Today I did something that I never thought I'd be able to do- I made homemade walnut butter!
I have read many times that making homemade nut butters isn't really so hard, you just have to stick it in your food processor and let it run, scraping down the sides.
And I tried it.
I really did.
More than once.
And I was disappointed every single time.
I was sure that the problem therefore must lay with my food processor, that I simply didn't have the right kind.
But that didn't really make so much sense to me, since I have a Cuisinart one, which isn't exactly considered to be bad quality.
I just didn't really have success though.
Then today I read someone post about how they made homemade almond butter, and they described all the steps that happen when you're making it, steps that make you think that your nut butter flopped, but really, it is just part of the process of making it.
So I decided to give it a try.
And voila- success!
As I said above, I made walnut butter today, simply because I found walnuts on sale today at the store, but when I find almonds on sale, and when I next buy cashews cheaply, I will be making cashew butter and almond butter as well.
You probably are going to ask- is it cheap?
Well, think about this. How much do nuts cost per pound where you live? That is how much your homemade nut butter will cost you per pound as well. Locally, our store bought nut butter is much more expensive than nuts are per pound, so it is definitely financially worthwhile to make your own.
This can also be used to make sunflower seed butter, peanut butter, pumpkin seed butter, etc...
So- how do you do it?
You fill up your food processor most of the way with nuts. Don't go skimpy on the nuts or you'll just find them rattling around in the food processor and not actually grinding.
And don't pack the food processor too much, or it won't work either.
So once you fill it, put on the cover, and start grinding. And push down what accumulates on the sides, because that won't grind.
The first stage it'll get to is broken up/crumbled nuts.
But just keep going.
Once you get past the crumbled nuts stage, you'll see it starts to be a little bit "sticky", not individual crumbs anymore, but a little drop pasty.
Continue with this more and you'll get to a stage where it starts looking really pasty, and if you taste it, it'll feel smooth on the tongue. And you might wonder- "Is this it? I mean it tastes like nut butter and if feels like nut butter when you eat it, but it doesn't really look like nut butter, the texture seems off." And you can stop there if you want to, but you don't need to, because if you just continue with it more, you'll get to the stage where it really looks like store bought nut butter.
You know you're about to get there when you start seeing what looks like a thin layer of oil on certain parts of your nut butter. Continue more until it is creamy, smooth, and looks like store bought nut butter.
In case you think this is a quick process, it isn't. All together, it takes about 10-15 minutes of processing. I didn't time it, but it took a while.
Unless you want really expensive nut butter, I suggest that you don't actually do this all in one go, because if you run your food processor for 10-15 minutes straight, you may overheat the machine and kill the motor.
So give it some breaks.
Once ready, decide if you want to leave it as is, or add salt, or sweetener. I added some salt. When not on this diet anymore, I may decide to mix in some raw honey.
I even used my homemade walnut butter to make ants on a log (please excuse my skimpy celery- that's what is sold locally)!
I'm really excited to have finally figured this out!
Once you have these nut butters, you can use them as spreads on sandwiches, in dips, as a replacement for peanut butter for things like pad thai or other peanut based sauces, you can make a tahini style dip with lemon, salt, and garlic, or in cookies or so many other things. You can even use it watered down tremendously to make homemade nut milks easily.
Next up on my list to make, after cashew butter and almond butter- pumpkin seed butter. They sell it locally, but its a fortune, and it works great as a remedy for pinworms.
Have you ever made homemade nut butters? What type did you make? Did you have success the first time you tried, or only after a few tries?