You won’t go back to store bought nut butter after making your own. It’s easy to do, tastes so much fresher, you can use any nut or even a blend, and, most importantly, you know exactly what’s going in it. All you need is a food processor or high-speed blender. Each nut behaves differently because of texture and oil content, and different processors will take different times, so it’s really a matter of experimentation.
- 1 cup of tree nuts (choose your favorite)
- Roast 1 cup of nuts (you can use raw nuts, but the flavors and ability to make butter are greatly enhanced after roasting) in a 350°F oven for 8-12 minutes. The denser nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts and macadamias, take a bit longer than walnuts, pecans and pistachios. Check after 8 minutes – they should be just browning and aromatic. Allow to cool to room temperature. Hazelnuts can be bitter if you keep on the skin, so place the nuts in a dish towel and rub off most of the skin before processing.
- Processing the nuts – add nuts to food processor and pulse on and off – first to crumbs, then continue to process until a paste starts to form. Scrape down sides, then continue to process until desired consistency–this may take 10-12 minutes, sometimes up to 20 minutes in less powerful processors. If it’s not looking like a paste is forming, add a few drops of a nut or olive oil to help the process.
- Flavor (or not) – you may just like to eat your nut butter pure and natural, or make your own designer butter adding ingredients such as honey, maple syrup, soy, chili, nutmeg, chocolate (think Nutella), truffle oil, or stir in jam or jelly to make a swirl.
Storage – It’s best to store the nut butter in a sealed jar in the refrigerator where it will keep for up to a month.
- Almond butter – Spread on warm bruschetta and top with sautéed mushrooms and sage. Finish with a squeeze of lemon and pepper – wonderful with chanterelles if they’re in season.
- Walnut butter – Spread on crackers then top with brie cheese and a fruit paste such as quince or fig.
- Hazelnut butter – Add to a toasted tomato and cheese sandwich with some fresh basil leaves or arugula, and a drizzle of good olive oil to complete the experience.
- Pecan butter – Delicious when spread on grain toast with honey and a sliced banana.
- Pistachio butter – Spread on pizza crust before topping with vegetables or mortadella and mozzarella.
- Cashew butter – Perfect for Asian inspired dishes, whisk with soy sauce and lime juice and toss though noodles just before serving.
- Brazil nut butter – Avocado Toast spread with brazil nut butter adds a unique depth, and is especially great with a garnish of cherry tomatoes, mint and ricotta.
- Macadamia Butter – Just like real butter, this makes the base to a wonderful healthy shortbread. Or, spread on hot scones with jam for a decadent treat.
These beefy tasting burgers get their flavor from a steak house seasoning.
- 1 1/2 cups California walnuts
- 3/4 cup red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 3/4 cup cooked red lentils
- 6 tablespoons caramelized onions, chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons steak house seasoning
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- Optional: add 1 egg and ¼ cup of panko for firmer texture
- Additional oil for brushing
- Place walnuts in a food processor and pulse to coarsely chop. Add kidney beans and lentils and pulse to combine.
- Add caramelized onions, Worcestershire sauce, steak house seasoning, olive oil and salt and pulse to blend but not mushy. Form into 4 large patties.
- Heat grill or flat top. Brush patties with olive oil and cook for 2 minutes on each side or nicely seared.
This vegetarian version of the traditional Lao salad is made with walnut meat. Served in lettuce with vegetables and a dipping sauce, it makes a light and fresh dish. Recipe by Chef Ann Kim.
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce (or vegetarian substitute)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1 Thai chili, thinly sliced
- 2 1/2 cups California walnuts
- 1 (15.5-oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup chopped shallots
- 1/4 cup grapeseed or canola oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons minced lemongrass
- 4 teaspoons fish sauce (or vegetarian substitute)
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
- 1 to 2 Thai chilis, thinly sliced
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 16 iceberg lettuce leaves or other leafy lettuce
- 4 radishes, thinly sliced
- 2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
- Mint and cilantro leaves and tender stems
- 8 lime wedges
- To prepare dipping sauce, stir together all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- To prepare larb, place walnuts and chickpeas in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped
- Add shallots, 2 tablespoons oil, lemongrass, fish sauce, ginger, garlic, lime leaves, and chilis. Pulse until mixture is finely chopped and resembles ground pork, stirring and moving the mixture around the food processor to ensure an even mix.
