Making your own nut butter is as simple as putting roasted nuts or seeds in a food processor and pressing “grind.” And while I’ve been found snacking on almond butter straight from the jar on more than one occasion, there’s no denying that the flavor can be be a little one-note. Luckily, jazzing up homemade nut butter requires no strenuous effort—you just need to pay a visit to your spice drawer.
Those containers of ground cinnamon and ginger are about to prove themselves irreplaceable. And that vat of spicy honey you made on a whim last week? It’ll come in handy too. Here’s how to make amplified nut butter.
Buy at least 2 cups of roasted and unsalted nuts or seeds. To toast nuts like almonds, peanuts, and cashews spread the nuts or seeds in one layer on a sheet pan. Bake at 350ºF for 4 minutes, then toss the nuts around with a spatula. Continue to bake, tossing them every minute or so until the nuts smell toasty (smaller nuts will take less time than larger ones), then turn them out onto a large plate to cool.
When the nuts have cooled, scoop them into a food processor fitted with the S blade. Grind the nuts until they form nut butter, this can take upwards of 10 minutes depending on the strength of your food processor and how smooth you want your nut butter to be. Once the spread has reached your desired consistency, add spices, seasonings, and flavorings to amp up the nut or seed butter.
Here are a few flavor ideas:
Roasted almonds + 2 teaspoons maple syrup + pinch sea salt
Roasted cashews + ¼ cup coconut flakes + 1 tablespoon coconut oil + ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Roasted sunflower seeds + ½ teaspoon allspice + ¼ teaspoon cloves + a few grinds of black pepper (+ 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey)
Roasted pecans + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder + 1 teaspoon cinnamon cinnamon
Roasted pistachios + ½ teaspoon cardamom
Roasted peanuts + 1 tablespoon spicy honey or 1 tablespoon honey and ½ teaspoon finely ground red pepper flakes or Aleppo pepper
Roasted hazelnuts + 1 teaspoon ground ginger + 2 teaspoons honey