If you love nut butters as I do, then you’ve probably noticed a wide variety of them available in supermarkets. From cashew butter, chocolate almond butter, and mixed nut and seed butters, to the flavored varieties like maple vanilla and cinnamon raisin, there is a nut butter to satisfy even the pickiest palates.
Despite all the choices we have available, making a mixed nut butter at home allows you to be creative and put together your own special blend of nuts. Homemade nut butters taste great, are nutritious and can be used in a variety of recipes. Nut butters are also portable, don’t require refrigeration and make a great on-the-go snack.
You can choose to create a blend of your favorite nuts, or if you like them all, a blend containing all of the common nuts. Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts can be found prepackaged in most grocery stores. Stores that sell nuts in bulk enable you to purchase as few or as many as you’d like. You can even add seeds and spices to your recipe.
Nut butters, calorie-dense at approximately 190 calories per 2-tablespoon serving, are very low in saturated fat and are loaded with the healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats that we all want in our diets. They are also a good source of plant-based protein, fiber, vitamin E, minerals, phytosterols, and phenolic compounds. Eating nuts can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels, control glycemic levels, and reduce hypertension and the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Are you ready to make your own blend?
I highly recommend roasting the nuts to bring out the nuts’ oils and rich, deep flavors. This will also allow the nuts to grind more easily than if they were at room temperature, and it creates nut butters with a smoother consistency.
- 2 cups (or more) of your favorite nuts, roasted
- Salt (optional)
- Spices, flavor extracts, or sweeteners
- Any other ingredients you’d like fully blended in, such as pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, or flax seeds
Additional ingredients added at the end for crunch or for a chunky consistency, such as additional nuts, pretzels, coconut chips, candied ginger, dried fruit, shredded coconut, dark chocolate pieces, etc.
Place nuts in a high-powered blender or food processor and blend until fine crumbs form. Scrape down sides of the container if necessary, and then continue blending until a thick, creamy mixture forms. Add salt and any spices, flavors, or sweeteners and blend in completely. Then add any additional ingredients for a chunky nut butter and pulse just a few times.
Of course, plain mixed nut butter with a little salt is outstanding on its own, and it is very versatile. Here are some of the many ways you can use this healthy product:
- Use as a spread for toast, bread, apples, or celery
- Use as a dip or as part of a dip recipe
- Make your own energy bars
- Swirl into Greek yogurt
- Swirl into oatmeal
- Add to a smoothie
- Add to a pasta dish
- Use in cookie and muffin recipes
- Use as a base for a sauce
- Spread on a tortilla and roll up with a banana
- Use in a salad dressing
May there be many homemade mixed nut butters in your future.