My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!

 

 


For the latest details be sure to check my book page!  

                               

Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free

 

« lemon + cinnamon cake donuts | Main | an iPhone birthday »
Thursday
Aug252011

Nut Butters – your questions, answered!

Were you expecting doughnuts?

(1 of 1)-3

Sorry to disappoint.

This is just a huge post about nut butter.

Can you deal?

Instead of making just 1 nut butter for the birthday girl, I made five. 

I’m all about the homemade gifts, and I know Kelsey is too.  What could be better than a creamy, delicious, edible gift where you get to keep the jars after? 

Jar hoarders unite!

I’ve never really been a fan of sunflower butter, the few times I’ve tried it.  However, after reading Mama Pea’s post on sunflower butter and seeing her perfectly sun-buttered piece of toast, I knew I had to try making it for myself.

(1 of 14)

This was also the first time I decided to try using my Vita Mix to make a nut seed butter.  Some of the most frequent questions I receive, are about nut butter making. 

What type of food processor do you have?

Why doesn’t my nut butter look as drippy as yours?

  • Let it whirl around longer!!  Also, if you’re using an 11c, use a max of 2.5c nuts.  You can use 3c, but it takes much longer to process and become drippy.  If you’re using a 7c, I wouldn’t use over 1.5c nuts.  Also, almond butter takes the longest to butterize!

I just couldn’t get it to work…HELP!

  • Are you using a heavy duty, high speed food processor?  Don’t try making nut butter in a mini food processor!  Did you set a timer and really wait at least 10-12min for it to process?  10min is really long when you’re standing, hovering, waiting for it to butterize!

Can I add something other than oil to smooth it out?

  • No!  Do not add water or milk when processing your nut butter, or it will turn into a clumpy mess!!  Only after it has turned into nut butter + cooled, can you add a little milk to it, to make a drippier nut butter sauce.

Can you use a Vita Mix instead of a food processer?

  • While I haven’t used it to for almond or any other nut butter, my experience with sunflower seeds was the only one I will ever have.  = NOT a fan

(2 of 14)

Why didn’t I like using the Vita-Mix for this? 

  • had to constantly tamp down on the seeds while it was running – maybe 3c seeds would have been easier than 2?
  • oil was a necessity, whereas with the food processor, you typically don’t need it unless you’re adding thickening ingredients like maple syrup, cinnamon, etc.
  • had to turn it off + on way more to get it to combine
  • extremely hard to scrape out – definitely lost at least 1T on the sides + bottom
  • almost impossible to clean

(4 of 14)

I love my Vita-Mix for smoothies and pureeing sauces, soups, salad dressing, grinding grains into flour, etc.  But I use my food processor far more.  I definitely recommend a good food processor over a Vita-Mix.  You can find a decent $50-75 blender, that will make great smoothies [even with spinach added in!]. 

My Vita-Mix was actually passed down to me from my grandfather.  He bought it when he was 90 years old [passed on his 93rd birthday], thinking my grandma would make him delicious smoothies everyday.  He was a health nut!  My grandma gave it to me after he passed, and I think of him every time I use it!

If you only have a Vita-Mix, it’s definitely possible.  I just wanted to give my opinion on that, since it’s a question I receive weekly!

(5 of 14)

I quickly got over the annoyance of scraping out the Vita-Mix, as soon as I tasted the sun butter.  I only added salt, sunflower oil + a little sucanat to the mix.

Completely amazing!!  Thanks Mama Pea!

(6 of 14)

Now back to the food processor!

(3 of 14)

You remember the Cake Batter Cashew Butter, right?

This is it pre-sprinkles.  Just as delicious, but not as pretty.

(7 of 14)

The sprinkles also add a fun CRuncH!

(8 of 14)

Next up?

One of my savory nut butters.  I know it sounds a bit odd, but you just have to try this out.

Smoked Paprika Almond Butter

(9 of 14)

I promise you, you will be dripping this on every dinner you make.  I love it on broccoli, carrots, kale, potatoes, toast, eggs, etc.  The only problem is reminding myself it’s not hummus.  It’s nut butter.  As in, I can’t eat 1/2c at a time. ;)

Don’t have smoked paprika?  Sub in chipotle seasoning, or go for the Salt + Pepper Cashew Butter instead!

