roasted peanuts

Homemade Nut and Seed Butter

I recently completed a 72-hour water fast. I was never terribly hungry during the fast, and I felt great. The last night, however, I dreamed of peanut butter. I hadn’t had peanut butter in quite some time, so the next morning I picked up some roasted, unsalted peanuts and made my dream come true… fresh homemade peanut butter!

I’m using peanut butter as an example, but you can use many kinds of nuts or seeds. I’ve made almond butter, macadamia butter, sunflower butter, and tahini (sesame butter). The nuts and seeds that work best are those with a higher fat content: there’s a reason you don’t see walnut butter on your grocery store shelves.

roasted peanuts part way through the peanut butter process
Peanuts part way through the nut butter process in a blender jar

I wanted to make completely raw almond butter and sunflower butter, but I’ve found it just doesn’t work with a home blender, even a high powered blending monster. The roasting brings out the oils, which allows for a creamy nut or seed butter. Even roasted sunflower and sesame seeds don’t have enough oil to make a smooth butter, so you’ll probably need to add a bit of oil to make those. I have been successful with a mix of 1/2 toasted almonds and 1/2 raw almonds, but the butter won’t be as smooth.

Notice my switch from roasted to toasted? When I make peanut butter, I buy roasted peanuts. With any other type of nut or seed butter, I buy them raw and toast them in a dry frying pan on the stove top. Either way, I’m working with the freshest nuts and seeds I can buy.

completed homemade peanut butter
Completed homemade peanut butter in a blender jar

I have friends who make peanut butter using a Champion juicer, and the results are great. I don’t have one of those. What I do have is a Blendtec blender. I’ve been just as successful with a Vitamix. A friend who didn’t want to spend the money on either of these blenders asked me for advice, and I recommended a Ninja. He uses it for peanut butter and thanks me every time he sees me!

I have made almond butter in a food processor. It took forever and was a pain. I guess that’s why I didn’t try again for several years!

One reason I love the Blendtec is the Twister jar. I put the nuts in the jar, turn on the blender, twist the lid, and I’m done. No need to stop and scrape down the sides. The Twister jar is small, so I can only process about 1/2 lb (1/4 kilo) of nuts or seeds at a time. I’ve found that one pound of nuts turned into butter almost fills a 12 oz (350 gram) jar.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (about 1/2 kilo) toasted nuts, seeds, or roasted peanuts
  • a bit of mild vegetable oil if you’re making seed butter

Method

  1. Pour the nuts or seeds into the blender jar (if using a small jar like the Twister, process 1/2 at a time).
  2. Process on high speed, scraping down the sides if necessary, until the oils are released and the butter is smooth.
  3. If using a lower oil nut or seeds, add a bit of the vegetable oil as needed and continue processing until the butter is smooth. Overall, the processing should take about two minutes
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