© 2014 Can Caramelo

Nut & Seed Butter

…rather a revelation than a recipe!
Around the time I started the blog, I also began to avidly read the food blogs of others. Especially in the sweets sector of the blogs with healthy recipes a lot of different nut & seed butters appeared in the ingredients lists. I was silently moaning… where should I get this? (In Spain it’s not so easy to find some ingredients). And I knew that if I’d manage to find it at some organic little place it would be very expensive.

nut and seed butter collage
But then I stumbled over the first nut butter “recipe” and soon found out all you need is nuts or seeds (and a food processor or a blender) – and sometimes a little salt, oil and optional flavoring like vanilla, dates, maple syrup, cocoa or coconut for example. So far I’ve made almond butter (repeatedly), peanut butter, pumpkin seed butter (for example for my late breakfast sandwich) and Tahini.

almondbutter
Basic ingredients

  • Desired amount of toasted nuts or seeds (I made a few different ones, but you could try cashews, brazil nuts, pecans, sunflower seeds or walnuts to put only some examples)
  • Salt to tast (around 1/2 – 1 tsp per cup of nuts/seeds)
  • For the Tahini: 1-2 tbsp olive oil (depending on how liquid you prefer it)

Optional flavoring (some suggestions, feel free to combine and extend the list)

  • Vanilla (scraping a bean, or extract)
  • Dates (soaked if using dried)
  • Cacao
  • Dried Coconut
  • Lucuma
  • Maple Syrup

Hazelnutbutter
All you have to do is toast your nuts or seeds (the desired amount) in the oven or in a pan until slightly browned and fragrant, around 5-10 minutes, checking often and turning them around. Be especially careful toasting the sesame seeds, I recommend just toasting them very lightly. As they are small, the can burn fast. At my first attempt I toasted them until brown and the Tahini turned out so bitter I had to throw it away, so it seems they can be burnt without being black. If there is any loose skin after toasting (in case of the hazelnuts), put them on a kitchen towel and rub gently to remove it. I used the almonds with their skin.
Then you throw the toasted nuts/seeds into your food processor or blender and start grinding. You’ll see how they get ground first and then you just keep going and little by little the oil will come out of the nuts/seeds and a creamy texture will form. (Be especially patient with the pumpkin seeds, it can take quite a while. You might add a little olive oil to accelerate the process). That’s it! Add salt or flavoring to taste. If you like crunchy pieces in your nut/seed butter, reserve some of the toasted nuts or seeds and add them at the last moment, just letting them get chopped coarsely. For the Tahini I used 3/4 raw sesame and 1/4 cup hulled sesame and added 2 tbsp of olive oil for one cup of sesame seeds (vary this depending on how liquid you want it).

nut and seed butter collage2

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