Nuts for Butter!! Homemade nut butter extravaganza!

Nut Butter

I have a confession to make.  I do not like peanut butter.   How can one not like peanut butter you ask?  Well, I don’t have an answer for that.  But fear not!  I have found a love in many other nut-butters.  Almond, pecan, macadamia, they all hold a special place in my happy belly! 

It all started one warm summer day when I was strolling the Whole Foods aisle and spotted MaraNatha’s Organic Raw Almond Butter.   I thought, heck, why not, i’ll give this baby a try.  Holly heck that stuff is amazing!  However, it can get a little pricy, so I started whipping up my own raw almond butter.  I have never turned back.  I love making my own nut butters.  I can experiment with so many varieties of nuts, flavors and consistencies.    I have not purchased another jar of nut butter since.

Recently I was contacted by Oh Nuts! to try some of their products, and I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to try out some new types of nut butters.  I decided to make raw almond butter (my staple), macadamia coconut butter, and maple cinnamon pecan butter.  They are all amazing, and are great toppings on so many things: oatmeal, waffles, breakfast breads, muffins, pancakes, and on and on and on!  

Raw Almond Butter

Raw almond butter is my staple.  I use it before every run slathered atop either whole wheat toast or whole grain waffles.  I also use it to top my oatmeal.  It is great.  Plus, almond butter is a great source of protein, a quarter-cup contains 7.62 grams-more protein than is provided by the typical egg, which contains 5.54 grams.  Additionally, almonds are high in monounsaturated fats, the same type of health-promoting fats as are found in olive oil, which have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease.    Almonds also contain high levels magnesium and potassium.  Almond butter is great for pre-workout fuel, it is my race-day essential.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place 2 cups raw organic almonds in a large food processor. 
  2. Now alternate grinding, wiping the sides, grinding again, wiping again, repeat, repeat, repeat. 
  3. Keep processing until it reaches your desired consistency.  Don’t give up, it may take a while, and your food processor may heat up, but it will get there.

 Variations:

  • Feel free to add a touch of honey, maple syrup, coconut oil, cinnamon, cocoa, or anything else that you like.  That’s the best part of making your own, you can experiment and make it your own! 

Maple Cinnamon Pecan Butter 

One of my favorite breakfasts growing up was Quaker Oats instant Maple & Brown Sugar oatmeal.  I would throw two packets into a bowl, pour cold milk on top, and eat it like cereal.  I loved it.  To this day the combination of maple and brown sugar is one of my favorites.   So when I think of nut butters, an obvious choice for me is maple cinnamon pecan butter.  

While people tend to gravitate towards almonds as a healthier nut, pecans have great nutritional benefits too.  Walnuts, pecans and chestnuts have the highest antioxidant content of the tree nuts.  They are are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, and are an excellent source of vitamin-E. 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.  Roast 1 cup of raw organic pecans for about 20 minutes, or until fragrant.  Let cool.
  2. In a small food processor combine toasted pecans, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 2 tablespoons organic maple syrup, and a pinch of kosher salt.
  3. Process until smooth, wiping down the sides of the processor when the butter builds up.

Macadamia Coconut Butter 

This last butter is an extra special butter as well.  I love all things coconut, always have, always will.  Coconut cake, almond joys, german chocolate cake, anything and everything with coconut.    The combination of macadamia nuts and coconut always remind of the tropics.  I just love the combination, its like peanut butter and jelly ;)   I had to merry these two into an exotic nut butter.  The result?  Divine.

How to macademia nuts stack up to other nuts you ask?  Well, macadamia oil contains the world’s highest percentage of monounsaturates, exceeding both olive and canola oil, which can help reduce overall cholesterol levels.   They also contain flavenoids (a phytochemical) and tocopherols (vitamin E), which are potent antioxidants and can help protect against cancer and heart disease.  

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.  Roast 1 cup of raw macadamia nuts and 1 cup organic flaked coconut for about 20 minutes, or until fragrant.  Let cool.
  2. In a small food processor combine toasted macadamia nuts, toasted coconut, 1 tablespoon raw honey, and a pinch of kosher salt.
  3. Process until smooth, wiping down the sides of the processor when the butter builds up.

What is your favorite nut butter? Have you found any fun combinations that I should experiment with?

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