Nut Butters – your questions, answered!

Were you expecting doughnuts?

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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.

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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

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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

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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!

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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!

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Now back to the food processor!

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You remember the Cake Batter Cashew Butter, right?

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

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The sprinkles also add a fun CRuncH!

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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

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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!

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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!!


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.

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And now?

A NEW recipe!! 

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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.

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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!

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Doughnuts can wait until tomorrow!