How to Make Nut Butter

If only I had known how quick and easy it was to make my own nut butters, I would have started doing it a long time ago!

I think that for most people, the idea of making smooth and creamy nut butters feels daunting. They’re the kind of thing that, even if you love making food from scratch, you just buy anyways- like hard cheeses and macaroni noodles.

The truth is, they require little more than absent-mindedly watching a cookie sheet of nuts in the oven with a timer, turning on your food processor, and scraping the finished product into a jar at the end.

My Method for Making Quick and Easy Nut Butters

My sheet of peanuts half-roasted

1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 and fill up a cookie sheet with your nut of choice (already shelled, of course). It’s fine if the nuts are a couple of layers deep, it just means you’ll need to mix them around a bit during roasting.

Good choices are peanuts (we prefer organic, Valencia peanuts, but any are fine), almonds, cashews, or even more exotic nuts like hazelnuts or walnuts. Just note that the times I’m giving you are for peanuts (and almonds are quite similar) but if you want to try other nuts you’ll just have to watch the roasting process carefully since some nuts will take less or more time in the oven.

I should also note here that ideally, your nuts should be “crispy nuts”, or nuts that have been soaked for 12-24 hours and then dehydrated. This is to reduce phytate content. Phytates put a strain on the digestive system and also pull nutrients out of our bodies so that we absorb them less. It’s the same idea as preparing grains by soaking/sprouting/sourdough. You can definitely still do this if you haven’t soaked and dehydrated the nuts first, but this is a good bonus step for even better nutrition and digestion.

2. Put the cookie sheet in the oven and set a timer for 8 minutes. Go do something else in the kitchen (note: this is a perfect amount of time for unloading the dishwasher, a task I detest and always put off).

3. When the beeper goes, pull out your cookie sheet and give the nuts a good shake. Sometimes I move them around with my hands to mix them well, just beware that they will be a bit hot by this point and you don’t want to burn yourself.

4. Pop them back in the oven for another 8-12 minutes. At this point, I start to go by smell more than anything. I find that 18-20 minutes of total oven time is pretty good for roasting my Valencia peanuts. Once that rich, roasted nut smell starts to really fill my kitchen, I know that they’re done. They also get a slightly shiny look, because the oils are being released (it’s a subtle thing, but you can sort of see it in this picture).

And now fully roasted

And now fully roasted

5. Let them cool for a little while and then dump them all into your food processor (one cookie sheet comfortably fills my processor). Turn it on to a medium speed and let it process for several minutes. If necessary, stop and scrape down the sides, but I usually only do this once or twice during the entire process.

The video below shows this in detail, but basically just keep processing the nuts until the oils are further released by the grinding, and it turns into a smooth paste. It takes at least 5 minutes for it to really starting to turn into nut butter and not just ground up nuts. Be patient.

At this point, it becomes a matter of preference how smooth or chunky you like it and how long you process it for. The whole thing takes less than 10 minutes for me. It is also so simple that my 6 year old can do it with hardly any supervision or help from me!

Finishing Up Your Nut Butter

Although not necessary at all, I like to flavor my nut butter slightly. I usually add in about a tablespoon of coconut oil, a sprinkle of salt (to taste- start with a just a little, blend and taste, add more if desired), and a spoonful of raw honey. I add this once it’s already nice and smooth, then I turn it back on for another minute to fully incorporate my extra ingredients.

For those who are really visual, go ahead and watch the video to see how it looks as it’s grinding. I show you my whole process and do my best to give you a close-up look at my food processor.

What types of nut butter does your family prefer? Have you ever tried making it yourself?

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links.

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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Comments

  1. carrie kind says:

    thanks for a wonderful post! Any suggestions as to how to make my walnut butter creamier? (it keeps turning out too mealy)

  2. Celeste says:

    Thanks so much for the instructions on the nut butter! You inspired me to actually make some walnut butter and it was fantastic. I need to be making my own nut butters because the ready-made store bought varieties are processed along with peanuts. etc. which cause an adrenal response for me.
    Who new it was so easy!!

  3. Wow, this is very helpful! Thanks! We just learned that my son has food sensitivities to various nuts, so we’re suddenly off peanut butter. He can have hazelnuts so I need to find a way to make nut butter for him. I’m thinking of adding in maple syrup as he can also have that.

    Thanks for helping guide me with your descriptive article!

  4. hi,
    I’m in UK. Have tried several times to make nut butters but my grinder gets overheated and the result aren’t so good. What make of processor do you use? It looks strong!

    thanks for sharing

  5. What a great article, so practical and useful. Well done for explaining how to make home made nut butters. We’ve recently bought a new food processor and, with your article, we will be attempting to make our own versions of nut butter.

    I had one question, what would be the average shelf life of a home made nut butter? And how do you store them, i.e in a fridge or in a cupboard?

    Keep up the great writing and if you’d like to cast a critical eye on our blog, please do.

    R.D

    • I store mine in the fridge. You could keep it in the cupboard, but it the oils from the nuts would go rancid faster. In the fridge, I’ve kept it up to a month with no problems. In the cupboard, I bet it would only last a couple weeks at most.

  6. Made nut butter from toasted almonds right after reading this. Yum! I can’t believe how easy this is.

  7. Thanks, Stephanie. I make almond butter in my Vitamix and have now started making walnut butter. Walnuts are so soft that I don’t think they would put a strain on a blender’s motor, but almonds are much harder and sometimes can. I start with frozen nuts which helps keep the blender from overheating.

  8. Newbie here but hope to be a master very soon – you demonstrated making peanut butter, starting with soaking and dedydrating, I want to venture into almond, cashew and pecan butter as well as peanut butter, would you suggest the soaking and dehydrating steps for any nut, regardless of the type?
    Thank for you knowledge.
    Robbie

  9. Hi Stephanie,
    You mentioned that you prefer to roast the nuts because it gives them a deeper flavour. Wouldn’t the roasting at 350 degrees kill some nutrients in the nuts? I guess that I have to choose between less flavour but more healthy and more flavour but less healthy?
    Thank you.

    • Christina Cohee says:

      Alina, I have the same question. Did you ever find an answer? I have been buying sprouted nuts and roasting them to use, but I’m sprouting my own nuts now in an effort to save a little money. I am scared of killing off the good stuff I’m making available by sprouting them (enzymes, etc)!

      • Hi guys. I have read that roasting nuts destroys about half of their nutritional content. Many people prefer the taste of roasted nuts, but raw is far more nutritious.

  10. I just blogged about my experience making cashew butter based on your recipe. It was delicious, and so worth the effort! Thank you for posting such clear instructions!!!

  11. Emma Rost says:

    So I followed all the directions about soaking, dehydrating and roasting the nuts. I used almonds. I put them in my food processor for an hour and it still didn’t turn into nut butter. Any idea what I did wrong?

  12. Question 1:
    Is there another way to dehydrate the nuts if you do not have a dehydrator?
    Question 2:
    I usually buy organic walnuts, almonds and pecan nuts, but not always. Does organic and/or kind of nut make a difference?
    Question 3:
    How do I store the nut butter container wise and refrigerate or no?
    Question 4:
    How long will it last according to how your advise to store it?
    Also, ‘Just want to make sure I have this right. So, I should soak them overnight in cool water. Then, I should drain them (maybe blot them with a paper towel to get off the excess water). Dehydrate them. Then roast them is the oven, cool them and process them in the food processor and I will have nut butter? That’s pretty cool if it’s that easy.
    Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions I really do appreciate. Can’t wait to hear to try….

    • 1) Without a dehydrator, you can do it in the oven at a very low temperature (or even overnight), but not all ovens go that low. You might consider trying it overnight with your oven light on (but the oven turned off). It actually warms up the oven better than you would think.
      2) Organic is always best, but of course, not necessary. The kind of nut mostly just changes how long you roast them for (something like walnuts requires less time, for example), and also how long it takes to grind them (again, walnuts or pecans would grind faster than almonds).
      3) Personally, I refrigerate. I keep them in a glass pyrex container with a lid, or a mason jar.
      4) It lasts a good 3-4 weeks, in the fridge.
      And yes, it seems like you’ve got it right. Hope it works well for you! :)

  13. Dear Stephanie,

    Thank you very very much for this post. I have bought almond butter for many years believing that it was too hard to make at home. After stumbling across your web site and reading your encouraging words I decided to take the plunge and try to make some almond butter myself. I followed all the steps, and what do you know, I had delicious almond butter at the end! It was SOOO easy. So cheers!

  14. I would love to roast my own nuts and make my own butter. I have just never soaked, dehydrated or roasted them before. And I am nervous I won’t do it right, do you have any tips for newbies getting into making at home products…I tried soaking and boiling black beans once…that didn’t turn out so well :(

    Thanks for any advice you could give.

  15. To Kait Palmer’s post:

    When I roast my almonds (SO much better than buying them roasted in a can), on taking the hot nuts out of the oven, I then coat them with real butter (it takes only about a tablespoon for a large iron skillet-full) and then toss them with powdered salt. I powder the salt in a coffee grinder (which MOSTLY powders it). Let them cool completely before putting them in a closed jar in the fridge. They really are great that way!

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