An Ode to Nut Butter
Nut butters are infinitely versatile both in their applications and their flavors. Birthday cake cashew butter? Go for it. Matcha hemp pistachio butter? Sure! Savory chocolate almond butter? The world is your nutty oyster, my friends! I love spreading nut butter on pancakes, toast and apple slices. It’s also great as a dip for carrots and celery. Add a few dollops on your smoothie bowl, ice cream or oatmeal. Nut butter is also a great way to add a boost of flavor to curry, pasta and banana bread!
How to Make Nut Butter at Home
Making nut butter at home can be as simple or as frustrating as your food processor allows. I must confess that I literally cried tears of rage the last time I attempted to make almond butter.
Picture this: it was an unusually sunny day in February 2020. Birds were chirping, the pandemic wasn’t even a thing yet, and I had a spring in my step. I dumped a couple cups of almonds into the thirty-year-old food processor that I was borrowing from my parents. In just a few minutes, I was planning on eating deliciously fresh honey and cinnamon roasted almond butter. But that food processor had other plans… Long story short, it took my food processor an hour and a half of wheezing and whining to create almond butter. That’s a heck of a lot more time than I was planning to spend making nut butter.
Thankfully, nearly a year and a half later, I got a new food processor as a bridal shower gift. It took me a few months to build up the courage to attempt nut butter again. Alas, this brand new food processor whizzed up almond butter in five minutes flat! That’s a miracle!
So if you have an old food processor or if you are using a blender, just be aware that you may need to invest a little more time into making nut butter at home. Maybe find a nice book to read with a cup of tea, while periodically scraping down the sides with a spatula. Eventually you’ll get there, and it’ll be so worth it.
Savory Chocolate Almond Butter
This nut butter recipe is unique because it’s one of those “kitchen sink” recipes. If you already have flavored nuts on hand, use those! I have also found that for some reason, seasoned nuts are often cheaper than raw nuts at grocery stores. I used the last 3/4 cup of Thai chili almonds I had rattling around in my kitchen drawer, along with about one and 1/4 cup of roasted garlic and herb almonds from Costco. The spicy chili almonds and the savory garlic and herb almonds were balanced with the sweetness of milk chocolate chips in this creamy and thick homemade nut butter. It reminds me a bit of Mexican hot chocolate, with its balance of sweet and spicy. Best yet, you can add this into savory dishes like curry and stew for a deeper flavor profile.
Making it Easy
Using seasoned nuts takes the guess work out of your nut butter recipe. Do you have a favorite flavor of nuts? Maybe Thai chili almonds is not your jam, but yogurt covered almonds are more up your alley? Blend those into a yogurt & almond spreadable nut butter! Or have you ever wanted to try spicy caramel nut butter? Just mix some spicy flavored nuts and caramel coated nuts in a food process and away you go!
Savory Chocolate Almond Butter
- 2 cups seasoned nuts of your choice. (I used Thai chili almonds and garlic & herbs almonds.)
- ¼ cup chocolate chips (milk, dark or white, depending on your preference)
- Add the nuts and chocolate chips into a food processor. Process until a thick and smooth mixture is formed. Stop the food processor to scrape down the sides with a spoon or spatula periodically.
- The process time will vary based on the strength of your food processor. A thirty year old food processor took me an hour and a half, while a brand new one took me just five minutes.
- Enjoy your nut butter spread onto toast, pancakes, oatmeal, ice cream, and granola. Enjoy mixed into curry, pasta, cookie dough and brownie batter. Or any other way you can think of!