Easy Homemade Cashew Nut Butter
Friday, 6 November 2009
Do you ever get tired of stirring up those jars of cashew butter? You know, when they sit on the store shelves and the oil separates from the nuts and you have to use a big spoon or knife and a whole bunch of paper towels to soak up the splattering as you attempt to dig in to the bottom of the jar? Me too, until I discovered how easy it is to make your own at home. I used to think you needed one of those industrial nut butter grinders like they have at Whole Foods. But all you need is some roasted unsalted cashews, a little walnut oil, and a small food processor. It is also inexpensive compared to the stuff you buy in the store – I have seen tiny 8-oz. jars on sale for $12 or more. The good news is you can make the same amount at home for a couple of bucks.
Cashews give off very little oil when they are roasted. That is why they are one of the few nuts that you need to add oil to in order to make nut butter. But that just makes it easy to process your own nut butter, because the added oil is what makes it creamy. I choose to use walnut oil because of its mild flavor and because it is high in omega-3 fatty acids. But if you don’t have walnut oil, you could probably try sunflower oil and get similar results. This is not an exact recipe – I usually grind up some nuts and then drizzle a bit of oil in the food processor until I get the desired consistency. But this is approximately what I would use:
1 cup roasted, unsalted cashews
1-2 tsp walnut oil, plus more as needed
First grind up the cashews in the food processor until they are finely chopped. Then add one or two teaspoons of walnut oil and process, scraping the sides to mix it all together. If it seems a little dry, add a touch more oil, pulse again, and then check the consistency. You want it to stick together and be able to form a ball. If you like a creamier texture, add more oil. I personally prefer it a little crunchy but still easily spreadable. When the nut butter has reached the desired consistency, spoon it into a glass jar and store it in the refrigerator.
Here are some snack ideas for using cashew butter:
1. Sliced apples with cashew butter (shown above)
2. Rice cakes with cashew butter, sliced apples, and spinach
3. Celery with cashew butter & raisins (a.k.a. “ants on a log”)
4. Gluten-free toast with cashew butter
5. Coconut-cashew nut butter & seed rolls (pumpkin & sunflower seeds mixed with cashew butter and rolled in coconut flakes, then chilled; shown below)
Please feel free to share your favorite nut butter snack ideas!