Make it don't buy it: Nut butter

Updated on 08 April 2013 | 0 Comments

Food writer Niamh Shields shows us how to make our own nut butters.

Your pantry should be filling up nicely by now with homemade goodies - a sweet and sour brown sauce, and a very versatile chilli oil. Now it's time to do something spreadable... a treat to kick-start your morning. How about some homemade nut butter?

You will note that I didn’t say peanut butter, for there are no peanuts in my breakfast: toast generously spread with delicious pistachio and almond nut butter.

Making homemade nut butter

Homemade nut butters are incredibly easy. You roast your nuts of choice, peel them (if necessary) and then grind them for about five minutes until enough oils are released to form a paste. That’s it. Depending on how you like your consistency you may choose to add extra oil at this point, or some seasonings, spices, or salt and pepper.

When you make your nut butters at home, you can also control the salt levels. My recipe works well with no added salt, but a pinch won’t hurt if you like your spreads salty.

Health benefits

Playing around with different nut butters gives many interesting flavour combinations, as well as differing nutritional profiles. A pistachio and almond butter is antioxidant rich, with pistachios being rich in vitamins A and E and almonds boasting a lot of selenium, vitamin E and calcium. Sure, there is a lot of fat in nuts... but considering their health benefits, you needn't worry if eaten in moderation.

Convinced? Then take a look at my nut butter recipe here.

Try your homemade nut butter with:

Eric Lanlard’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gordon Ramsay’s Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

More nutty things

Antony Worrall Thompson's fruit and nut pilaf

James Martin's cherry and macademia nut cobbler

Gizzi Erksine's blueberry, oat and nut bars

Eric Lanlard’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gordon Ramsay’s Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Everything you need to know about... pistachios

The history of peanut butter


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