Meat Free Monday – Nut Butter

Welcome to Meat Free Monday. It was an afternoon experimenting with our Nutribullet that led us to making nut butter almost instantaneously. Laura and Karen from Crystal Palace Market had come armed with Brazil nuts and so  the experimenting began. Lets find out more about it.
A nut butter is a spread (peanut butter being the one we are most familiar with, of course) made by crushing nuts. The result has a high fat content and can be spread like true butter, but is otherwise unrelated. Nut butters could be Almond butter, Brazil Nut butter, Cashew butter, Hazelnut butter, Macadamia nut butter, Peanut butter, Pecan butter, Pistachio butter and Walnut butter
You can also make butters from sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, soy beans or sesame seeds. Almond butter is a great alternative to peanuts if you have a peanut allergy, because it is higher in monounsaturated fats, calcium, potassium, iron and manganese. It’s considered a good source of riboflavin, phosphorus, and copper and an excellent source of vitamin E. Almond butter may be either raw or roasted and it is recommended that this butter be refrigerated once opened to prevent spoilage and oil separation. Almond butter also provides excellent dietary protein for vegetarians.
Caro loves nuts so I decided to make one with Brazil’s. Brazil Nuts become a truly scrumptious butter in about 2 minutes. Thin with water for a thick creamy sauce for pasta or vegetables. Brazil nuts contain high levels of selenium and the essential fat omega 6. They also contain substantial amounts of other minerals including: Magnesium, Copper, Phosphorus and Zinc.
Nut and seed butters have a high content of protein, fibre and essential fatty acids, and can be used to replace butter or margarine on bread or toast. Many butters contain additional oils or other ingredients that can alter the nut butter’s nutritional content but they all are high in protein and fat. Do be aware when making this butter that nuts naturally contain essential fats which may form an oil on top of the un-opened jar. This is perfectly normal and natural.
Freshly ground nut butter just requires a food processor. Not only do freshly ground nut butters boast richer flavours than bought products, making nut butters at home allows you to enjoy them without any added sugar, salt or preservatives. Though homemade nut butters are more perishable than store-bought, you can make them in smaller batches and store them in the refrigerator. For easier spreading, let them return to room temperature before using.
Regardless of the nut you choose, toasting the nuts before grinding will give you a gorgeous flavour not found at your local deli. Simply toast nuts on a dry baking sheet at 400 degrees F. until nuts are fragrant and lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Keep on eye on them because nuts easily scorch. Let nuts cool enough to handle before grinding. You can use any nut or seed to make butter simply soak them before processing them here’s a rough guide to soaking times:
  • Almond            Overnight
  • Brazil                None
  • Cashew             8 hours
  • Hazelnut          8 hours 
  • Macadamia     8 hours 
  • Pecan                6-8 hours 
Almond Butter Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1 kg raw almonds  (soaked over night)
  • A large pinch of salt
  • Food processor or powerful blender ( we’ve been using our Nutribullet)

Method

Place the soaked almonds in the bowl of the food processor or blender. Start to blitz, scraping down the sides with a spatula as necessary, until almond butter forms. The almonds will first turn into a dry, meal-like consistency, and then after about 10 minutes finally form a very thick almond butter. Keep the faith; the almonds will release their oils and transform into a delicious spreadable almond butter after 12-15 minutes total time. Add salt toward the end of the process if desired. Keeps refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

NB: Don’t overheat your food processor or blender, take a break for a few minutes before continuing. You know your equipment; BE CAREFUL

Almond butter

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