I normally have a constant stock of peanut butter in my pantry to go with my favorite snack, apples & peanut butter. Little did I know that peanut butter was one of those things that I have been buying my entire life that is SUPER easy and fun to make at home – all you need is a food processor. I am always looking for delicious minimally processed nut butters that don’t have too much oil or sugar in them, and so this week, I decided that instead of spending that time searching in the grocery store, I was going to experiment at home.
Nut butter is one of those magnificent concoctions, unlike baking, where if you tweak the proportions, you will still end up with a perfectly good nut butter, BUT you have the added benefit of refining it to exactly your taste. I decided not only to play around with proportions of the “seasonings” (salt, honey, oil) but also to play around with the nut mix. My new kick is Sun Cups dark chocolate sun butter cups (click here to read more about Sun Cups) – I think the sunflower butter creates a more refined nutty taste than normal peanut butter cups, so with that inspiration, I decided to include some sunflower seeds in my nut butter, along with equal parts peanuts and cashews.
The recipe (I should really call it a concoction) I used was loosely based on Alton Brown’s peanut butter recipe, but instead of 15 oz of peanuts, I used 1 cup of peanuts, 1 cups of cashews and about 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds. I also took the easy way out and did not roast my own nuts – I bought raw unsalted cashews from Trader Joe’s, as well as roasted unsalted sunflower seeds and peanuts. Sorry Alton.
The great thing about making your own nut butter is that you can not only play with the nut mix and flavorings (how sweet and salty you want it), but you can also play with the consistency. Some folks love the crunch of having chunks of nuts in their nut butter, while others like that smooth finish. If you like a smooth, creamy, spreadable consistency, be sure to blend in the food processor for a long time (at least 8 minutes). To go with my apple snack, I decided to keep on processing until my mixed nut butter was nice and smooth. The result was delicious and unique tasting. I’m never buying store-bought peanut butter again!
Jennifer’s Mixed Nut Butter
1 cup shelled peanuts
1 cup cashews
1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons peanut oil
Directions: Place the peanuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, salt and honey into the bowl of a food processor. Process for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Place the lid back on and continue to process while slowly drizzling in the oil and process until the mixture reaches the consistency of your liking (at least 8 minutes if going for a smooth, creamy texture). Place the nut butter in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
Note: If you want a raw nut butter, buy all raw nuts/seeds. If you would like a roasted nut butter, you can either buy the nuts already roasted, or you can roast them yourself (see Alton Brown’s instructions on roasting peanuts)