When you look at a peanut butter jar from the store, sometimes you find that there are a whole lot of ingredients...most of them un-pronounceable! Natural nut butters have started becoming more popular, but what most people don't know is that these nut butters - whether it's peanuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, etc. - are all EASY PEASY to make in your Vitamix.
The Vitamix will blend your as chunky or as smooth of a nut butter you want. This week, we made a batch that was half almonds and half cashews. Feel free to mix as many nuts together as you want!
When making a nut butter, use dry roasted nuts, and keep your container BONE-DRY. It is important to eliminate any water because oil and water DON'T MIX! These two big rules will ensure you the best nut butter. If you can't buy your nut of choice dry roasted, you can just roast your nuts in a single layer at 350F in the oven for 15 minutes.
When your nut butter finishes blending, it is going to be HOT. Be careful when you're emptying out your container - I made the mistake of dipping my finger and it burned my finger...AND my tongue when I licked it off! Definitely let it cool off before storing in the fridge, but feel free to spread some on toast and enjoy the delicious goodness that is HOT NUT BUTTA~
Keep your nut butter in the fridge; it is going to last you a long time! Nut butters without preservatives and all the extra chemical ingredients will naturally separate between the oil and the nut pulp (this happens with store bought ones, too). If your nut butter starts to separate, one solution is to stir it up between every use. Another solution is to keep the jar upside down so that the oils end up being at the bottom of the jar instead of the top.
My favorite thing about making nut butters is that you can kill two birds with one stone. Once you've scooped out as much of your nut butter out from your container, you can use that leftover paste to make...NUT MILK! So if you just made an almond butter, then you can use the leftovers to make an almond milk! Or leftover cashew butter to make cashew milk! Heck, you can even make peanut milk out of your left over peanut butter. Just fill your container with a cup of water and 1/2 cup ice and you've got a no-filter nut milk ready to go! It also saves you a more complicated cleanup :)
Let us know your own favorite nut butter concoctions! Do you like plain peanuts, or plain almonds? Or do you like to mix up other ingredients as well?
Basic Nut Butter
4 cups of nuts
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp cane sugar
Blend all ingredients on high speed. Use tamper to push ingredients down towards blade until it starts to churn. Blend until smooth, or stop at the consistency you desire. For large chunks, add in a small handful of nuts at the end and pulse on lower variable setting.
*Optional ingredients for flavor: honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, cocoa power/chocolate, banana, raisins, etc.
No-Filter Nut Milk
Leftover nut butter OR 1/2 tbsp of nut paste
1 cup water
Sweetener or flavor extract for taste
Blend on high speed until all ice is melted.