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Do you love peanut butter, hazelnut butter, or tahini? It’s actually pretty simple to make your own nut butter at home. As long as you pay attention to 3 things in making nut butter, you will have natural, plain nut butter every day.
If you’re an old friend here or you’ve watched some of my What I Eat video, you probably already noticed that I use/eat nut butter and seed butter quite often. I mean, I eat them literally every single day.
Sometimes I will buy from a store, but if I have time, I will make my own nut butter/seed butter. It’s really much cheaper to make your own nut butter than buying from the stores. Plus, you have more control of what’s inside or knowing what’s in it.
To make your own nut butter, the first thing that matters the most is the machine that you’re going to use. For this part, I do have a long story to tell, but I’ll keep it short here.
BTW, I want to mention that this post is a pure “experience-sharing” post. I bought all the machines mentioned here and really use them for a period of time to give you my honest opinion and thoughts. The brand name here is to give you clear information about which one I use so I will not keep saying “that one” or “this one.” But this page contains affiliate links. You can read more in my Disclosure Policy Page.
Point 1: Choose the right machine.
I’m often asked from direct messages: “Can I use XXX (another machine) to make nut butter?”
I usually reply by saying “it’s better to use a strong, high-power blender, especially for plain nut butter.”
In the past, I mostly make peanut butter because I love peanut butter (who doesn’t) and peanuts are naturally high in fat, which makes it more easier to release their oil to blend.
Strong blender or food processor will make nut butter in a short amount of time, 5 minutes for maximum. But if you’re using a regular or not so strong machine, it will probably take you twice the time you spread with a high-power blender.
And the long-time working is not good for your small machine as well. Sometimes they will even stop because of the overheating issue, which I did experience before.
That’s why now I only use my strong Vitamix and Magimix to do the heavy work. These two machines are on the high-end in the kitchen tool range, but I really feel they worth every penny. This is really what I feel after buying so many kitchen tools.
Point 2: Toast your nuts.
If you’ve read some homemade nut butter recipes, such as homemade peanut butter, homemade almond butter, and sunbutter, you probably have noticed that most of them all say to bake or toast your nut before blending. I also write that in my homemade nut butter recipes as well.
Why? because by baking nuts, it will:
- let the oil comes out from the nuts more easily
- elevate the nutty flavor
Letting the nuts release their oil more easily: Through baking, the oil in the nuts will come out to the surface, which will facilitate the blending process.
I’ve tried to use raw nuts to make nut butter, but it’s really not as smooth as using toasted nuts even with my strong Vitamix and Magimix. And it does take longer to blend as well. So if you’re not using a professional nut butter machine, I’ll suggest toasting your nut no matter what.
PS. If your machine cannot tolerate heat, remember to let the toasted nuts to cool down a bit before blending.
Elevating the nutty flavor: If you’ve toasted the nuts, I think this is pretty obvious and self-explanatory. Like baking bread or other food, baking the nuts really brings out more flavor in the nuts.
The flavor will be affected by the baking temperature and the time in the oven. Here I share some recommended temperature for different nuts and seeds. You can also adjust it according to your personal preferences.
- Almonds, Pine nuts: 120°C / 250°F -> 15-20 minutes
- Walnuts, Hazelnuts, Macadamia Nuts, Pecans: 140°C / 284°F -> 10-15 minutes
- Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds: 160°C / 320°F -> 10-15 minutes.
The special scenario for pecans, hazelnuts, and macadamia nuts: Sometime I will raise the baking temperature to 170-175°C and bake for only 5-10 minutes give them a deep toasted flavor. But you might want to pay close attention to them because it’s easy to over bake them at the high baking temperature.
Point 3: The number of nuts
In making nut butter, the amount of nuts you put into your blender also matters. This is what I’ve found after trying a few times. And this is really crucial if you want a smooth nut butter.
You want to add enough nuts into the blender so the blade can catch the nuts and keep blending to bring all the nuts into a paste.
I used to add just a few nuts because I wanted to make a small amount for myself. That really didn’t work. What I got was a grainy nut butter and I spent a lot of time to stop and scrape down the sides.
Adding enough nuts into the blender not only makes the whole blending process quicker and the finial nut butter is smooth just like store-bought ones, sometimes even smoother.
Then you might ask how much is enough. Well, I will say add the nuts to twice the height of the blender blade. Take my Vitamix 32 oz container, for example, I usually add 2 cups of nuts to make 1 cup nut butter. If you’re going to use the 64 oz container, just use 4 cups.
How to store nut butter?
I’ll recommend refrigerating every nut butter if you can. And use a clean utensil to scoop out the nut butter every time. The nut butter should be fine in the fridge or 1-2 months or longer.
Tahini is an exception. There’re are α-tocopherol (Vitamin E) and other antioxidants in tahini, so you don’t need to put tahini in the fridge because they’re naturally antioxidants by themselves. Thus, store tahini in a cool dry place at room temperature will be good. Even though they have antioxidants to prevent them go rancid, I’ll still recommend to finish them in 1 year.
There are 3 points to make your own smooth nut butter:
- Point 1: Choose the right machine: Use high-power blender or food processor (like Vitamix, Magimix)
- Point 2: Toast the nuts: Toasting the nuts ahead will let the oil in them come out more easily to help the blending process. [Click here to check out the temerature]
- Point 3: Add enough nuts to your blender: Add nuts to twice the height of the blade.
If you find it too much for making nut butter, then just buy from the stores. You can find pure nut butter at some stores now. I like to try new things so I also buy from the stores from time to time. But since there are not many options in terms of nut butter in Taiwan yet, so sometimes I will buy from iHerb or just make my own nut butter.
I hope the above information is helpful to you. Let me know if you’ve succeeded in making nut butter in any special way or using any specific machine. I would be happy to talk nut butter all day long. 🙂