Homemade nut butter allows you to experiment with different flavor combinations. Try my recipes for vanilla almond sun butter, spicy cinnamon peanut butter and coconut macadamia butter.
Brace yourself, because what I'm about to say is one of the more dietitian-y things that's ever come out of my mouth.
To me, the nut butter aisle is 10 times more exciting than the candy aisle. I know, I know. But seriously, there are so many options these days and every time I go to Trader Joe's I discover something new. I admit, there are many times I've caught myself staring in amazement at jars of chocolate tahini and maple hazelnut butter and thought to myself "God bless America." Really.
Then I turn around the label, glance at the sugar content and realize I might as well be in the candy aisle. There's almost two tablespoons of sugar in a two tablespoon serving of nutella, 10 grams of sugar in a serving of speculoos cookie butter and even a sneaky teaspoon in each serving of reduced fat Jif.
Recently, I've discovered something even more exciting than the nut butter aisle, or the candy aisle for that matter - homemade nut butter.
With homemade nut butter, the flavor combinations are endless. Pistachio butter? Why not. Superfood butter? You can do that too. Have an itching desire to make bacon peanut butter? Well, it's a thing. A weird thing, yes, but you can do it.
Other than a food processor, homemade nut butter doesn't take any special equipment. I'm sure a Vitamix would be nice (hint hint), but it's not necessary. Plus, it takes less than five minutes to make with ingredients you more than likely have on hand.
Best of all, you won't feel guilty after eating it by the spoonful because it cost $10 a jar.
Still feeling guilty for the calories? Don't. Despite the calories and fat, study after study has linked nuts to weight loss rather than weight gain. The combo of fat, fiber and protein keeps you satisfied, helping to prevent overeating. Other health benefits of nuts:
UNSATURATED FATS // The unsaturated fats found in nuts helps lower cholesterol, reducing your risk for heart disease.
PROTEIN // Nuts are a plant based source of protein. Swap an ounce of nuts for meat or cheese on a salad or one of these nut butters for deli meat on a sandwich.
VITAMIN E // Mostly known for it's cardiovascular benefits, vitamin E's antioxidant effect plays an important role in brain health
STRESS RELIEF // Crunchy foods have been shown to help relieve stress. Although these nut butters lack crunch, a handful of nuts would be preferable to a bag of chips as a way to deal with anxiety :)
PLANT STEROLS // Plant sterols are often added to foods like orange juice and margarine to help lower cholesterol. However nuts, especially peanuts, are a natural source.
Because I've got a serious case of indecision, I'm sharing not one, but three recipes for homemade nut butter. You are welcome! I love to have nut butter and fruit as a snack, but these also make a mean sandwich on sprouted grain bread with slices of apple or pear. Or, your know, grab a spoon and enjoy!
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar or muscovado sugar
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil, avocado oil or other neutral flavored oil
- Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
- When smooth and spreadable, scrape into a plastic container or mason jar and refrigerate for 1-3 months.
- 2 cups unsalted, roasted peanuts
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil or avocado oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth and spreadable.
- Scrape into a plastic container or mason jar and refrigerate 1-3 months.
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted
- 1 cup macadamia nuts
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Place all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth.
- Store in a plastic container or mason jar in the refrigerator 1-3 months.