(10 of 14)

Nut butter #4, was from a very large nut!  The coconut!  Is it actually a nut?  I don’t know, but it doesn’t really matter.

Coconut butter is like magic.

You can have it turn into a hard candy shell, or warm it up and make a huge drippy mess.

Coconut butter is also the easiest butter to make!  It comes together the quickest, no roasting involved and no other ingredients necessary.

The MOST IMPORTANT thing about coconut butter is buying the right type of coconut!!

You want to use: UNSWEETENED SHREDDED COCONUT

correct coconut example –> click

**Do Not Buy**

  • unsweetened flaked coconut
  • low fat unsweetened shredded coconut
  • shredded sweetened coconut

You want to make the coconut butter as soon as you open the bag.  I’ve had it dry out once, and it didn’t butterize. 

A 1lb bag will yield approximately 16oz jars of coconut butter.

(1 of 1)-4

And now?

A NEW recipe!! 

(11 of 14)

A very crunchy recipe.

Are you a creamy or crunchy fan?

Typically, I go for the creamy.

If it’s crunchy, it needs to be extra crunchy.  Which is exactly what this is.

(12 of 14)

Peanut Butter Crunch Butter [yields ~1.5c]

  • 2c dry roasted, unsalted peanuts
  • 1/3c raw flaxseeds
  • 1.5T chia seeds
  • 2T maple syrup [or honey, sucanat, etc]
  • 1.5t cinnamon
  • 1.5t vanilla extract
  • 1/2t salt
  • 1/2-1T oil [opt]
  1. Set your oven to 200* and spread peanuts + flax seeds on a baking sheet.
  2. Heat 1.5c of the peanuts + all of the flaxseeds for 10min, just to warm, not roast. [releases the oils, making it easier to butterize]
  3. While heating, pulse the other .5c of peanuts until you have crunch-sized pieces.  Be careful not to over process!  Empty into a bowl and stir in the chia seeds.
  4. Remove nuts + seeds from the oven and let cool 1-2min, then add to your food processor and turn on.
  5. Process + scrape the bowl as necessary, until it becomes buttery.  ~10-15min.  This took extra long because of the flax seeds.
  6. Add in maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla + salt and continue to process.  It will clump up again, but should start to butterize after another 1-3min.  If it doesn’t, add 1/2T oil [sunflower, safflower, etc] at a time, until it’s nice and smooth.
  7. Scrape out into a bowl and stir in the chopped nuts + chia seeds until combined.
  8. Store in a sealed jar in the fridge.  Flaxseeds [and flaxmeal!] should always be kept in the fridge, as they spoil easily.

*The key to great peanut butter is buying dry roasted peanuts! You may be able to dry roast at home, but I have never tried.  It tastes a lot different than when I have roasted raw peanuts in my oven.  Check out my basic, how to make drippy peanut butter post, for more details.

A hint of maple, cinnamon + salt.

Roasty peanut flavor.

And major crunch!

(1 of 1)

Doughnuts can wait until tomorrow!

Ashley

Reader Comments (98)

I've always been curious about sunflower butter -- I love the seeds as snacks. I'll definitely be trying that out as soon as I get back to my kitchen. Along with all the other yummy new ones. You are a nut butter queen!

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStacie (Foodie2Shoes)

I just made the cookie dough almond butter, and it didn't seem to take too long to come together...so I finished the recipe, but the taste and texture seem wrong. I'm thinking I didn't let them process long enough? It seemed to be smooth, but do I need to wait for it to be 'drippy' to move on? Help!! I need that nut butter! :)

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

You are the nut butter queen! I agree with you about the vita mix though, when I tried to make almond butter in it, it worked okay but I ended up having to take the nut butter out and put it into the food processor to make it the consistency I wanted.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrittany

this is an epic post!! i want a quality food processor so badly! once i get one i am definitely trying out ALL of your recipes! :)

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterashley @ cooking for john

I make butters in my vitamix all the time ... I usually make cashew or a cashew-honey-roasted-peanut combination; never tried sunflower seeds. The peanuts and cashews have enough oil that I don't have to add any - I just turn it on high and keep tamping. I agree it's a pain to get it out of there! Almond butter, I always have to add oil because it's so dry ... are the sunflower seeds that dry? Might have to get a normal food processor.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterYvonne

