Nut butters are great nutritional alternatives to dairy butter because they contain heart-healthy fats instead of artery-smothering cholesterol. Besides, the possibilities are endless because you can have as many nut butters as there are nuts. There's of course the universal favorite, peanut butter, and these days almost any grocery store stocks almond butter, cashew butter and even macadamia nut butter.
Most of these butters are really nothing but nuts ground into a smooth, spreadable paste, sometimes with a smidgen of oil helping them along. But supermarket brands can contain preservatives and added sugars. So if you're lucky enough to have a powerful blender, do what I do and just make your own nut butters. For one, it'll be easier on your wallet. For another, you'll be in control of exactly what goes in.
The almond butter takes literally five minutes to make-- slightly longer than the time needed to toast the bread to spread it on. And it needs just two ingredients. But play around with new flavors if you want to. A little maple syrup added to this butter would be amazing, and you wouldn't even need any jelly on your toast. Some cocoa powder would give you an almondy, vegan version of Nutella. And you might even try adding a dash of red pepper flakes or cinnamon for a spicy bite. It's you and your imagination, really.
Use this technique to make other nut butters too. Peanuts do not usually require any added oil, because they already contain so much, but I've found that both cashew and almond do need some help or they just turn to powder.
It's going to be a short post today. Enjoy the weekend, all!
- 1 cup almonds. Place them in a single layer on a microwave-safe dish and zap for two minutes. Stir the almonds and place again in microwave for another 2 minutes.
- 1 tbsp canola or other flavorless vegetable oil
- Place the almonds and oil in the blender and blend at the highest speed until you have a smooth paste. Add more oil if the spread is too powdery (if I plan to use it all rightaway, I add some almond milk instead of oil). Scrape into a jar and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.