawberry Flavored Cashew Butter
- 2 cups raw cashews
- 1 pinch of salt
- ½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped out and used
- 2 tsp. agave nectar
- 2 Tbsp. strawberry powder
Preheat oven to F325.
Roast cashews on a cookie sheet for about 15 minutes. Add nuts, salt and vanilla to food processor, and blend. This will take a few minutes, and you will need to scrape down sides a couple of times. Once it’s creamy and smooth, add agave and pour into a jar.
Sunflower Seed Butter — If you have a nut allergy, you can make sunflower seed butter. It tastes amazing.
Almond Butter — You can never go wrong with almond butter. This recipe has cinnamon in it, and that’s a marriage made in heaven.