This was a very fun activity! We made our OWN nut butter! My family is addicted to brazil nuts. For good reason. They are high in selenium and vitamin E. They basically prevent cancer! Maybe that’s a bit over the top… but for more info, here’s a simple and informative resource. (I’d also like to thank my wonderful sister for letting us use her AMAZE-BALLS food processor)
We made 3 jars worth, one for my sister, one for my parents, and one for me to go home with (where ever “home” is…). Once it was all said and done, 5 cups of brazil nuts yielded approximately 850g of butter. 3 cups would nicely fill a 500g jar. I’m not sure if it’s possible to OVER process the nuts, but I wouldn’t recommend processing the nuts much longer after they’re turned creamy.
So let’s talk nut butters. They are the bomb, right?! Not only are they perfect on toast with jam or honey, a big spoonful on granola is also a good option. There’s also the option of using it in smoothies as thickener (and a protein boost!). Nut butters also work wonders in dressings for salads, or pasta dishes. Nut butters are also a key ingredient in many vegan baking recipes; they work as a great binder in muffins and loaves and granola bars. They’re also wondrous in dips, and savoury spreads. As we know, each nut has a very different and distinct flavour. Although the flavour is milder in butter form, they all vary. While something like peanut butter has a very potent taster, here the brazil nuts offer a very mild nutty flavour that lend themselves well to act as a base for other flavours. Another benefit, is that brazil nuts are the cheapest bulk, raw nut!
I’ve been lucky enough to indulge in peanut butter, almond butter, pumpkin seed butter, hemp seed butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter, walnut butter, hazelnut butter, and of course TAHINI (which is sesame seed butter). I’m not sure where I was going with this train of thought… basically any nut or seed can be turned into a butter to enjoy (and inhale by the spoonful).
To conclude, making your own nut butter is not only satisfying, but it’s also a cheaper alternative and it opens the doors to an infinity of possibilities. Imagine making a cashew-pecan nut butter. DROOL. Or walnut-almond. Or pistachio-cashew. Wow… I’m getting really excited over here… One final idea would be to add flavours such as cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla, maple, sea salt, or cocoa. WAIT, what about adding herbs like dill or basil (they’d reduce the shelf life, but imagine cashew-dill butter on a cracker under some guacamole).
RAW BRAZIL NUT BUTTER: fills one 500 gram jar
- 3 cups raw brazil nuts
In a food processor, pulse the nuts 20-40 times. Scrape down the sides with a spatula then let the food processor run for about 2 minutes until the desired consistency is achieved. (The nuts will go through several stages where the nuts turn into a powder then into a sticky crumble, then into a weird ball. Then the oils will come out and finally turn into a wonderfully smooth butter.)
*NOTE: Nut butters are best kept refrigerated up to about 4-6 months.