Back in late March, before I left for three weeks away, I tumbled into a flurry of making. I find that this often happens to me just before I leave for a trip, for so many reasons. I’m a procrastinator by nature and so often have a few ingredients that must be used or preserved before I leave town.
I always need things to write about on this site and so I scramble to get a few things in the can (jar, really) to share while I’m gone. And knowing that I probably won’t be doing much cooking beyond demos and classes during my travels, like to cook up until the last minute, to fill up that creative tank until I return to my little kitchen.
I’ve been thinking a lot about homemade nut butters lately. I’ve long had a weakness for interestingly flavored and spiced peanut, almond, and seed butters, but hate spending $10 or $12 for a nine-ounce jar (not that I haven’t done it on occasion). Several years back, I went through a phase when I often made my own, but hit a point where the elderly food processor I used for all things began to struggle with nuts.
Last summer, things changed in my nut butter making world. I got a new food processor. A former canning student got in touch to say that he and family were moving out of the country, and would I be interested in buying his barely used 14 cup Magimix processor for a very good price? We made a deal that day.
This isn’t to say that you need a fancy new processor to make nut butters, but I won’t deny that this new, zippy beast has sped up the process. I also no longer worry that my machine is going to die halfway through the making ritual, which is comforting.
Now, a bit about the actual cashew butter. I flavored mine with honey and cinnamon, but variations using maple with vanilla, or golden syrup with cardamom would also be nice. I also use a little coconut oil to help aid the transition from nut flour to nut butter. However, if you can’t stand the slight taste of coconut that it imparts, try using a neutral oil like grapeseed or canola.
- 1 pound raw cashews
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Pour the cashews onto a rimmed baking sheet and arrange them in a single layer. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cashews smell fragrant and have taken on a bit of color.
- Remove the cashews from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes.
- Pour the toasted nuts into the bowl of a food processor, along with the honey, coconut oil, sea salt, and cinnamon.
- Process the nuts. You want to run the processor in relatively short bursts. Let it run for 30-45 seconds, scrape down the sides, and then do it again. This can take as much at 10 or 15 minutes before the butter finally comes together, but if you persist, it will happen. If you find that your food processor starts to overheat, let it cool for a few minutes and then begin again.
- Once you're satisfied with the consistency of the butter, scrape it into a jar and store in the fridge.