The first and introductory article from a series of posts about homemade nut butter. Information about the foods themselves, getting to know the world of these spreads and some useful tips for using them. At the end of the text you will find links to individual recipes for a few basic butters and two sweet spreads.
How are you doing with nuts? Are they a common part of your diet or do you experience them solely as part of treats? I don’t know if it sometimes occurs to you, but nuts like walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, as well as seeds like sunflower, pumpkin, flax and sesame, can be used in many other great ways – for desserts and salty dishes, can be the basis of healthy snacks (sweet and salty), for granola or smoothie, they are a wonderful addition to salads and sandwiches, not to mention their infectious snack role!
Almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and other nuts are real super foods, thanks to the richness of minerals, vitamins, fiber and essential fatty acids. Well, if you haven’t already included them in your daily diet, I think it’s time to change that as soon as possible!
With this series of posts, I want to share with you my knowledge and love for these wonderful fruits, to convince you to burst with health, to leave you some ideas for great spreads and suggestions for service.
In addition, I would like to inspire you to please your kids and delight them with homemade chocolate-hazelnut spread, which will be nutritious and filling, especially when compared to the multitude of sweeteners, hydrogenated vegetable fats, artificial flavors, preservatives and other additives that exist in shopping creams.
If you are fasting or eating vegan, this is the perfect way to get the fat you need for the day, you will have a full and above all nutritious meal.
In any case, making homemade butter from hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds is the simplest thing you can imagine – one ingredient and a multipractice are necessary – that’s all! If you give them a chance, you might understand why they have become my nutritious obsession for some time and an almost unavoidable part of every breakfast!
How to make butter from nuts the easy way
Well, incredibly fast and easy! 🙂 But if you’re not exactly like me who tries to do everything “by herself”, then it’s really easier to buy them ready-made. However, it is not exactly the same, and if it is, then it costs a lot. Namely, butter that you can find in stores (although it is usually just peanut butter), often contains the same additions of intricate names and could not really be called healthy food. Buy only jars that say 100% almond, or 100% peanuts. You can usually find them in some health food stores and they are damn expensive! Of course, it also depends on where you live, what are the eating habits of people and the like, but I believe that in our countries this type of diet is still not popular enough.
So, you can buy them, 100% one ingredient or some combination (read the labels!), But it is usually much cheaper to make them yourself. In addition, you can control how much you want to toast the nuts (if at all), whether you want to sweeten them, how salty they are and so on.
I definitely ask you not to accept compromises and buy some mix – you can do it better, tastier and healthier!
For butter, you can use any type of nuts, seeds or combine several types. The process is the same: toast them in the oven (seeds in a pan), add a pinch of salt and blend until you get a smooth, liquid mixture. For now, I prefer nuts and I will write about them, but if for any reason you can not eat hazelnuts, almonds, cashews and macadamia nuts, peanuts or pistachios, then use sunflower and pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds (this is how tahini paste is made).
In some cases it is necessary to add a little oil so that you can get a smooth mixture, but sometimes it also depends on how strong the device you are using is. I have a very ordinary Bosch multipractice which is really great for now – it doesn’t overheat and whisk all the butter pretty quickly. But even with it, when I make almond butter, I usually add a teaspoon of coconut oil or some neutral. Almonds are quite firm, and I usually mix them with the peel. In addition, it is great to add a small pinch of sea salt for a deeper and fuller taste.
How to use nut butter?
You can eat them with a spoon directly from the jar! This is not entirely recommended, because you imperceptibly ingest a lot of calories, but for sometimes, we can see through our fingers. 🙂
As a spread over fresh or unleavened bread, sprinkled with cinnamon, honey, apple sauce or better yet, covered with chopped banana, apple, apricot and sprinkled with seeds. This is an ideal breakfast for me and that is exactly how I use them the most. If you are fasting or vegan, I can hardly imagine a better and more nutritious breakfast. Also, nut and seed butters are great as a spread for pancakes – for example, over these oatmeal or flake pancakes and over those types of pancakes, for example these gluten-free ones with banana.
Adding a teaspoon of butter to a bowl of hot or cold porridge made of flakes or grains, or simply adding a bowl of granola or cereals with some fresh fruit is my second most common breakfast and of course, I influence you wholeheartedly to embark on such an adventure.
Add them to sweet pastries – in the dough itself, as in the case of my saffron pastries with raisins, or use them as a filling (just imagine cinnamon rolls with hazelnut butter, cinnamon and brown sugar or honey!).
They are a great creamy addition to various types of those healthy unbaked desserts, and you can also use them for energy bars instead of the nuts themselves, or as a binder.
