Dips et Spreads
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Going Nuts! – Homemade Nut Butter

When I first heard about nut butter, I do admit being sceptical about its benefits. And my instinct was not mislead at all, for a huge amount of the store-bought nut butters contain additives, unhealthy oils, sugar, etc. Anyway, many things you would not like to absorb. And there’s another problem: the good and organic ones that only contain nuts are crazy expensive…! That’s when this tip becomes handy.

When I first discovered that I could actually make my own nut butter, I was totally thrilled, jumping like a grasshopper all around my kitchen, with my blender working full speed (and my best friend filming…)! As soon as I started eating healthy, nut butter has been my core ingredient, the answer to most of my pains and sorrows.

Feeling sad and lonely? Try some chocolate chestnut butter on a piece of rye bread. Feeling depressed? Try to scoop some pecans and maple butter into a banana smoothie. In need of a quick dessert? Fill a few fresh dates with some almond butter. As you can see, the uses and combination are just endless and always deliciously comforting.
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Ingredient

What’s great about this is that you only need one ingredient. Nuts. As you will be able to say later, all kinds work. Try a few and mix different flavours for even more goodness. There are two things to be aware of: first, do not add any oil, even if you could, because the nuts will release all their oil in the end and it would be useless to add any more, and second, do not try to add water, it will only cause your butter to be stickier and harder (I once tried and must admit that it was not pretty to see haha!). If you are allergic to nuts, you could totally use seeds instead; I’ll be sharing various recipes for seeds butter as well, so no worries!

Kitchen tool

There is one thing that you will certainly need to succeed in making nut butter: a strong food processor. I know, you might think that it is out of this word expensive, just for a kitchen tool. But having one is just so wonderful; you can seriously make everything with it, from grounding nuts and seeds to mixing soups, smoothies, creating fantastic juices…that is the best thing I’ve never bought, without a doubt (my friends would not contradict, there was a time when I could not stop talking about it, dreaming of it and even creepier, having picture of it on my phone haha!). Anyway, I use a Magimix 3200XL and it works just wonders; there’s not a day without me using it. When making nut butter, you’ll see that the nut mix quickly becomes sticky, heavy and really gooey, which will heat your food processor; if it starts to smell a little burnt, you should turn it off to let it cool down a bit. That explains why you ought to go for a powerful machine; and since the mixing time varies, depending on the machine, the type, amount and temperature of nuts, it might take you less or more than 10 minutes to achieve a complete smooth consistency.

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Preparation

There are three different ways to prepare it. First, you could simply use the nuts as they are, which is just as great in the end, because you’ll taste their genuine flavour. Secondly, you could activate the nuts by soaking and then dehydrating them, which is healthier but not easier, in that it’s going to be more difficult for them to release their oil and for the butter to become very creamy. And then you’ve got the third option, which is my favourite: roasting them (but not for too long!). This ultimate option help to release all the nuts’ flavours, and gives them a nice earthy and toasted savour.

The Multiple Uses of Nut Butter

There are so many delicious ways to use nut butter, so here a my favourites:

  • Add a spoonful to your hot drinks or smoothie for extra creaminess.
  • Use them in bars, granola or simply in baking, as a thickener.
  • Add a dollop on your morning porridge.
  • Use it in salad dressings (hot or cold by the way).
  • Spread some on rye bread and add a few fresh fruit slices.
  • Last but not least, eat it straight out of the jar!

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The Standard Nut Butter

Portions: One jar, about 300g.

Preparation time: 15 minutes.

Cooking time: 10 – 15 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 300g of any nuts, either one sort or mixed (for example, almonds, or almonds – chestnuts, cashews – almonds, pecans – almonds,…)
  • A pinch of salt

Method

(1) Preheat the oven at 150°C. Roast the nuts on a parchment paper for about 15 minutes, or until a earthy smell comes out of your oven.

(2) Transfer all the nuts to a food processor, add the pinch of salt and run it on high speed for about 10 to 15 minutes (depending on your food processor’s strength). Be sure to scrape down the sides a couple of times. There are different steps in the making of nut butter so be patient, because the starting fine powder texture will quickly become a smooth, runny and gooey texture; that’s when you know the butter is ready.

(3) Add a few crushed nuts if you’d like your butter to be a little crunchy and then transfer to a clean glass jar. It will last a few weeks in your fridge or on a shelf (depending if you like it hard or runny!).

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Pecan, Almond, Cinnamon & Maple Butter

Portions: One jar, about 300g. Preparation time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 10 – 15 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 200g of pecans
  • 100g of almonds
  • 1 tbsp of cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp of maple syrup
  • 1 ½ tbsp of neutral oil (canola, sunflower,etc.) (optional, for it to be runnier)
  • A pinch of salt

Method

(1) Preheat the oven at 150°C. Roast the nuts on a parchment paper for about 15 minutes, or until a earthy smell comes out of your oven.

(2) Transfer all the nuts to a food, add the pinch of salt and run it on high speed for about 10 to 15 minutes (depending on your food processor’s strength). Be sure to scrape down the sides a couple of times. There are different steps in the making of nut butter so be patient, because the starting fine powder texture will quickly become a smooth, runny and gooey texture; that’s when you know the butter is ready.

(3) Add the maple syrup, the cinnamon, the oil and mix for a minute or so. Then transfer to a clean jar. It will last a few weeks in your fridge or on a shelf (depending if you like it hard or runny).

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