DIY Nut Butters

Who doesn’t love peanut butter? Ok, maybe someone with a peanut allergy prefers an alternative nut butter, and maybe someone with a nut allergy prefers a seed butter like sunflower. Great! Who doesn’t love nut/seed butter? Easy to spread, great for a camping trip, great for sandwiches, and my personal favorite: great to spread on an apple. Yum!

Those of us who prefer to avoid peanuts know how expensive it can be to purchase alternatives, but what we might not know is that so many of the commercial brand nut butters out there contain hidden ingredients that aren’t always the best for us.

Check out these ingredients labels:

The second and third ingredients in this one are sugar and sugar, and the fourth ingredient is processed soy. Hydrogenated fat is also listed, which is dangerous, no matter the quantity. What all that other stuff is, or why any of it is in peanut butter, I have no idea…

Similar thing with this one. Added sugar and transfat

Since almond butter is typically sought after by at least moderately health-conscious folks, this one includes cane sugar instead of corn sugar, but it’s still sugar. And palm oil is better than most commercial oils, but still not necessary in a nut butter.

Ok, now that we’ve had a look at these labels, I encourage you to ask yourself why you choose to eat nut butter. Is it because it’s tasty? Of course! Is it because it’s an easy food source? Probably! Do you consider the amount of protein, fat, or carbohydrates in it? Maybe. Well here’s the thing: Nuts are great for you, but some of these other ingredients — I’d venture to say nearly ALL of these extra ingredients — are fillers that add no nutritional value to your nut butter. A nut has healthy proteins, fats, and some carbohydrates, but NO naturally occurring sugar. Any added sugar is a waste of calories and a potential spike to your blood sugar.

I challenge you to take 15 minutes out of your weekend to make your own nut butter. (It might take longer than that if you have to go shopping for nuts.) It’s beyond simple to make, and you probably won’t be surprised to learn how much more delicious homemade nut butter is, and how much more nutritious it is as well!

macadamia1Ingredients:

  • Almond Butter Ingredients: Almonds
  • Macadamia Butter Ingredients: Macadamias
  • Cashew Butter ingredients: Cashews
  • Are you getting my point?
  • Try for raw where you can find them

 

 

 

almondbutter1Directions

  1. Find a store that sells raw, organic nuts in bulk, get a couple of scoops of each kind of nut butter you’d like to make, and bring them home!
  2. Pull out your food processor, throw in the first kind of nut, and start the machine
  3. As you process, the nuts will probably start to stack up against the walls of the processor. When they do that and the blade is spinning unproductively, stop the machine and push the nuts from the sides back down to the middle.
  4. Repeat as needed until smooth

Times for grinding will vary by nut. Macadamia nuts are much oilier than almonds, so they grind down much more quickly. Almonds can take up to 15 minutes and require more stopping and pushing down than some of the fattier nuts.

If it made you nervous that I used the words “oily” and “fatty,” rest assured that the fat in nuts is the “good kind.” Have a look at this explanation of beneficial fats to get a better idea of what I mean.

Now get to blending! Let me know how it goes!

2 thoughts on “DIY Nut Butters

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