I am a huge fan of peanut butter (sugar free of course!). Always have been. And it will always have a place in my heart, on my toast and in my cupboard! But I have broadened my nut butter horizons: cashew, almond and flavoured hazelnut are my current favourites. But buying healthy, organic nut butters adds up … especially if you have a small addiction!
Nut (and seed) butters are all the rage at the moment. They are packed full of heart-healthy unsaturated fats as well as proteins and some key vitamins and minerals. In fact, according to Harvard School of Public Health Nutrition Source, “People who regularly eat nuts are less likely to have heart attacks or die from disease than those who rarely eat them.”
High-quality nut butters, without added sweeteners or preservatives, have nutrient profiles similar to the nuts from which they’re made. And they make a great alternative to simply chomping on a bowl of nuts. But quality is king! If buying pre-made, the nut butter needs to be free from preservatives, sugar, salt and hydrogenated fats (but healthier nut butters can be expensive). Homemade is better (and cheaper).
Up until now, I avoided making homemade nut butters. I always thought it would be complicated and take too long. How wrong I was! At the end of the day nut butter only needs one ingredient. Nuts!
Vanilla Cashew Butter Recipe
This recipe for Vanilla Cashew Butter, taken from Deliciously Ella Every Day, is super simple (just 2 ingredients) and tastes delicious (much nicer than shop bought). This is the recipe that convinced me to ditch pre-made nut butters in favour of homemade. Cashews are naturally sweet and creamy, and when combined with vanilla, the result is moreish. I am addicted. And so are my kids!
Just note, you need a food processor to make this. A powerful one is best (if it’s not powerful, the butter may not become totally smooth and creamy. It may also take longer – up to 20 minutes – to get the desired consistency).
Ingredients (makes one jar)
- 450 grams raw cashews
- 2 tsp vanilla powder
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 c
- Lay the cashews on a baking tray and pop in the oven for 10 minutes (or until they start turning golden brown). It’s worth checking them regularly, they burn quite easily.
- Let the roasted cashews cool, then put them, together with the vanilla powder, into the bowl of the food processor and blend for 10 minutes. This might seem like a long time, but it makes the butter smooth and creamy. Stopping it earlier leaves the butter sticky and gloopy.
- If your food processor is not very powerful, you may need to blend the nuts for longer than 10 minutes. To help the process, you can try blending the roasted cashews straight from the oven (so don’t bother cooling them).
- Every few minutes stop the processor to scrape the sides of the bowl.
- When the consistency is smooth and creamy, spoon the butter into a mason jar or screw top jar and keep in the cupboard for up to two weeks.
- Serve on toast and top with sliced banana
- Spread on slices of apple for a quick, healthy snack
- Add a tablespoon to your favourite smoothie
- Simply eat with a spoon!
There you go ladies. I dare you not to love this nut butter!
If you have any good nut butter recipes or flavour combinations, I would love to hear. XX