Project Cashew Butter

I think everyone should try making their own nut butter at least once.

I don’t think many people realize how easy and quick it is to do.

Other benefits of making your own nut butter:

  • Personal Satisfaction – You get the satisfaction of having made your own nut butter which let’s be honest, you can’t get from buying it at the store
  • It’s Way Cheaper than Store Bought – For most nuts, making your own nut butter from nuts bought in bulk will be way cheaper. See cost comparison for cashews below.
  • It Tastes Better – I have made peanut butter, cashew butter, and almond butter. In all cases, the taste of the homemade nut butter was far superior to the store-bought version. I think this has something to do with the freshness of the nut oils compared to the oils in the store bought versions that become stale over time
  • Impress your Friends – Making your own nut butter will impress your friends and definitely step up your foodie game to the next level. It’s also very quick and easy to do, and makes a great gift.

Okay. I’m hoping you’ve now been convinced to try making your own nut butter and are already eager to make a visit to your nearest grocery store to buy some nuts.

Before we get to the instructions on how to actually make the nut butter, I want to share the story of why I decided to make my cashew butter.

I was recently at Whole Foods with a friend who wanted to buy a 250 g jar of cashew butter for $10. I was absolutely appalled at this price, and convinced her to not buy it and told her I’d show her how to make it for way cheaper than the store-bought version.

Cost Comparison for Cashew Butter

The 250 g jar of cashew butter from Whole Foods was $10 (Canadian dollars).

I bought my cashews in bulk from Save On Foods (local grocery store) on sale for $2.50/100 g. The regular price is $3.50/100 g.

So for an equivalent 250 g, the price for the bulk cashews would be $6.25 to $8.75.

That is 14% to 60% cheaper depending on if the cashews are on sale or not.

Now I know the prices of cashews will vary depending on where you live in the world, but my point is that it will still probably be cheaper if you make it yourself. Plus you get the personal satisfaction of making your own nut butter, which is really the main reason you should try this 🙂

What You will Need

  • Blender or Food Processor
    • I used a blender but I think a heavy duty food processor would work better
  • Roasted, unsalted cashews (whole or pieces)
    • Roasted will definitely give you a better taste than raw, using unsalted gives you the option to adjust the salt levels at the end
  • Oil (optional)
    • Adding oil significantly helps the mixture blend together and will also reduce the amount of time before it becomes creamy. I used grape seed oil but any neutral or light tasting oil would work here.
  • Patience
    • It may take a few minutes so don’t lose hope if the mixture looks powdery at first!
  • Other Optional Add-Ins
    • I kept mine simple using only cashews and oil but other ingredients that you could add include cocoa powder, coconut milk powder, coconut oil, matcha powder, maple syrup, and spices like nutmeg or cinnamon. The possibilities are endless so I encourage you to experiment and let me know how it goes!

How to Make It

I used about 2 cups of cashews (maybe about 350 g) and about 2 tablespoons of oil. Sorry guys, I’m terrible at actually measuring ingredients when I bake or cook…

The procedure for making nut butter couldn’t be any easier. I almost don’t need to include these instructions.

Basically, add the nuts to your blender or food processor, add oil (optional), then blend and mix a few times until it becomes as smooth as you want it.

Step 1 – Add Cashews to your Blender or Food Processor

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Whole, roasted, unsalted cashews ready to be blended. I had to resist eating them, but may have sampled a few for quality control purposes only.
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Cashews added to the blender container. Ready to be blended.

Step 2 – Blend, Mix, Blend, Mix, Repeat…

This is the step that takes a bit of patience.

When you start the mixture will look very dry. When the mixture gets dry, stop blending and mix using a spatula, then resume blending. You will probably have to do this a few times so be patient. I think it takes a while for the oils to be released so don’t lose hope if it looks very powdery at first!

I have a fairly heavy duty blender and I noticed a slightly concerning burning smell near the end of mixing. So you probably want to get yourself a heavy duty blender or food processor to make this. I’m not sure if this would work in a magic bullet…

In total, it took about 10 minutes for the mixture to come together and become smooth. I actually started with only cashews and no oil, but after a few rounds of blending and stirring I lost patience and added a few tablespoons of grape seed oil. The mixture became smooth right after I added the oil. However, if you only want to make it with 100% cashews and no oil it is possible. I have done it but it just takes a bit more patience.

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Starting to blend the cashews. Initially the mixture will turn into a fine powder.

 

After 1-2 minutes: this is what the mixture looked like after blending for a few minutes. Still very powdery and mixing with spatula required. At this point, you will be able to smell the freshly ground cashews. Yum!

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After 5 minutes: the mixture still looks somewhat powdery, but you can start to see oils released around the mixing blades. Forge on you are almost there!
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After about 7 minutes of blending, I lost patience and added about 2 tablespoons of grape seed oil
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After 10 minutes: the mixture became smooth after about 10 minutes of blending (after I added about 2 tablespoons of oil). It will still work without any oil but it will take a bit longer before coming together
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The final product: delicious homemade cashew butter
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Jars for the freshly made cashew butter butter
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Cashew butter jarred and ready for gifting….or for immediate consumption.

Final Words

So that’s it folks. As you can see, making homemade nut butter is a very straight forward and relatively fast process.

It will probably be cheaper than buying the store bought version, it will definitely taste better, and most importantly you get the satisfaction of having made your own nut butter.

That’s all for now. I hope you give this a try and please share your experience making nut butter in the comments section below.

Enjoy!

-CJ

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