When I started making homemade nut butter in my own kitchen, I was surprised at how easy it was. Not only that, I was surprised at how many other people were blown away by the idea! Sure, the concept is easy—grind up the nuts, add flavors and spices, and you’re done—however, I found most people I talked to still didn’t believe how easy it was. If you’ve never made nut butter before, you might give up prematurely when you see a grainy blob in your food processor. Don’t worry! Just keep processing. You will end up with a smooth nut butter, but sometimes it can take up to 20 minutes or longer, depending on the strength of your machine and your choice of nut. I have found a powerful food processor to be the most effective machine for making nut butters. Others use high-powered blenders and have great results.–Mary Loudermilk
How long does homemade nut butter last?
Homemade nut butter can be kept in the fridge for up to several weeks in a closed container.
Homemade Nut Butter
- 2 cups roasted unsalted peanuts or raw unsalted almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, macadamias, hazelnuts or pine nuts
- Up to 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Mild olive, vegetable, or nut oil, as needed
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Spread the nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 5 to 10 minutes. You should be able to smell a delicious nutty flavor when they’re ready. (The softer the nut, the less time you’ll need. Pecans and walnuts cook quickest, almonds and hazelnuts take longest.)
- Remove the nuts from the oven and immediately dump them in your food processor along with the salt. Process the nuts for 5 to 20 minutes, or until you have a true nut butter. The nut mixture will be grainy at first, and it may seem as if it will never come together into a cohesive nut butter, but keep scraping down the sides and bottom of your processor with a spatula and you will eventually get there. Really.
☞ TESTER TIP: Your food processor may make some really quite dreadful sounds along the way. If the nut butter seems really dry, add a small dribble oil to help the gritty nut particles adhere to one another in a paste.
- Taste and add salt as desired. (Sometimes a little extra salt can make all the difference in turning a good nut butter into a great nut butter.) Transfer to a resealable container and refrigerate for up to several weeks. Some nut butters will thicken substantially upon cooling so bring to room temperature if you need a spreadable consistency. Originally published August 10, 2015.
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Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
With a little patience, you, too, can make homemade nut butter. It’s really super easy, and my one piece of advice is, when you think it’s not working out, just keep going. I chose to do the classic almond butter, and since I like the “roasty toasty” taste, I roasted the nuts for about 10 minutes. There were several stages the nuts went through before reaching a creamy, smooth nut butter. This is the “keep going” part.
In less than a minute, the racket of the almonds whirling around turned into a constant hum. The mixture was grainy and started to rise up the sides of the processor. Keep scraping down the sides. Then the nuts turned into the consistency of wet sand. Just keep going. At the 5-minute mark, a large ball of almond mass was whipping around. Here is where you have to have a little faith. It will, in time, turn into a rich lovely creamy smooth nut butter.
It’s been a couple of days, and the almond butter hasn’t separated. I don’t know if making your own nut butter is truly less expensive than buying it ready-made, but I like the option of choosing how much salt I use and also like how I can make my own varieties by using a different mix of nuts and seeds.
I’ve never made my own homemade nut butter because every recipe I find makes the process sound so difficult. I should’ve known better. There’s a darn good chance I won’t be buying much peanut or almond butter anymore when I’ve got a perfectly good food processor at home.
The grocery store where we usually shop doesn’t sell many raw nuts, so I went with salted roasted peanuts. In 2 minutes (I’m not kidding, 2 minutes), I had peanut butter. I seasoned it with a fat pinch of sea salt and let it go for another minute. It wasn’t store-bought smooth after 3 minutes, but it had lost that grainy texture that I’m not so keen on.
2 cups peanuts gave me 1 cup peanut butter for $3.40. I kept it tightly sealed in the fridge. A bit of oil glistened on the surface, but that’s nothing a little stir can’t take care of.
The chai cashew butter was so good, I made it twice. It has a really wonderful flavor. The first time I made it, I cut the recipe in half, not knowing whether or not we we’d want a lot of something that we might not be fond of. Well, we were very fond of it. I had been concerned that the amount of spices would overwhelm the cashews, but they didn’t.