Another idea is to use them to make granola – add them to wet ingredients, raise the taste of flakes and other ingredients to heaven. You can also add a teaspoon to any smoothie you make, if you want to increase satiety and richness and fullness of taste, or if you are aware that you did not eat a lot of healthy or fat at all during the day (you really want to include these in your diet, in limited quantities, but you want to!).
You can also add a spoonful when making salad dressings – especially for those salad meals that consist of some grains (rice, bulgur, pasta, couscous, millet, kamut, quinoa …), roasted or blanched vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, root vegetables). vegetables such as beets, carrots, parsnips, then eggplant, zucchini, spring onions …), seeds and dried fruits, other nuts, fresh herbs and the like.
What you need to know about nuts?
If you grind nuts, their taste will significantly intensify, they will have a more pleasant and fuller taste. This means baking in the oven at 150-160 ° C for about 15 minutes or in some cases (when it comes to seeds), on a hot plate in a dry pan and over low heat with constant stirring. However, taste is not the only positive side of toasting! There is also digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Namely, in the raw state, nuts contain enzyme inhibitors that prevent the seeds from germinating. Thanks to this feature, they can be stored longer on the shelves in stores and in our pantry. But, the negative side is that they also prevent enzymes from our body from breaking down nuts in the digestive system, and thus do not allow the absorption of fantastic minerals and vitamins, which these foods are very rich in. So, it is best to buy them in a natural, raw version, but it is not entirely true that our body loves them the most in that state.
There are two things we can do – toasting or soaking in water!
Toasting is easier and faster, and hazelnuts, almonds and other delicacies will be irresistibly fragrant and delicious. They need to be baked until they start to emit a pleasant smell and turn a little yellow – don’t overcook them because they will be bitter and such butter is not a pleasure for the palate. If you make butter from several types of nuts, toast them separately, as the weather will vary.
Soaking in water – leave them overnight or only 4-5 hours if softer fruits are involved (such as cashews or macadamia nuts). Standing in the water releases, in our opinion, harmful enzymes and digestion will be significantly facilitated. In addition, the presence of water stimulates the process of seed germination, releasing nutrients that are necessary for the development of “new life”. Of course, we are ready to use nuts in that state very gladly! 😉
If you want to avoid toasting, it is advisable to soak the nuts in water and then dry them in dehydrators or in the oven for a long time to prepare them for butter.
Notes on how to whisk butter faster and easier
There are a few things to look for when making butter. First of all, the selection of nuts. By that I mean the type itself, but also the quality. It is important to look at them carefully, choose the ones that look dry or dark, first of all try them and decide whether to throw them out. In principle, as with cakes, if the walnuts are rancid and bitter, you throw away the whole tin, and even if you put butter, chocolate and whatever in the cake. Here, the whole taste is obtained from only one food and it is important that it is fresh.
The other thing is baking. I would say that hazelnuts and peanuts take the longest time, almonds less, and walnuts the least. For example, you don’t want the nuts to change color, but just to start smelling slightly, to look drier. If you use unpeeled almonds (which I recommend), you must try them, and a good indicator that they are ready is when they start to smell. Hazelnuts and peanuts will crack with a thin crust, and usually the butter is tastier when you bake them a little more – to become a light golden color, no more than that.
The key thing is in blending
Let me immediately mention that baked fruits are easier to mash than raw – I say that from experience with hazelnuts, almonds and walnuts. Raw peanuts taste bad to me and I haven’t tried them, but in other cases, as if the raw nuts are wetter, the butter is stirred longer and in the end, in the case of walnuts in particular, it remains grainy and gooey, and as if it can’t reach the liquid phase. .
As I already mentioned, you need to have a stronger shredder or multipractice, the English name is “food processor”. It is very important that you fill the whipping bowl enough. You will see that I gave an example in recipes for different types of butter to use about 300g of ingredients and get a smaller jar of butter. If the whisk is slightly more than half full, the butter will whisk much faster and you will have to remove the lid and mix less times. My bowl has a volume of 1 liter (the bowl itself is bigger, but those are the numbers that are written on it and it fills up to that extent) and it is ideal when I stir about 400g of nuts in it. If you have a chopper with a small bowl, 200g-250g will probably be enough. Try it a couple of times and you will understand what works best in your case.
Final butter nuts tip
Another tip for faster turning nuts or seeds into butter is to whisk in still warm ingredients. So, wait for them to cool so that you can remove the peel (from the peanuts or hazelnuts) and in general, so that they are not hot, and then blend them while still warm. Since almonds are very hard, I usually have to add a teaspoon of neutral oil to be able to whisk them. However, if they are hot and baked, they can omit that step and everything is much faster.
In addition to all this story, you can always play and make combinations of different types of nuts and seeds, and you can also add some sweetener or spices like vanilla, cinnamon or cardamom.