I feel like we need to have a chat about nut butters. I may or may not need some kind of nutty intervention, as I am dangerously addicted to this stuff. I put it on oatmeal, I slather it on apples, and I *gasp* eat it by the spoonful. I keep a little container in my desk at work and eat a bite whenever a sugar craving comes along. Chocolate still wins sometimes (okay, more than sometimes), but usually a bite of this keeps me satisfied.
Almond butter has always tasted more like dessert than food to me, even when there’s no sugar added, but this stuff… this stuff is is nuts. You will not believe there’s no sugar, and you will definitely not be able to stop yourself – and that’s okay!
Purchasing a Vitamix (the single best use of a large sum of money my life has ever seen – I use it EVERY DAY, multiple times a day) makes my nut butter consumption even more dangerous, since I can turn nuts into butter in no time at all, and it tastes better (and costs less) than the store-bought versions. If you’re using a food processor, this will take a bit longer, but it’s still well worth the effort.
Roasting your own nuts adds some time to this recipe, but the difference between freshly roasted and store-bought is astronomical. I promise, once you’ve tried it, you’ll never turn back.
That being said, if you’re pressed for time and desperate for some nutty goodness, go ahead and use pre-roasted. I won’t judge!
I got the idea for this recipe after buying myself some “Rainforest Nut Butter” from Nuts to You Nut Butter Inc. I had always eyed it in the store but the hefty price tag always threw me off. One day I was feeling a little indulgent and thought, why not try it, and if I like it, make it myself? Best decision I’ve made in a while! Conor and I polished off the jar in like two weeks. I love coconut butter, I love nut butter, but combining the two? Genius. It tastes like it was meant for bananas, and is the best oatmeal topping I’ve ever had. I’ll be posting my favourite oatmeal recipe to use with this nut butter in the coming weeks, so hang on to a little (if you can) or make a double batch (even better)!
For a few tips on making your own nut butter, learned the hard way, scroll to the bottom.
Jungle Nut Butter (makes about 2 cups)
~ gluten free, vegan, soy free, sugar free ~
Inspired by Rainforest Nut Butter by Nuts to You Nut Butter Inc.
- 1.5 cups raw brazil nuts
- 1.5 cups raw cashews
- 1 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a flat baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Lay down your raw cashews and brazil nuts, place the pan on the middle rack of the oven, and bake for about 8-10 minutes, flipping the nuts halfway through. You really have to watch them in the last couple of minutes – nuts go from toasty to burnt in no time at all!
- Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, then toss in your blender or food processor, along with the shredded coconut.
- Process until smooth, adding a touch of coconut oil as necessary. Time will vary depending on the machine you’re using.
- Once you’re satisfied with the texture, add in the vanilla and sea salt and process for another 30 seconds to incorporate.
- Let cool before storing and consuming.
A few tips:
- Never, ever add water to thin out your nut butter. It probably seems obvious to everyone reading out there, but I made that mistake once and the result was a pile of gritty, sandy filth. Upon reflection, I realized that oil and water do not mix. Duh.
- Always wait to add other ingredients until after the nuts have processed. This includes liquid and dry sweeteners, vanilla, cacao, spices, whatever. If you do it before, you will get a weird, thick mess.
- The exception to the above rule is coconut oil (or your oil of choice). That you can add beforehand, if you know want to include it, or afterwards if things seem too thick. If you’ve been processing away and it’s gone past all the stages – crumbs, meal, oily meal, and finally butter – and it still seems very thick, go ahead and add some oil to thin it out.
- Dry sweeteners, like sucanat or coconut sugar, work best.
- If your heart is set on a liquid sweetener, like maple syrup, then roasting your nuts in the liquid sweetener and spices you like will prevent same awful texture from developing. Plus, who doesn’t love the smell of nuts roasting in maple syrup? Dear god is that good.
- Your nut butter will be HOT when it’s done processing. I have burnt my tongue more than once (the first time out of ignorance, the second out of impatience) not following this rule!