If you’re obsessed with nut butter but always thought it was too difficult to make your own, think again. We’ve sourced the help of nut butter connoisseurs, David Frenkiel and Luise Vindhal – better known as Green Kitchen Stories – to help us out. Below they share their secret recipe, which you may be surprised to find has only two ingredients.
“Our little family is nuts about nut butter. We spread it on rye bread, stir it through porridge, blend it into smoothies, dollop it on chia puddings and even freeze it in popsicles!” says the pair.
“We like to make our own nut butter as not only do we know what’s in it, it’s also cheaper option. Although some brands do add hydrogenated oils, refined sugar and additives, these ingredients are actually completely unnecessary. All you need is nuts, which are rich in healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, and energy.”
“Generally we use a combination of nuts and sunflower seeds, as they are more affordable and add flavour, but feel free to make a pure nut butter if you prefer. When toasted and ground in a food processor, the nuts slowly release their natural oils and transform into a smooth butter – it’s quite fascinating really!”
Nut Butter Recipe
Makes 600 g (1 lb 5 oz/2 cups)
600 g (1 lb 5 oz/4 cups) raw nuts of choice (or a combination of nuts and seeds)* ½ teaspoon sea salt
Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas mark 2. Spread the nuts out in a single layer on a baking tray and toast for 10–20 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Put the nuts and salt in a food processor and blend on a high speed for 10–20 minutes or until completely smooth. Stop and scrape down the sides with a spatula every now and again, which also helps prevent your food processor from overheating.
Pour into a sterilised medium-sized sealable glass jar, cool and store in the fridge. If sealed, the nut butter can keep for a few weeks in the fridge.
* We like to use equal amounts of almonds, cashew nuts, brazil nuts and sunflower seeds. TIP: If you go crunchy over smooth (one of life’s most contested topics), try adding some chopped nuts towards the end of blending in the food processor.
A note on kitchen tools…
“To succeed in making nut butter you need to have a decent food processor. You are going to mix the nuts for at least 10 minutes and the nuts will get pretty sticky after a while, so your food processor will get hot,” says the duo. “If it starts to smell a bit burnt, switch it off and let it cool down for a while before continuing. If you know that your machine isn’t all that powerful, it helps to roast the nuts a bit extra and add them to the machine warm.”
“We use a Magimix 3200 and it works really well. Regardless of the brand, it’s worth investing in quality kitchen tools if you plan to use them a lot. A few readers have told us that they use their Vitamix blender. We haven’t tried it but trust that it works. The reason we prefer a food processor is that it has a wider base. This allows the whole batch to be mixed at once, not just the nuts at the bottom. The mixing time will vary depending on the machine, the type, amount and temperature of the nuts. In our machine, it takes around 10-12 minutes before it’s completely smooth and creamy but it can take up to 20 minutes in others.”
About the authors
David Frenkiel and Luise Vandal are the faces behind the hugely successful blog, Green Kitchen Stories. Luise is a qualified nutritionist with a passion for developing wheat-free and sugar-free recipes. David is the photographer and design-eye behind their work. They are the authors of The Green Kitchen, Green Kitchen Travels and their most recent cookbook, Green Kitchen Smoothies.