Tired of regular old peanut butter on your PB&J sandwich, or in your smoothies? Why not switch it up with this delicious walnut butter, instead.
The taste and creaminess of this nut butter are sure to beat any that you have tried before! Roasting the walnuts ahead of time brings out some really great natural flavor.
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If you are looking for some good walnuts to buy in bulk, we enjoy Kirkland Walnuts*. They are pretty affordable for 3 pounds of walnuts.
Nut Butter 101
You may be wondering, is a nut butter actual butter? Despite what the name suggests, it is not. Real butter is made from dairy cream and there are also many alternative butter-like spreads on the market made from a variety of fats to meet consumer preferences. Nut butter contains not only the fat, but the whole nut which increases the nutrient value.
In order to make a nut butter, the nuts are finely ground in a high-powered bender. The time it takes to crush the nuts depends on the power of your blender and the type of nut used.
In this process, heat is generated which helps the nuts release their own natural oils and form a paste. Some nuts have less natural oil than others and require a little extra to help with the blending. Eventually, a warm, creamy nut butter is produced.
Once cooled to room temperature, the nut butter solidifies into the luxuriously thick “butter” that we all know and love.
Equipment for Making Walnut Butter
Some specific equipment is required for making your own walnut butter at home, but it doesn’t need to be ultra-fancy.
A high-powered blender is recommended for nut butter making. Anything above 1000 watts should do, but a top-of-the-line blender is not necessary unless you decide to start making all of your own nut butters from here on out!
A blender that comes with a tamper is also a very useful tool in helping to “churn” your nuts in the early stages. However, a wooden spoon and rubber spatula can also do the trick to keep things moving in the pulverizing phase. Just be sure to turn the blender off before scraping down the sides.
My favorite blender is the Vitamix*. It is very powerful and easily makes nut butters.
A food processor can also be used to make walnut butter, or any type of nut butter, too! But it is recommended that you check to make sure that the model you own is rated for nut butter making, otherwise, you could run the risk of over-heating or short-circuiting your appliance.
The Hamilton Beach Food Processor* is a lower priced tool with good reviews for making nut butters.
Allowing your food processor or mid-level powered blender to rest every couple of minutes can help prevent it from overheating. The process may take longer, but it will be worth it.
Walnut Butter Variations
What about if you don’t have, or don’t like walnuts? Can you still make a nut butter at home? Absolutely!
You can make a nut butter out of all nuts. A great option for anyone who may have an allergy to tree nuts is to use seeds.
Try making a butter out of:
- Macadamia nuts
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
Do be warned, each nut (and seed) produces a different amount of natural oil. This may mean that more supplemental oil is needed to produce a smooth butter, or no oil at all.
Additionally, each nut will have a very unique flavor in butter form. Some are more bitter and require flavor enhancement to really make them delicious. A little bit of salt and sweetener can fix this right up.
In this recipe for walnut butter, honey, salt, and even Nutella or chocolate chips are used to make it extra delicious. Feel free to use whatever sweetener you like. Just be sure to taste test your nut butter before adding in any flavorings. You may be surprised at how good a fresh nut butter is on its own.
Here are some links* to purchase nuts or seeds in bulk for making butters:
Flavorings to try:
- Nutella, or chocolate chips
- Maple syrup
- A mix of other nuts
The variations and flavor combinations are endless.
How to Use Your Walnut Butter
After spending the time to make your own delicious walnut butter, you may be wondering about some ways to best use it. Spoiler alert there really is no wrong way!
A general tip to get your mind going is to use in any place you might use peanut butter.
Try it on a piece of toast with bananas and a sprinkling of cinnamon. Fold it into your favorite baked goods, like muffins, loafs, or even in your pancake batter. Use it as a dip for fruits or veggies or blend it in with your smoothie.
For a savory twist, use it to make a sauce. Mixed in some heavy cream with black pepper, and nutmeg would make a great alfredo sauce twist. Pair it with some soy sauce and chili flakes for a savory and inspired walnut sauce!
You can also use your nut butter in a shake like with out Almond Butter Weight Gain Shake.
The options are endless with your homemade walnut butter. Remember these options are similar with any nut butter you choose to make, so have fun with it!
Delicious Walnut Butter
- 2 cups walnuts shelled
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp butter
- 1 Tbsp Nutella hazelnut spread or chocolate chips
- 1 pinch salt
- water as needed if butter is too thin (1/2-1 tsp)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until toasted.
- Allow walnuts to cool until they are safe to handle.
- Add walnuts to a food processor or high power blender. Blend until a paste is formed.
- While mixing, open the feed chute of the food processor or blender and slowly drop the butter, honey and other ingredients until smooth.
- Transfer the walnut butter into a glass bowl with tight lid or mason jar.
- Store in the refrigerator.
- Enjoy as a spread on a slice of bread or add in oatmeal or other recipe to add extra heart healthy calories.