We eat a lot of nut butter. Not so much peanut butter as it tends to be high in salt/sugar which isn’t good for R, but cashew and almond nut butter are regular fixtures.
We have it on toast, on rice cakes, sometimes they get added to chocolate vegan fudge ball thingys, sometimes they get added to homemade Hummus when we run out of tahini (we eat a LOT of homemade Hummus).
But I’ve been pondering for a while if there is a cheaper way to get our fix because if you buy something other than cheap peanut butter it gets expensive, fast.
Then someone pointed me to this link for 7 homemade nut butters.
Some of the recipes in the link seem a bit fancy – I don’t need my nut butter to contain vegan chocolate or, indeed, any chocolate! But the principle of oil + nuts + lots of food processing seemed simple.
So I decided I’d just try cashew nuts and a bit of coconut oil for starters.
150g toasted cashew nuts (£1.50 from Sainsburys)
20g melted coconut oil (£0.40 from Sainsburys)
I toasted the nuts in a frying pan for a couple of mins until they got a few specks of golden brown on them and then I melted the coconut oil and whizzed it all up in the food processor.
The coconut oil did help to solidify the mixture… but a bit too much and a bit too early. I ended up having to add rapeseed oil to loosen it up enough to continue processing it into a nice spreadable paste. But a good spreadable consistency was achieved and it tastes pretty much like I’d expect (slightly more grainy but I really doubt anyone will notice or care). I potted it up in an old Meridian jar and it should keep in the fridge for quite a while.
Total cost of 170g homemade nut butter is £1.90. Total cost of the same weight of Meridian Cashew nut butter is £2.39. So a definite saving here and I’m sure I can shave another 20-30p off that price easily since next time I won’t bother using the expensive coconut oil. If I can find a good local source for the nuts I can probably do it even cheaper.
All in all, I really impressed with the results. It was quick, easy, cheaper and being able to make my own means I can get really inventive. Next stop Pistachio Nut Butter!
Of course if the squirrels leave us any walnuts on our walnut tree then we could be making walnut butter for just the cost of the oil and it makes me even more determined to plant a hazelnut tree in the orchard now.
One more thought – I often make foodie presents for gifts and have been thinking about making Christmas Hampers for a while. These would be perfect!