Nuts and seeds are very popular in our household where they can be found under pillows, in random pockets, the hold of various vehicles, stashed (or sometimes partially regurgitated) into nooks and crannies, and other “secret” hiding places. More often than not, however, they are ingested with pleasure by parents and children alike. They are a great on-the-go snack and find their way into many of our meals. Ground flaxseed in our Porridge, pumpkin and sunflower seeds in our salads, almonds in our Date Nut Bites and Cantucci, walnuts in Muhammara, chia seeds in Overnight Oats and in the many varieties of “milks” that we regularly enjoy.
Nut butters also feature highly in our meals and amongst our favourite is peanut butter. Few things can compete with peanut butter spread on just toasted sourdough topped with Chia Jam or slices of a very ripe banana. Peanut butter also works great in baking and we use them in Cookies and Brownies so we make sure to always have some on hand.
When we first began making our own nut butters it was a little difficult and somewhat expensive to find brands that were salt and oil free. Even now that there are several brands we are happy to purchase, we are reluctant to forego our homemade fare. It is very easy to prepare and we know exactly what goes into it: nuts! and nothing else. While I admit that calling this a recipe is a stretch, I would urge you to give it a go, and see for yourself if it isn’t one of the most rewarding treats to come out of your oven and blender (let the nuts cool slightly and then blend immediately for a warm delicious treat).
We are partial to peanut butter, the flavour is very intense and stands out when combined with other flavours and textures. For variety or for anyone who cannot or does not want to have peanuts, try almonds. They are just as delicious and a great alternative. Almonds are more expensive and may require a more powerful food processor or blender than the standard household equipment, but worth a try if you do. We like our almond butter raw and this is tricky to achieve, even with our Vitamix if we do not add oil. Roasting the almonds first will make it easier and the flavour of the butter more aromatic. Whether using peanuts or almonds it is important that they are whole, in their skin and with nothing else added (salt, sugar, oil, etc.)
500g Peanuts or almonds
- Preheat oven to 180C/400F
- Spread the nuts evenly on an ovenproof baking sheet so that they are in one layer. Bake peanuts for 18 minutes and almonds for 10 minutes. The nuts will darken, but be careful not to burn them.
- Place in a food processor fitted with the S blade and blend at highest setting. The nuts will be powdered before the oil is released and turning them into a butter, the process can take up to 15 minutes. Scrape down the edges of the food processor every few minutes until it combines and begins to become a smooth delicious and irresistible treat!