DIY real food: homemade nut butter

It’s super easy and a bit cheaper to make your own nut butter (and your kitchen will smell amazing). So easy, in fact, that I don’t even have a real recipe with exact proportions to share, because proportions really don’t matter. You control the amount of salt and sugar, which makes it even more healthy. If you exclude optional soaking and roasting time, this will take you all of 7 minutes.

I confess: I’m a nut butter junkie.

But not just any nut butter. (I actually don’t like peanut butter… I know, I’m weird. Besides, peanuts aren’t even nuts anyway.)  I prefer walnut butter, cashew butter, almond butter, sometimes sunflower butter (which isn’t a nut either).

There’s just one catch… store-bought nut butters are expensive. Sometimes they are too sugary or too salty, or they may contain added fats to boost their texture, for better or worse.

So, let’s get going!

homemade walnut butter

Homemade Nut Butter

Ingredients:

  • nuts (a standard bag of walnuts will make up to  2 pints of nut butter)
  • canning jar(s) and lid(s) – repurposing plastic containers is ok, but use glass if you pour your nut butter when it’s warm
  • salt, optional
  • sweetener of choice, optional
  • flaxseed, optional
  • cinnamon, optional

Directions:

  1. Soak nuts overnight to make them more digestible (optional but ideal). Dry on a cookie sheet for about a day. You can mix and match nuts, or you can choose one variety.
    If you are in a rush, use preroasted nuts; I suggest unsalted, adding your own salt.
  2. Roast on a cookie sheet at 250-300 degrees until your  kitchen smells warm and nutty, 10 minutes-ish.  You can let them cool completely and process them later, but it’s easier when they are slightly warm.
    If you have soaked the nuts, they may need to roast longer. Don’t burn them!
  3. Put nuts in food processor. Add a pinch of salt and/or sweetener if you want… or not!
    I use a little salt and no sweetener. You can try maple syrup, stevia, honey, molasses. Cinnamon is delicious. Flax seed gives texture, and boosts fiber and omega-3 content.
  4. Process until it reaches desired consistency. You probably won’t get totally creamy nut butter. I like mine slightly chunky.
  5. Pour into a canning jar and refrigerate. You shouldn’t need to stir the oil back in; in fact, it probably won’t be around long enough for you to even need to – it’s that good.
  6. Enjoy. Great on apples, bread, celery, in yogurt, in smoothies, atop oatmeal, in Asian-influenced salad dressings and sauces, right out of the jar, you name it.

My favorite is walnut butter. It’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids, helping us counteract the overabundance of omega-6 fats we get in our diets (a contributor to inflammation). Sometimes I get extravagant and mix several varieties into one amazing butter.

About Michelle Gilbert, CCA, APAIA, R.SPE.P.

Michelle Gilbert, CCA, APAIA, R.SPE.P. is a clinical aromatherapy educator and consultant based in Cleveland, Ohio. She is an instructor at the internationally renowned Aromahead Institute, a contributing writer for Aroma Culture magazine, and has appeared in Health Magazine and other publications. She also serves on the Education Committee for the Alliance of International Aromatherapists.

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