I am part of the 0.4-0.6% of the population (according to Wikipedia) with an anaphylactic allergy to peanuts. I do, however, love food and trying new foods. Recently, as my allergy has become more common, labelling has become better and more alternatives to typically peanutty foods have become available.
Almond butter, sunflower seed butter, soy nut butter, and pea-butter all are tasty alternatives to peanut butter, but they can be super expensive and are not available everywhere. I was driven to attempt making my own butters when the grocery store near my house stopped carrying my greatest love (Blue Diamond Almond Butter) and I realized how much money I was spending on alternative nut butters (it was a lot!)
All you’ll need for this nutty DIY are nuts of your choice, vegetable oil, a baking dish, and a food processor.
1 ½ cups of nuts or seeds (I used half sunflower seeds and half sesame seeds)
1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp honey
½ tsp salt
1) Pre-heat oven to 350º F. Pour nuts into a baking dish and roast for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and keeping an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn.
2) Once the nuts are roasted, pour them into the food processor with the chopping blade in. Let it run until the nuts are quite grainy and moving towards being a puree. I find that it is best to put the nuts in the food processor when they are slightly warm, probably because their oils are already less viscous.
3) When the nuts are ground into a powder that is maybe starting to look slightly like a puree, add the oil and the salt and let it puree more. It should start looking sort of like peanut butter (that evil food!). I find that the amount of oil you use depends heavily on the nut or seed being used. For my sunflower seed-sesame butter, I use closer to 2 tbsp of oil while almond butter seems to only require one.
4) Once you have a good peanut-butter like consistency, add honey (if you want it sweetened) and let the food processor puree. Adding the honey causes the butter to thicken very rapidly, so use caution and make sure that the nuts and oil are combined in the way that you want them to be before adding the honey.
5) Enjoy on some toast!
A few other notes: Nut butter keeps in the fridge for 2 weeks to a month in a clean, dry container. I have not yet experimented with canning or preserving it yet. Nut butter can thicken in the fridge, so it is best to have it sit on the counter to warm up slightly before use. Finally, the yield of the recipe will be half the amount of nuts you put in, in cups… so plan accordingly because it doesn’t have a super long shelf life.