For a long time I never considered that I could make something like peanut butter or almond butter at home. I assumed that nut butter had to be processed in a factory, that it was time-consuming and difficult, perhaps requiring specialized equipment. I’m happy to say that I was wrong! A few years ago I had a Costco-sized bag of almonds so I decided to try my hand at homemade almond butter. I was shocked by how easy it was. It’s also relatively quick and can be applied to almost any type of nut.
This technique is great if you…
- Buy nuts in bulk and often have extra
- Want to control the sugar, oil, and salt that are often added to commercial nut butters
- Want to save money (sometimes). I’m sure you’ve noticed that some brands of nut butter can be pricey! Depending on the cost of processed nut butter vs raw nuts at your store, there may be an opportunity to save, especially if you can buy nuts in bulk or at a discounted price.
- Prefer the taste of homemade nut butter
- Want to experiment at home with custom flavors
- Enjoy learning the process of how something is made
- Enjoy DIY projects
Let’s learn how to do it, shall we? I’m using the example of a plain almond butter for this recipe, but it can be easily customized to different types of nuts or flavors. This is the ultimate template for customization!
How to Make Nut Butters
15-25 minutes, depending on your equipment and nuts. Yields approximately 3 1/2 cups.
- 4 cups of raw almonds (or nut of choice)
- Neutral oil (optional), to preference
- Add-ins of choice (sweetener, salt, cinnamon, etc), to preference
- Baking sheet
- High-speed blender or food processor
Choose the food processor if you don’t have a high-speed, powerful blender (ie, Vitamix, Nutribullet, Ninja), or if you don’t have 3-4 cups of nuts but still want to make nut butter. Less than that can be more difficult to process in a blender as it can get stuck under the blades and fail to mix.
Choose the blender if you have a high-speed, powerful blender (it’s faster than the food processor) and you have 3-4 cups of nuts.
Roast the nuts first. Roasting facilitates the release of oil in nuts that makes the butter creamy. I recommend purchasing raw nuts and roasting at home. Preheat your oven to 350˚F. Lay the raw almonds on a baking sheet and roast for 10-15 minutes. If you are using more tender nuts (ie, pistachios, walnuts, pecans) 6-8 minutes is enough.
Option 1: Food processor. I used my Hamilton Beach 8-cup food processor (not sponsored, but this is a great value appliance). Add the roasted nuts to a food processor. Run it on high speed for 10-15 minutes. Stop and scrape down the edges occasionally. Be patient. The nuts will crumble, reach a dry crumb, and get very thick before they become a creamy, spreadable nut butter. It may look like it’s not happening, but you just need a few more minutes. Trust the process.
Option 2: High-speed blender. I used my Vitamix (not sponsored, another great albeit expensive appliance). Add the roasted nuts to a high-speed blender. Start at a low speed and quickly move to a high speed. Have your tamper handy as the nuts can get stuck early in the process. Your blender may steam, this scared me so I lowered the speed and I still got the same result, it just took a few more minutes. Later, I learned that Vitamixes are protected against burning the motor (they should turn off automatically before that happens). You can also add neutral oil, one tablespoon at a time, if you are having any trouble. Again, be patient. It will come together. Continue until you have a smooth, creamy, spreadable butter.
Add any additional ingredients. If you want to add oil, salt, a sweetener like sugar, maple syrup, or dates; or a spice like cinnamon, add it at the end. I kept mine plain, but this is where you can really experiment with different flavors!
Store it in the fridge. Use a mason jar or reuse an old peanut butter jar, which is what I did here.
Enjoy! Some of my favorite ways to eat nut butter are on toast, as a dip for fruit (bananas + peanut butter is my jam), in oatmeal, in a smoothie, in a dessert, or to make a sauce or dressing. Try it in a Green Smoothie or a Chocolate Smoothie, or make some tasty Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares as dessert.