Nut and seed butters are incredibly nutritious and you can increase that nutritional value by soaking your nut (or seed) before making the butter. So making your own butter really is worth it! And its simple and fun – here’s how
|Taste notes:||Nut butters typically have a drying effect in the mouth – so eat with fruit, mix with water to make nut milk, or use to thicken sauces|
Making nut and seed butter at home is so delicious, simple, and cost effective, you’ll never go back to store bought! Learn how easy this butter is to make, and the tricks that will make it a success.
Nut and seed butter
- 2 to 3 cup nut or seed (organic)
- 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil (as needed)
- 1 tsp turmeric (optional)
- 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
- 1 tbsp cacao (optional)
- 1 tsp sugar, syrup or honey (optional)
Soak and dry your nut or seed (see instructions below)
Roast 2 to 3 cup of nut or seed (see below for directions). It is essential that the nut or seed is toasted. They will NOT turn into almond butter if they are left raw.
Add toasted nuts or seeds to the dry or wet container of a Vitamix (either will do)
Start the Vitamix on low and pulse to break up the almonds into uniform small pieces. Mix with the tamper.
Turn up the Vitamix to HIGH and use the tamper to push ingredients into the blades
IMPORTANT! Stop every minute and wait 1 minute with the machine off to allow it to cool
Stop as needed to scrape the almond butter from the bottom of the Vitamix and to allow the mixture to all turn into butter
Blend until smooth. This will take a few minutes.
Store in a glass jar in the pantry or refrigerator for up to 6 months.
I find that it is generally easy to work with batches of 2 to 3 cups of nut or seed. Any less and the tamper does not reach far enough down to push the mixture into the blades, and any more and only the bottom turns to butter, while the top stays coarser. Also if you blend more than these amounts, you increase the risk of overheating the motor.
Roasting or heating nuts is crucial – this helps the oil to separate from the rest of the nut in the blender which allows the nut to become a smooth liquidy butter
Making nut and seed butter in the Vitamix is not foolproof. Sometimes it cooperates and turns out perfectly the first time, however, sometimes it refuses to budge or form a smooth butter. Sometimes heating the nuts fails to help them release their oils. When that happens just add a tablespoon of coconut oil (to the total amount of butter) or about half of a cup of roasted high-oil nuts, such as pecans or Brazil nuts.
Add spices such as cinnamon and turmeric for a truly exotic butter, or add cacao and some syrup, granulated sugar or honey. Only add these ingredients once the butter is smooth
Vitamix blending notes
Make sure the nuts or seeds are cool before putting into container, because hot nuts and seeds can melt the container. (The Vitamix container material starts to melt at ~ 120°C or 250°F.)
Blend at maximum speed and use the tamper to push ingredients into blades. I focus on pushing each corner of the blend down. Don’t be afraid of the loud sounds. You’ll hear a low-pitched growl when the motor is working hard against the thick butter, and a high-pitched whine when the blades form an air pocket and are spinning freely. Both of these sounds are normal.
Vitamix warns that if you blend thick things like this at lower speeds, you increase the chances of overheating the motor. When the motor is getting close to overheating you’ll smell something that smells like burning.
The motor has a thermal cutoff that will turn it off before it burns out. If you set off the thermal cutoff, you have to wait 30–60 minutes for the motor to cool before you can use it again.
To avoid the motor overheating and cutting off, pause every 1 minute to allow the motor to cool.
Roast nut and seed
How to roast a nut or seed
- 2 cups raw nuts or seeds
Spread nuts or seeds on grease proof paper in a large baking pan
Roast for 10-12 minutes on 175° C or 350° F or until the nuts or seeds are browned and a slightly nutty flavor wafts from the oven.
Remove from oven and let cool until you can hold them in your hand for 10 seconds without screaming!
I highly recommend standing right at the oven, stirring the almonds every few minutes, and tasting after about 8 minutes (careful, they’re hot on the inside!). As soon as you smell a slightly toasted flavor, they are done.
Soaking Nuts and Seeds
- 2 cups raw organic nuts or seeds (it is better to soak one kind at a time)
- 3-4 cups warm filtered water (to cover nuts)
- 1 tablespoon salt
How long to soak your nuts or seed:
- Larger nuts like Almonds, Cashew, Pistachio, Brazil and Walnut require 12hrs
- Smaller nuts and seeds like Pumpkin require 8hrs
- Not all nuts and seeds can be easily soaked. Flax and chia seeds gel when soaked and are very difficult to work with.
What to Do:
- Place the warm water in a medium bowl or jar (half gallon or larger). Add the salt and let dissolve.
- Add the nuts or seeds, making sure they are completely submerged in the water.
- Leave uncovered on the counter or other warm place (not the refrigerator) for at least 7 hours, preferably overnight.
- Rinse in a colander
Making nut milk
- If you plan to use nuts or seeds to make homemade nut or seed milk this is the optimal time to make it, as the enzyme inhibitors are mostly removed and the nuts or seeds are already softened to make a more creamy milk
To keep the nut or seed or to roast them or make a nut butter
- Spread on a baking sheet or dehydrator sheet.
- Bake in the oven at a low temperature (100C or 210F is optimal) or dehydrate
- Completely dry the nut or seed as any remaining moisture in the nuts or seeds can cause them to mold.
- After every 5 to 10 mins, stir the nuts to ensure even drying
- Drying in an oven takes about 30 mins (in a Dehydrator this can often be up to 24 hours)