- Heat remaining oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add “larb” mixture and saute for 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture is nicely browned. Remove from heat and stir in scallions.
- Place lettuce leaves, radishes, cucumbers, herbs, and dipping sauce on a large platter and spoon “larb” into a serving bowl. Spoon “larb” into lettuce leaves and top with desired vegetables. Serve with lime wedges.
This delicious pasta is flavored with walnut sausage, walnut ricotta, and walnut parmesan.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes.
- Add blanched broccoli, stock, pasta water and pasta and cook on high for 2 minutes or until sauce had reduced and pasta is glazed. Stir in walnut sausage.
- Finish with lemon juice and garnish with walnut ricotta, walnut Parmesan, lemon zest and red pepper flakes.
The classic Caprese salad was the inspiration for this perfect mid-day snack or go-to weekday meal when you’re short on time. Crunchy, toasted bread is topped with cottage cheese, tomatoes, toasted walnuts, fresh basil and finished with a drizzle of balsamic syrup. Recipe by Beth Stark, RDN, LDN.
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 4 slices whole-grain bread, toasted
- 1 1/3 cups low fat 2% cottage cheese
- 1 cup multi-colored cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon balsamic syrup
- Preheat oven to 350°F and arrange walnuts evenly on a small baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes, checking frequently, until toasted.
- Spread cottage cheese evenly over each slice of toasted bread. Layer with tomatoes, toasted walnuts, fresh basil, black pepper and a drizzle of balsamic syrup.
This fresh, lemony whole grain pasta dish is loaded with protein and roasted vegetables.
- 3/4 pound bite-size cauliflower (1/2 medium head)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup julienne slices red onion
- 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
- 3/4 cup California walnuts, coarsely broken
- 4 oz. whole grain pasta
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons drained capers
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups lightly packed baby arugula
- 2 (4.5-oz.) cans StarKist Selects Solid Yellowfin Tuna in Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss cauliflower with olive oil and place on a foil- lined baking sheet; roast for 10 minutes. Stir in onion and tarragon and roast for 5 minutes more. Stir in walnuts and roast for 5 minutes more or until cauliflower is lightly browned and walnuts are toasted.
- While vegetables are roasting, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well, then place back in pan. Stir in lemon juice, capers, garlic salt and pepper. Add arugula and tuna and toss lightly to mix.
- Transfer to 6 bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan.
Ditch traditional bread for sweet potato slices for this gluten-free take on classic avocado toast. Diced walnuts offer some added crunch while red pepper flakes kick things up with a little heat. Recipe by Crowded Kitchen.
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 2 avocados, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup walnuts, diced
- 1-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, plus more if desired
- 4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon flaky salt
- Slice a small plank off one side of each sweet potato lengthwise. This will act as a base, so you can cut the sweet potato into toast slices easily. Prop the sweet potato on the flat side you created and slice each potato into planks about 1/4 inch thick.
- For toaster preparation, pop the sweet potato planks in the toaster and toast until tender. This may take a few times, depending on your toaster.
- For oven preparation, preheat your oven to 350° F. Lay the sweet potato planks on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Roast for 6-7 minutes per side, until they are easily pierced with a fork.
- When they’re done toasting, lay the sweet potato toasts on plates and top with sliced avocado. Mash the avocado gently with a fork. Sprinkle with diced walnuts, red pepper flakes and drizzle with olive oil. Top with flaky salt.
This hearty, healthy salad is loaded with crunchy hazelnuts, whole grain quinoa, and tender kale. The combination of sweet dried cherries and a tangy honey balsamic dressing complements the nutty, savory flavors of the grains and greens to create a delicious side dish for any occasion.
- ½ cup dry red quinoa, rinsed well
- 1 cup water
- 5 cups thinly sliced kale leaves
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup toasted Oregon hazelnuts, chopped
- ½ cup dried cherries
- 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- To cook the quinoa, add it to a medium saucepot and pour in the water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, partially covered, for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender. Transfer to a colander and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
- Add the kale to a medium bowl and pour in the 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle with the ¼ teaspoon salt. