Okay, you know I can HEAR you rolling your eyes. Yes, I bother to make my own nut butter for two very good reasons: 1) control of my ingredients, 2) I’m tired of fighting with jars of stiff peanut butter and having the jar win.
Most of the creamy style nut butters out there have added ingredients that I really don’t want. Many of them are sweetened, and I’m just wondering why? Don’t people usually pair peanut butter with stuff like jam anyway, so why the extra sugar? The other things I really don’t want are the added emulsifying fats that keep the natural oils from the nuts from separating out.
The flip side of this is that if you get the more natural style butters, you then have to stir those oils back in. If you’ve ever done that, you know what a true pain in the butt that is. By making your own and storing it immediately in the refrigerator, you get a peanut butter that has only what you want in it, and the cool temperatures will keep the oil from separating.
The process is beyond simple and takes very little time. Start with the nuts you want to make a butter from. My preference is dry roasted and lightly salted peanuts. Almonds are also good, but if you use them exclusively you will need to add oil as they are rather dry and don’t grind into a smooth butter very easily. I have added olive oil, little dribbles at a time, to the almonds while they were in the food processor until the right consistency was reached.
The amount of nuts is up to you, but remember that the amount of nuts you measure will result in a smaller volume of the butter. There will be distinct stages that you will see as the nuts turn into butter. First they will turn into a ground up grain like consistency. Soon there will be clumps as more of the oils are released, and the clumps will start sticking to each other. Eventually, it starts to become more pasty and then finally begins to look like a thick liquid.
Once it has reached that liquidy consistency, it will oscillate a bit. Once it stops oscillating and just rotates smoothly in the processor, it’s ready to go. If you let it go longer it will become more smooth in texture, I usually stop after 30 seconds past the smooth rotation stage.
The nut butter is going to be warm from the friction and so it will be rather thin in consistency. Just scoop it into a container with a lid and put it in the refrigerator. It will thicken up as it cools, but will still be a perfect consistency for spreading on bread. So much easier than fighting an oily jar of stiff peanut butter, or random additives that just don’t need to be there!