How to make nut butters
Making your own raw nut and seed butter from scratch could not be easier. As long as you have a food processor or a high-speed blender such as the Optimum Blender that doesn’t automatically shut off after a short period, making raw nut and seed butters is as simple as pressing a button.
Start with a generous quantity of your favourite nut or seed. Any of the following work well:
- sesame (makes tahini!)
How to make easy nut or seed butter
The process requires a little bit of patience, depending on your appliance. Your nuts or seeds will first process into a coarse crumb, followed by a fine crumb. After this stage they will soon begin to release their beautiful oils and you will notice your mix becoming wetter. Keep blending and scraping down the bowl until the result is a creamy paste and the texture is to your liking.
There are some machines out there that can blitz nuts into nut butter in two minutes. Most will take between 10–20 minutes though.
- Start with 2–4 cups of your preferred raw nut or seed. If you’ve pre-soaked them, discard the soaking water and dehydrate the nuts or seeds until dry.
- Add to your food processor or high-speed blender.
- Blend or process on high. Scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically.
- When the mix reaches a smooth buttery consistency, you’re done! You can either add flavourings to taste (see tips below) and blend again until combined, or scrape into a glass jar and store in the fridge for up to two weeks, or until the use-by date of the nuts or seeds (whichever comes first).
Tips for the best homemade nut and seed butters
- Use raw, certified organic nuts and seeds wherever possible.
- The resulting butter will seem much smaller in mass than what you started with, so be mindful of quantities – start with at least double the amount of nuts or seeds than the amount of butter you want.
- If you are soaking and dehydrating (recommended), soak for at least two hours first and then dry in your dehydrator or oven.
- You will be running your appliance for quite some time so if you notice it starting to heat up, switch it off and let it cool down before continuing.
- Add whatever flavours you like. For a sweet butter, you can add coconut nectar, stevia, vanilla bean, cacao, dates or other dried fruits. For savoury, add salt, dried herbs, spices or other seasonings. Taste as you go.
- If your seeds are very small, like sesame or linseed, you may need to first grind them in batches in a coffee or spice grinder.
- Don’t use water to thin out your butter. If the mix is too pasty, keep blending to release more of the oils. Nuts and seeds contain their own lovely oils so you generally won’t need to add any other oil. If you do add coconut oil, just be aware that it will make your butter set to a more solid consistency in the fridge.
- You can use the leftover nut butter in your blender or food processor to make milk! Add a little water and blend until smooth, then strain if you wish. It will be a little more watery than a normal nut milk but it’s still good stuff!
- You can combine different nuts and seeds to make customised butter! A popular combination is almond, brazil nut and cashew, but pretty much any blend will work.
- Have your nut butter on raw crackers, in raw desserts or blend small amounts with water for ready-made nut milk.
If you don’t have the right equipment at home (or the patience!), there are some beautiful nut butters and seed butters on the market.