The 15 minutes of processing included stopping the processor to scrape down the sides and bottom of the container. At the 10-minute mark of both batches, the cashew butter had formed a hard ball, and my processor started making a loud dreadful noise. I was concerned that I was going to burn the motor out, so I pressed down the ball of cashew butter a couple of times, and that seemed to do the trick. The mixture thinned out and became creamy and smooth.
The chocolate pecan butter variation was pure joy on my toast this morning. Why did I never think of this combination before? An easy-to-follow recipe with fantastic results. The recipe made 1 cup nut butter. I transferred it immediately to my 4-cup food processor insert and processed the nuts for 11 minutes. This yielded a smooth nut butter.
Initially, I had to scrape down the sides of the processor every 30 seconds until the butter began to form. I added the chocolate and processed for an additional 2 minutes. The nuts were still quite hot, so the chocolate melted and incorporated well. The resulting consistency was fairly thin, and I was concerned it might be too thin to be spreadable. After resting in the fridge overnight, however, it yielded a fantastic spread with a consistency just slightly thicker than Nutella. No issues with separation.
Our local grocery store was selling the bulk pecan halves for $3.59 for 100 grams. So the nut butter cost me $7.18, plus the chocolate, which I had on hand. (This is in Canadian dollars and is slightly cheaper than what we’d pay for a comparable nut butter. Generally an equivalent jar would be $8 to $10, depending on the nut type.)
I made the chocolate pecan butter variation of the homemade nut butter, and it had a great flavor. The amount of chocolate was just right to complement the flavor of the pecans without overwhelming them. (If you shell out your hard-earned dollars for pecans, you want to be able to taste them, and with this recipe, you will.) The butter is not overly sweet. You could have it on your morning toast without feeling like you are having dessert for breakfast.
The nut butter came together pretty easily. It did require stopping and scraping down the sides of the food processor a few times, but patience will pay off here, as you will eventually get a smooth butter. Since the pecans were warm going into the food processor, the heat melted the chocolate chips quickly when I added them, and they incorporated easily and evenly throughout the nut butter. I’m looking forward to trying other nuts and flavor combinations.
The end result of this homemade nut butter was a smooth, thick, lightly-spiced nut butter that was delicious. I used raw cashew pieces from Trader Joe’s that I roasted in the morning before going to work and made the nut butter in the evening, as I don’t like putting hot nuts into my Vitamix.
I used this simple homemade nut butter recipe to make peanut butter. The entire process took about 10 minutes. I put the finished product in a lidded container and promptly refrigerated it. It looked just like store-bought and never separated. I will most assuredly make this again with one alteration—I’ll either use salted nuts or add the salt called for in the recipe. I mistakenly used both roasted salted peanuts and the salt from the recipe—a combination that I shall avoid in the future.
I had my doubts that my food processor could handle the task of homemade nut butter. It’s more than 20 years old and very low-end. I was hoping that this would do it in, but nothing doing. I roasted 2 cups peanuts and then immediately put them in the food processor with the salt, turned it on, and waited. After 5 minutes, I scraped down the bowl and proceeded with the puréeing. I let it go for 10 minutes, and it was still grainy, so I waited an additional 5 minutes. That appeared to be enough, as it was runny and a little grainy.
I transferred to a jar and popped it in the refrigerator. Once cooled, it was thicker and spreadable. I stored it in the refrigerator to keep the oil from separating. With the leftovers I decided to make a chocolate peanut version. I added 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder. This turned out well.
I’ve been making my own homemade nut butters for a while. I made all 3 recipes—nut butter, chai cashew, and chocolate pecan—and I would definitely make this basic homemade nut butter again, experimenting with additions and using other nuts. It definitely works.
For the hazelnut butter, I rubbed off the skins because I tend to find them bitter. It took about 7 minutes for the butter to become smooth. The flavor was fine. I’d treat these nut butters as a basis for adding other flavors (like chocolate, vanilla, honey, etc.). It was easy to make and turned out as expected.
I initially thought the chai cashew butter would be the most interesting due to its combination of spices. In terms of flavor, I thought it was actually slightly under-spiced. I think it could have taken more spice. It definitely works as is and is nice in combination with the basic nut butter because it shows you what you could do with it. I might increase some of the spices if I make it again. I definitely suggest adding oil if the nut butter mixture seems too dry.