This is a staple in our house - homemade nut butter (usually almond) in a mason jar that lasts about 2.5 seconds before it's gobbled up completely. To me, homemade nut butter tastes so much better than what you'll find at the grocery store, and because the nuts are soaked and slowly dried first, it's actually a lot easier to digest.
From Sally Fallon’s book Nourishing Traditions…
“Improperly prepared nuts are very difficult to digest without depleting your store of digestive enzymes, making it difficult for you to gather any nutrients from the food you eat. Commercially available roasted nuts are most likely not soaked first which means they still have enzyme inhibitors. To make the awesome storehouse of nutrients in nuts available to you, you can soak and sprout them first."
So here's how I do it...
- 2 cups organic raw almonds or raw pecans (or a mixture)
- Filtered water
- 1-2 Tbs sea salt
- About 1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
First, soak dem nuts. It takes a bit of planning, because you have to soak the nuts two days before, but it's worth it. Before you go to bed, put the raw nuts in a big bowl and pour enough filtered water over them to cover all the nuts. Some of the nuts will be floating on top but don’t worry, they will eventually sink into the water. Sprinkle sea salt on top. Cover the bowl with a towel and let soak for 8 hours overnight.
In the morning, simply pour the nuts into a colander or strainer so the water drains out. Rinse them. Then spread them onto a large cookie sheet so they are all in a single layer. Sprinkle all the nuts with more sea salt, as much cinnamon as you want, and a wee bit of cayenne pepper if you want (this is how I like them).
Then, I put them in my oven’s warming drawer on medium for approximately 24 hours. If you don’t have a warming drawer, put them in the oven on the lowest possible temperature for around 24 hours. Check the nuts periodically – they are done when they are perfectly dry and crispy, not chewy at all.
No one wants chewy nuts.
Now you're ready to make nut butter while the nuts are still warm (it makes it easier if the nuts are warm, but it's not required if you can't make them right away.) You'll need a powerful blender (like a Vitamix) or a food processor. First, melt the coconut oil. If you're using a Vitamix, pour oil into the blender first, then the nuts. If you're using a food processor, first add the nuts and start processing them until they become pasty, then add the oil.
Don't be afraid of the coconut oil! Keep mixing and add a little more oil to make it the consistency you want. If it’s crumbly and doesn’t hold together, there’s not enough moisture. If you just want thick, pasty nut butter, you don't need as much oil. I like mine creamy.
At the end, I add about 5 drops of Vanilla Crème Stevia or about a Tbs of honey to add a bit of sweetness. You don't have to sweeten it though.
You could also add more cinnamon and cayenne pepper for a kick. I've also seen people add dried unsweetened coconut flakes and blend them into the nut butter.
Done! Scoop with a spatula into a glass mason jar with a tight lid and store it in the pantry. It doesn’t usually stay uneaten for long!