“nutty for nut butter”
I am a child of the 80’s, so when it came to peanut butter you were either team Jif or team Peter Pan.
I was team Jif all the way! To this day my family loves peanut butter but we have expanded our love to other nut butters, particularly almond butter.
Store Bought Nut Butter
A few years ago we made the switch to natural nut butters with no additives or added sugars other than salt. If you have ever bought natural nut butter then you know how the oil separates and needs constant mixing. Also natural nut butter is thinner than “traditional” nut butter. This is because the additives and sugar are used as thickening agents.
A little kitchen tip for storing your nut butters: keep it in the fridge ...upside down. Yes upside down. This helps create a constant turning of the nut butter and keeps the oil from separating as much.
Powdered Peanut Butter
I love nut butters but if not eaten in limited quantities your fat intake can go through the roof. I like using a powdered peanut butter powder in things like Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and oatmeal to add a little peanut butter taste without the fat. Don’t worry, I’m getting in my allocation of healthy fats from other sources. However, beware! Not all peanut butter powders are created equal. The only one I have found that does not include added sugars is by Jif. I don’t see the point of the added sugar given I am adding this product to something I already intend to sweeten with fruit; therefore, I don’t need any additional useless sugar.
Homemade Nut Butters
If you have a high powered blender then you should give making a homemade nut butter a try. Why? You can make interesting flavor combinations or make a nut butter that is not readily available in a grocery store.
To make a nut butter even more cost effective buy nut "nuggets" or "nutmeats". These are those bags of nuts that the nut has already been broken or is in small pieces.
Steps for making a homemade nut butter:
Step 1: Add 1 cup of raw nuts to blender and blend until mealy. This can take up to 5 to 10 minutes. Be patient!
Step 2: Add a teaspoon of coconut oil and blend. Add an additional 1/2 tsp at a time until smooth. This can take another 5 minutes.
Step 3: Add a pinch of sea salt.
Step 4: Store in a mason jar.
Note: Do not try to eat the nut butter right away. The nut butter needs time to cool as it will have residue heat from the blender.
I love pistachios but I have never seen pistachio butter in a store. While I found a few companies on the internet that make pistachio butter, it is simple enough to make. Beware, pistachio butter is seriously addicting.
Also play with flavors by mixing two types of nuts together or adding different spices. Recently I made an almond butter with cayenne pepper, chili powder and cinnamon. Only add 1/4 tsp of any spice at a time because you don’t want anything too overpowering.