My mom loves peanut butter. She loves it so much that as kids we gifted her with a peanut butter maker. It was a two foot tall peanut character with arms and legs. When you turned its arm, it churned out crunchy or smooth butter made from fresh peanuts. Besides the fact that it was so cool to make your own nut butter, the freshly churned peanut butter was oh so delicious. It’s a wonderful food memory that got me excited to tackle this DIY unprocessed challenge to make my own nut butter again.
I really have no idea why I haven’t tried making it again. Even for such a foodie as myself, it’s easy to forget how simple it is to make some of our most basic everyday grub. Not only is it fairly easy to prepare, making your own nut or seed butter also allows you to be creative with flavours and to try out a variety of different nuts or seeds. After all, variety is the spice of life!
For this spreadable task, we decided to bring together some of our favourite flavours. Chai tea spice pairs sweet cardamom, spicy cinnamon and cloves with a bold hint of white pepper. We swirled this well loved spice mix into almond butter. Rather than blend up good old peanut butter, we added some BC grown hazelnuts to the mix for a unique new favourite.
DIY Nut or Seed Butter
Just a few notes to help you get started. Doing it yourself means you’re in control of everything – the ingredients, how it’s made and how it’s flavoured. After all, this is the whole point of going unprocessed anyway. You can really choose to use whatever nut or seed your taste buds desire. You also have the option of going with a raw or roasted butter. Raw butter has a milder earthy flavour, while roasted butter has a bolder rich flavour. You can also choose how much you’d like to make. I recommend starting with 2 cups of nuts or seeds to try it out and then building your butter from there. Smooth or crunchy? Naked or flavoured? The answers are up to you.
Roasting Nuts and Seeds
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Spread nuts or seeds in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Roast nuts for about 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Roast seeds for about 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Keep a close eye on roasting nuts or seeds as they can go from golden brown to burnt really quickly. I usually like to check them every couple of minutes.
Allow roasted nuts or seeds to cool slightly.
Churning Nuts and Seeds into Butter
If you prefer a crunchy butter, save a small handful of nuts or seeds and chop or pulse in the food processor to create small pieces to add crunch to the smooth butter.
Place raw or roasted nuts and seeds into a food processor and blend until nuts or seeds become finely ground. If desired, you can add a little mild or neutral flavoured oil such as coconut, grapeseed or nut oil to help smooth out the butter. Start with 1 tablespoon for 2 cups of nuts or seeds, blend and taste before adding a little bit more. At this point, you can add any flavourings you would like such as a little sweetness, vanilla or spices. Continue to blend until nut or seed butter is smooth.
Scrumptious Flavours: Using the ingredients listed below create these nut butters following the instructions above.
Hint of Hazelnut Peanut Butter
1-1/2 cups raw peanuts
1/2 cup raw BC grown hazelnuts
Almond Chai Butter
2 cups whole raw almonds
1 Tbsp mild flavoured oil such as coconut oil, grapeseed or nut oil
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1-1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1-1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground white pepper