Making your own nut butters may sound intimidating, but I’m here to tell you that they are seriously one of the easiest things to make! I recently started making my own, and now question why I didn’t start sooner. Here are a few reasons to consider making your own nut butters:
1. It can be cheaper! If you buy nut butters frequently, you’ll know that their price ranges based on the brand, store, processing (whether it’s raw, organic, etc.), ingredients, and type of nut. Store-bought peanut butters (ranging from $0.50CDN/100g to $1.00CDN/100g), for example, cost much less than almond butters (ranging from $2.00-$4.00/100g). Some of these nut butters can get quite expensive, and if you purchase them on a regular basis (like I used to), you’ll know that these prices can add up! Purchasing regular nuts, however, can be much less expensive. Looking at three Canadian grocery stores, peanuts range from $0.50-$0.70/100g, and almonds from $2.00-2.50/100g. The reason for the lower price is likely because these stores offer bulk shopping and no-name nut brands, without the additional step of turning the nuts into nut butter.
2. It can be done zero waste! If you shop at bulk stores like Bulk Barn that offer reusable container programs, zero waste nut butters are completely attainable. All you have to do is bring your own mason jars, containers, canvas or mesh bags to your local bulk store, get them weighed at the front counter, fill them up with the nuts you would like, and then weigh and pay! With the current pandemic, most reusable container programs have been halted. Bulk Barn is using their usual plastic bags, or you can request items be placed in plastic containers, both of which can be reused. That’s what I have been doing!
3. There are minimal ingredients, and you know exactly what’s inside! A lot of store-bought nut butters have additives and extra ingredients, whether that’s to preserve, add colour or flavour, or to improve texture. The only ingredient nut butter truly needs, is the nut itself (and maybe a little bit of salt and oil)! By making your own, you can adjust and monitor the ingredients to your liking, and know exactly what you are consuming.
4. You get to say, “I made that!” One of the most satisfying things about making homemade nut butters is the fact that you made it yourself! Plus, they are super easy to make and taste amazing.
Now let’s get to the part you’ve been waiting for… How do you actually make homemade nut butter?
- 2 cups roasted nut of choice (peanuts, almonds)
- ~1/2 tsp oil (olive, avocado, etc.)
- ~1/4 tsp salt (optional)
- Place the nuts and oil (the oil helps to get it going) in a food processor.
- Process on low until crumbly meal forms. At this point, add the salt if you are including it.
- Keep mixing, the mixture should start to cluster together and form a ball. This is a good sign that the natural oils are releasing! Scrape the sides if needed at any point.
- Mix until a very creamy texture is reached. It should be runny with no lumps!
- Transfer to a jar and store in the fridge (it will thicken up in there).
- Enjoy on toast, muffins, in smoothies, recipes, etc.
*Almonds take a bit more time to process than peanuts. Be patient! It’s worth it.
*If you want a sweeter nut butter, you can add a bit of granulated sugar. I personally have not tried this, but would start with around 1/4 tsp, just like the salt.