How-to 15 : Make Seed and Nut Butters- vegan, free from added oils
|l-r: Peanut, pumpkin seed and peanut and hempseed butters|
This month's how-to is all about making your own seed and nut butters without the need for added oils. The other advantage of making your own is that you can decide the level of salt (if any) and if you like it sweet you can choose a natural sweetener. It also tastes unbelievably fresh; even wholefood organic brands will pale in comparison, I guarantee. -Oh, and it's cheaper too! We've been making our own for quite a time now and our kids won't eat any brand of bought nut butters any more, young foodies that they are. All you need to make this life-changing step is a decent food processor such as a Magimix, (Maybe a Vitamix will also do it, but we've never been lucky enough to own one) some nuts and/ or seeds and 15 minutes or so. Are you ready?
To make about a kg of the crunchy peanut and hempseed butter pictured here, you need 900g whole raw peanuts, 100g whole hemp seeds (we find unshelled is fine for this) and half a tsp seasalt. (This may sound like a lot, but you'll be surprised how quickly you eat it all! In any case, it keeps very well in an airtight jar or tub in a cool, dry cupboard.) If you want to vary the ingredients, try pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews, walnuts, mixed nuts, sunflower seeds- any nut or seed you like, in fact! Different combinations produce different flavours and colours and after a bit of experimentation you'll soon decide on your own favourites that you'll want to make regularly.
|1: Roast the peanuts for about 15 minutes at 170C on an unoiled baking sheet. The skins should be starting to crack, but they should not be overbrowned.|
|2: Grind the hemp seeds, shells and all, as finely as possible.|
|3: Now add the hemps seeds and 600g of the peanuts to the food processor.|
(Add all of them if you want a smooth butter.)
|4: This picture shows what it should look like when about halfway done. The nuts and seeds are finely ground and just starting to stick together. Scrape the nuts down from the sides of the bowl from time to time.|
|5: When fully processed, the oil will be released from the peanuts and you will have a smooth butter.|
Set this aside while you make the crunchy bits...
|6: .. which are just the rest of the nuts chopped in the food processor.|
|7: Finally, simply stir in the chopped nuts. This closeup shows the texture of the finished butter.|