Thanks Ashley!! Maybe for the holidays? :)

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Ugh, the VM was horrrrible!!!! :)

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

It should be nice and smooth before adding in the sugar, salt, vanilla, etc. Smooth like you want the end result to be and then process it again with the added ingredients until it becomes smooth again. Not sure why the taste would have been wrong? It's definitely not straight up chocolate chip cookie dough, but it really tastes quite similar!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Awesome!! I'm so glad this will be helpful for you!! They really make the best gifts. Everyone always loves getting nut butters. :)

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Haha, the thought has crossed my mind... ;)

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

You're welcome Sabina! Glad you figured out the problem!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

hahahaha :)

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Best comment of the day! :)

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

The recipes are up!!! :)

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Ahhh, no waterrrr!!! :)

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Too funny Lauren!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

You must give it a go!!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Oh you know it!! They're up right now!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

this is making me hungry! I am super excited about the coconut butter, but i'm assuming it not like cocnut butter/oil that you buy? i may have to try the coco / peanut butter... mmm...

My new food processor (cuisinart ;) ) arrives this week so i need to put it to good use! I love your posts :)

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie

ooh, i forgot to ask - how long do they keep for? do you boil the jars first?

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie

Question #2 has always been in my mind when reading your nut butter recipes! I've been making my own nut butters at home long before I stumbled upon your blog and mine always end up stiff and similar to hard cookie dough. I just figured that was how it was when it's no longer hot from the blending process.

Then I found your blog and saw ooey, gooey, drippy nut butters and was like, "...how is that POSSIBLE??"

I guess I need to get more patience and let it blend around a little longer.

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJecka

Wow! I just read your donut post first (above) and was blown away by your creativity in the kitchen, but I'm really blown away by your well thought out, well-written, brimming-with-information nut butter post! I love it! I don't have a Vita-Mix or a food processor (high on my gift list for bdays, lol!) and use a regular blender for far too much and it generally does okay (it's only smoked once on me). Do you think it's possible to make your peanut butter crunch recipe with beaters in a bowl? Might sound ridiculous to a seasoned nut butter maker, but since it's all I have...going out on a limb here. ;) Thanks for this post!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBonnie

Oh goodness! I was holding out for a VitaMix (which I still really want!), but after reading your post I think I may have to splurge soon and get a food processor. I've been drooling over nut butters and hummus forever now sans processor (save my mini) but after this post I think you've set me over the edge!! Gorgeous photos and delicious looking recipes. Your blog is a lifeline between this advice and the crock pot beans revelation!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaitlyn@TheTieDyeFIles

....it was because I roasted the almonds too long and forgot the salt. Oops! Take two this morning is ah-mazing!! I'm making this for all my friends, I'm obsessed!!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Oh yaaaaaay!!! I am SO glad to hear!!!!!!!!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Yes, and it's about 1/2 the cost!! Yes, the vita is nice, but like I said, you can find a great blender for much cheaper. I've heard really good things about The Ninja, and I know that costs way less. I've even used $50 blenders to blend up spinach in a smoothie and a few have worked great! :) I'm so glad you're enjoying the blog!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Thanks so much Bonnie!!! I really appreciate your comment. Not a ridiculous question, but unfortunately the beaters definitely won't work...I wish they would! :)

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

You need to just let it blend longer!! It literally sounds like liquid whipping around before I stop processing it. :)

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I boil the jars or sanitize them in my dishwasher [if you have a sanitize setting] the first time I use them. After that, I just clean them well by hand or in the DW.

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

It's just like the coconut butter you buy in the store, that costs like..ummm $10-15!! However, coconut butter + coconut oil are not the same thing. Coconut oil is just the oil, extracted from the flesh, but coconut butter is the coconut meat blended, which includes the oil. You can read more about it here http://nouveauraw.com/special-raw-ingredients/coconut-oil-vs-coconut-butter/ + http://www.artisanafoods.com/products/extra-virgin-coconut-oil + http://www.artisanafoods.com/products/coconut-butter

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Thanks so much! I have been wanting to try making nut butters but have been stuck on where to get my nuts! And the coconut butter looks fabulous! Two questions:
(1) Where do you buy your nuts typically, I assume it would be cheaper to buy them in bulk and maybe online
(2) Do you buy all your nuts as organic or just peanuts?

