Katie's Healthy Bites: Make Your Own Nut Butters

FNM-AppleMoon-427.tif

FNM-AppleMoon-427.tif

Food stylist: Stephana Bottom

©Hearst Communications Inc., 2010

Hearst Communications Inc., 2010

I love peanut butter! If you're a fanatic like me, you'll love how quick, simple, creative and healthy making your own nut butters can be. Homemade nut butters are preservative-free and packed with heart-healthy fats. They are a versatile ingredient that's both filling and delicious. Smear these nut butters on a cracker, a slice of apple or crusty whole grain bread or blend it into your favorite recipe.

The How-To

Step 1: Pick Your Nut

For the best flavor, choose a raw version. Save money in the bulk aisle of your grocery store. Here are some varieties to get you started; use one type or mix and match for a combination of flavors.

  • Peanuts (actually a legume)
  • Cashews
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Macadamia Nuts

Step 2: Roast The Nuts

Enhance the true flavor by arranging your nut(s) of choice in a single layer on a baking sheet and roasting them in a 350 degree F oven for 5-10 minutes or until golden brown and aromatic. Be diligent as they can burn quickly!

Step 3: Make it Creamy

Add your roasted nuts and a few tablespoons of mild vegetable oil (try canola) to your food processor.  Turn it on and blend!  Be sure to wipe down the sides once in a while to get a consistent final product.  How long your process your butter will depend on the texture (creamy to chunky) you want.  Add a little water to thin it out if you don’t want to go overboard on the oil.

Step 4: Season and Serve

You can keep it simple with a pinch of salt, or go completely natural and savor all that nutty goodness.  If you are feeling a bit daring try some of these tasty add-ins that will turn your nut butter from simple to superb.

  • Cinnamon
  • Chili Flakes or Cayenne Pepper
  • Melted Chocolate
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Cumin
  • Maple Syurp
  • Tamari

Step 5: Serve it Up

Snack on your creation with fruit or crackers, or try one of these easy recipes:

TELL US: Have you made your own nut butter?

Katie Cavuto Boyle, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian, personal chef and owner of HealthyBites, LLC. See Katie's full bio »

Keep Reading

Next Up

Katie's Healthy Bites: Make Your Own Harissa

Found in every North African household, harissa – a thick, hot chile paste – is an intensely flavorful, must-have condiment that's gaining popularity in the US. Here's how to make this spicy staple.

Katie's Healthy Bites: What is Matcha?

Matcha is finely ground whole green tea leaves, traditionally used in Japanese tea ceremonies. Find out how you can use this nutrient-rich form of tea.

Katie's Healthy Bites: What is Spirulina?

What is spirulina and how can you add it to your diet?

Make Your Own Spiced Nuts

Fancy nut mixes can be wonderful holiday treats, but some packaged varieties are loaded with sweeteners and super pricey. Why not make your own this year? Whip up a batch for snacks, parties and gifts.

Katie's Healthy Bites: Healthier Hot Dogs

Can you eat hot dogs on a healthy diet? Here are our picks for the best brands and the most filling hot dog toppings.

Katie's Healthy Bites: Cooking for the Phillies

What you eat before you exercise is very important -- especially when you're a professional baseball player! After a season of cooking privately for several Philadelphia Phillies' players, I'm serving as the team's dietitian this season and providing healthy, delicious pregame meals. Read on for more tips about the makeup of the perfect pre-exercise meal, and get the recipe for one of the Phillies' meals.

Katie's Healthy Bites: Salt Varieties

Salt doesn’t need to be an enemy. When you cook at home, a dash from your own shaker can really boost a dish, and if you’re mindful, you don’t have to go entirely without. Learn more about sea salt, kosher salt, iodized salt and regular table salt.

Katie's Healthy Bites: Marvelous Mushrooms

We tend to associate nutritious fruits and veggies with bright beautiful colors, but don’t be fooled -- mushrooms are earthy gems that are packed with nutrients.