Just like peanut butter is a staple in most American homes, nut butters are staples in most paleo homes. They come in a vast array of flavors and types, and are great for just about anything: dipping fruit and veggies into, blending into smoothies and shakes, baking delicious cakes and cookies, topping pancakes and crepes... and, my all-time favorite, eating straight from the spoon!
But, unlike their legume counterpart, they can be quite spendy. And by spendy, I mean downright insanely expensive!
Some ways to lower costs are to order online, take advantage of sales, buy in bulk... and make your own.
When I first started out on my paleo journey, nut butter (hazelnut, to be exact) was one of the first things I attempted to make myself. But boy it did it a loooong time! I thought it was just the quality of my food processor, so I read a bit about it online. Nope. Turns out it wasn't just my food processor - most folks had to wait as long as 30 minutes before their precious nuts would release their oils and turn into creamy goodness.
I tried to be patient, but, alas, patience is not one of my virtues. (Also, when you have to stop the blender and scrape down the sides every 30 seconds for over 20 minutes, you decide a faster way needs to be found.)
And so I decided to add a bit of olive oil to my nuts.
I know, I know, everyone says DO NOT ADD OIL! NUTS ARE NATURALLY FULL OF OIL! If you are one of those peeps and you're okay with listening to your food processor run on high for half an hour, then go for it.
If you're like me, add the oil baby!
I have perfect nut butter this way, often in less than 10 minutes, depending on the type of nut.
For this post, I made the much coveted ABC butter. It took me a couple seconds to decipher the name when I first saw a picture of it on Instagram, but once I had the almond / Brazil nut / cashew part figured out, I knew I needed some, ASAP!
This, like all nut butters in my opinion, is delicious sandwiched between two slices of carrot or two wedges of apple. I add just a touch of salt, but you could also add a bit of sweetener if you prefer it sweet.
Don't have (or can't eat) one of the nuts listed? Feel free to substitute others! This method works perfectly with only one kind of nut as well.
PS - If you're making smaller portions of nut butter (think "single serving" size), a coffee grinder works AMAZINGLY well at getting that coveted, creamy, almost dripping off you spoon texture! It's super simple as well - just throw the nuts in and push the butter, no scraping required!