Thanks!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbetsy

1 - I watch sales at Whole Foods...typically they have 1-2 raw nuts on sale each month. Or, I get them at our other local natural food store Natural Grocers. You can actually order with them online and their prices are pretty great!! Also definitely check other online ordering. Costco also has great bulk prices, if you aren't looking for organic. 2 - Peanuts are the only nut that I always buy organically. It's a heavily pesticide controlled plant. I just looked some stuff up and apparently I'll be buying organic cashews + pistachios now too.... http://www.livestrong.com/article/269647-which-nuts-seeds-to-buy-organic/

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Thanks, I will have to keep an eye out and check Natural Grocers out! And great find about cashews & pistachios too! I am looking forward to trying your nut butter recipes!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbetsy

You're very welcome!! Glad it was helpful!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I totally agree with you about the Vita-mix for thick things like nut butters! I tried banana soft serve in it once- sooooo hard to get out. The food process IS best for thicker concoctions! :)

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

Unfortunately, having had to get a replacement twice in about that many months, I've figured out that my blender just can't cope with making nut butter. I think it can't handle running continuously more than a minute or two, and overheats and melts the plastic under the blade so that the blade doesn't spin well and stuff drips out the bottom. No more homemade nutbutter for me for a while. :-( Luckily I made two jars before I accepted reality!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichal

Can't WAIT to try coconut butter!!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKoko @ KokoLikes

I am in love with coconut butterrrrrrrr.

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

love. this. post. thank you.

You're welcome my dear!!!! <3

August 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

i've wanted to make coconut butter for the longest time and could NOT figure out why it wasn't working. i have sweetened flake coconut.... lol. really helpful post!

August 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterclaudia

thank you for the notes on the coconut butter. I might have to attempt it again seeing how my last try failed so miserably. i burnt out the motor on my cuisinart food processor. lol.

September 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSonia (the Mexigarian)

Hey Ashley! I got a Vitamix a couple months ago after my processor/blender combo (different vessels; same motor) burned out. I've been extremely disappointed with how the Vitamix butterizes without the aid of oil, BUT I've come to a solution:

Since my favorite nut butter is peanut, I just buy organic peanut butter (only ingredient: peanuts) from Whole Foods, dump that in the Vitamix, then add salt and stretch out that 18-oz jar with lots of roasted nuts and seeds. It really works beautifully this way and blends right up - it's usually thinner than the sunflower seed butter looks in yours, so it's a lot easier to get it out. As for the leftovers in the vessel: I actually kind of like it, because I'll make some of HEAB's protein ice cream next which gets the gunk out, and then (I'm only slightly embarrassed to say this) I eat it out of the vessel, which efficiently gets any residue out. :P

There are definitely times when I wish I had a food processor to make nut butters from scratch (like your cashew cake batter butter!), but peanut - even stretched-out peanut, which I used to do in my processor anyway - will always be top dog in my heart, so it works out in the end. :)

Sorry for the novel! Just wanted to let you and anyone else reading this know.

PS: coconut butter is an entirely different matter. It takes me about a minute to get 24 oz completely smooth (no grit!). It seems less drippy than it gets in the food processor, but I think it's because it doesn't have the same amount of time to get piping-hot. I'm sure giving it a couple more minutes would produce better results, but I'm lazy. :)

September 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMari

Thanks for the details on your VM experiences!! Definitely good info to know. :)

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Oh my gosh, nooo!!!

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Thanks for this informative post! i'm crazy about nut butters too. I've never tried making the coconut butter or the sun butter though. And your other flavors of butters are so inspiring! :)

I'm glad to know about the vitamix. I don't have one -- just a food processor, which I use daily!

For peanut butter portion control, I actually weigh mine in grams! I know - anal- but I must do it, because eating it straight out of the jar is very easy for me to do!

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermelissa@thehungryartist

You're so welcome! I'm glad you found it useful!

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley
Just made your peanut butter crunch butter - delicious! It was hard not to eat it by the spoonful! Can't wait to incorporate this into my breakfasts :) Thanks for the recipe Ashley!
November 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.