My adventure into homemade nut butter came from a recent craving for salted caramel. I didn’t even know where to begin with making a vegan version (the standard salted caramel is pretty much a bucket of dairy butter, matched with equal volumes of sugar and dairy cream… That’s a young coronary crisis right there! ) and whilst looking up recipes I came across suggestions of using cashew butter… Now I’ve never been a fan of peanut butter, but the idea of cashew butter was pretty exciting, I could eat raw cashews all day, alongside macadamias they are my favourite nuts and are a great mineral source for the body as well as being full of good fats. Google tells me they contain healthy amounts of copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and vitamin K, along with lesser-known phytonutrients, such as antioxidants, tyrosinase, melanin, elastin, proanthocyanidins, and oleic acid. All together this means cashews provide bone strength and joint flexibility, discourage migraines, improve memory, lower blood pressure, and protect against UV damage, heart disease, and cancer! All of that in just one humble little nut AND they taste amazing! Isn’t nature incredible!?
I’m still working on the vegan salted caramel (you’ll be the first to hear about it when its done!), but in the meantime here is a super easy (we are talking zero skill at all, just the ability to push ‘on’ button on the blender) quick cashew butter, ready in less than 20 minutes. Perfect for spreading on toast, cooking, baking (am experimenting on a vegan cookie using cashew butter…) and generally shoving in your cake hole! Ok lets go…
You will need
- Cashews. Amount depends on how much you want to make and the size of your blender. I wouldn’t recommend doing any less than 250g in a 900ml capacity blender as they will get lost. 270g yields a Bonne Maman sized jar of cashew butter.
- Pinch of salt
1. Place your cashews in your blender and switch it on to maximum setting for a few minutes…
2. The first stage is the cashews looking like breadcrumbs. You may find small amounts start to collect on the sides of your mixing bowl, scoop this away and add back into the mix, keep going.
3. Next the cashews will start to look more like couscous and will be collecting more to the sides of the blender. When you remove the lid to scrape away the cashew mix you will find it smells quite strongly… Keep going!
4. As the oils start to release the cashew mix will start to look more sticky. Your blender is working really hard by now and you might be getting disheartened, but its happening! As more and more oil starts to release from the nuts you will see the couscous-like mix starting to stick together resembling popcorn… Keep your finger on the maximum on setting!
5. Now is when the magic really happens, your mix will clump together to form a ball that resembles cookie dough. Your blender will probably sound like its about to take off, so maybe give it a breather, but once you are ready, keep going! From this stage will be another few minutes…
6. The ball of ‘dough’ will start to disperse into a paste, a creamy oily nutty paste – its amazing! You may have to scrape some from the sides a couple of times, but after a few minutes it will resemble a butter like consistency, and there you have it – your very own, homemade, warm and delicious cashew butter! YUM.