… Better Than Store Bought Any Day!
How can I make such a bold claim as to say homemade cashew butter is better than store bought? For three four perfectly good reasons (I’m sure there are many more):
– Much less expensive (about 75% less) than purchasing those jars of gold at the store.
– You can customize the texture and flavor just the way you like it.
– Doesn’t contain any extra ingredients that don’t need to be there.
– You never need to run out of cashew butter because a generous stash of nuts can be kept in the freezer, ready when you are … and the nut-butter making process is so easy.
As for tweaking the flavor of nut butter, I like to start with raw cashews. These have not been touched with roasting, added oils, or salt. I have the flexibility to roast them to the richness I prefer, as well as having control over the type of oil I add for extra creaminess, and how much salt I feel is needed to bring out the flavor (while keeping it low sodium), and if I want to include a sweetener. For these reasons, my recipe below is only a “master”, if you will, that allows for your personal touches. But this one is my favorite. I purchase cashew pieces instead of whole cashews, when available, because they are often less expensive. Starting with dry roasted, half-salt nuts (that are available at Trader Joe’s) work very well too. Of course, you can use nuts that have been roasted in oil and salted, but wait to season the nut butter with salt until they’ve been fully processed because the degree of saltiness sometimes is perceived differently between the creamy butter and the nuts themselves.
Nut butter can be made without adding oil, but I choose to make mine with added oil because it makes the texture so much creamier. Without the oil, I find that the texture is too “sticky” for me. With the oil, it is easily spreadable when cold straight from the fridge, perfect for putting onto my waffles or French toast. I also use this cashew butter in my cashew butter rice cereal bars – the softer texture is exactly what’s needed for easily stirring into the marshmallow-rice cereal mixture. It also makes my cashew butter cookies tender, and blends into my shakes (a nice alternative to almond butter sometimes – we all know variety is important, right?), keeping them smooth.
To sweeten up the cashew butter, which is completely optional, I use honey. I add this at the end of the processing. Adding honey makes the nut butter become fluffier and lighter. By using my food processor for this recipe, I can control how much “fluff” I want. Basically, the longer the honey is processed into the cashew butter, the fluffier it becomes. And oh my goodness, this is delicious! It’s got that sweet-salty thing going on – which is so difficult to resist, right?
So, with all these reasons – and delicious serving suggestions – what’s holding you back from making your own cashew butter? Nothing, if you ask me!
Homemade Cashew Butter
Prep time: 5 minutes
Roasting time: 5-10 minutes
Cooling time: 10 minutes
Processing time: 5 minutes
Makes: 1 16-ounce (pint) Mason jar
2 cups raw cashews
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
7 Tablespoons grapeseed oil
3 Tablespoons organic honey
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a jellyroll pan or rimmed baking sheet with foil.
Spread cashews onto pan in a single layer and bake in preheated oven 3-4 minutes. Stir to expose opposite side of nuts and continue baking another couple of minutes, depending on how toasted you prefer the nuts. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes.
Place roasted nuts in food processor and grind until a very fine grind or meal. Add salt. Scrape down sides of food processor and pulse a couple of times to incorporate salt. Using the pour spout of the food processor, drizzle the oil into the meal while processing. Cashew butter will be thin. Drizzle the honey into the butter, if using. Pulse or process to desired texture. Cashew butter will fluff and thicken slightly but will still be smooth and loose. It will tighten, or firm up, just enough to still be spreadable, or to be easily eaten right off a spoon without dripping, when chilled about an hour.
Pour or scoop cashew butter into a re-sealable jar and store in the refrigerator. Can be used immediately or stored for up to a couple of months.
Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™