a staple in every kitchen
An assortment of nut butters is always a staple in my pantry. I’m not kidding; I have about 5 jars of nut butter (mostly empty) sitting in my pantry, waiting for me to polish them off. I have always loved peanut butter growing up. My school lunches from kindergarten to high school usually consisted of a peanut butter sandwich, no jelly, and one green apple and peanut butter. My after school snack, if it wasn’t cream cheese and crackers, was another apple with a huge dollop of PB. I loved Reese’s PB cups, Peanut Butter Delight ice cream, and straight PB out of the jar. I wonder how many pounds of PB I have consumed in my life. Actually, I don’t want to know.
swap it out.
Since my health journey began, I have swapped out my beloved PB for nut butters, almond butter in particular. Almonds are more nutrient dense than peanuts, and are actually nuts. Peanuts, contrary to popular believe, are legumes, not nuts. They grow under ground rather on trees. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my PB, but I find myself going for the nut butters now.
Nut butters can be quite expensive though. I saw a jar at Kroger today, $17. The average price of good quality nut butters (with no sugar or weird oils added) is about $7. Still pretty pricey, when you look at a large jar of JIF for $5. Choosey moms choose JIF, but not me! Anyway, recently, Trader Joe’s started carrying a mixed nut butter that is so super creamy and delicious. I could eat a whole jar in one sitting probably.
Looking at the ingredients, it was basically all the nuts you find in a deluxe mixed nut bowl, blended into one harmonious mixture. Sick of spending $6 bucks on a tiny jar, I decided to try to make my own. I didn’t know what to expect and I didn’t know how to go about it, but I tried to make it anyway. That’s usually how I do all my cooking. LOL. But really.
So I went to my bulk food store which I LOVE and grabbed about 2 cups or a half pound of unsalted deluxe mixed nuts and a handful of brazil nuts.
Why brazil nuts? These large awkward shaped nuts are a great source of selenium, which is mineral that supports a healthy immune system, is an antioxidant, improves blood flow, and boosts fertility in men and women. So that’s why.
you may need ear muffs for this…
Anyway, I got home, took my handy, yet heavy, food processor out, filled it with the nuts, and let’er rip! I think you could hear this food processor grinding these nuts from a mile away, it was so loud. So if you have a sleeping baby, husband, lover, or dog in the house, wait until they are awake. Or you could just do it anyway and scare the living daylight out of them.
watch how to make it!
Three Phases of Nut Butter
The process of blending the nuts to get a creamy consistency takes a while. There are 3 phases of blending. Each phase, you will want to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
Phase 1 happens about 1-2 minutes into blending. The nuts start to breakdown and form a huge ball that just goes round and round in circles. Sometimes, the ball will breakdown by itself, but most of the time, this is a good time to stop the processor and push down the ball and scrape the sides of the processor.
When the ball starts to break down and becomes more smooth, this is Phase 2. If you like your nut butter to have a little more thickness and texture, you can stop at Phase 2. Make sure to check the sides and scrape down anything that is getting left behind.
Phase 3, the final phase, is when the oils have been released from the nuts, creating a smooth, shiny, gooey-ooey nut butter. This is how I prefer my nut butter.
salty like me.
Once the nut butter is to the consistency that you want, you can add salt to taste. This is completely optional. I usually add a little, blend a little, taste. If it needs more salt, I will add a little more. It is really up to you! Pour or scoop your nut butter into a jar, and you are good to go!
As long as you keep it in a tight lid jar in normal room temp, your mixed nut butter should keep for a good while. I have never kept mine for more than a week or so, because I can’t help but grabbing a spoonful a couple times a day (I may or may not have an addiction).
how i enjoy my mixed nut butter
Lately, I have been enjoying my all time favorite snack, green apple and mixed nut butter. Sometimes at night for dessert, I will heat up a little nut butter in the microwave and dip Eating Evolved Dark Chocolate into it. MELTY, HEAVENLY GOODNESS. Justin enjoys his nut butter straight out of the jar with the biggest spoon he can find. Everyone has there preferences ya know?
DO try this at home, kids.
I hope you have the gumption to give this “recipe” a try, because it’s so worth it! Let me know what you like to have your Mixed Nut Butter with! Comment on this post, or tag me in a picture on Instagram @youngwholeandhungry . And don’t be afraid to share with your friends!
As always, I appreciate you and your support!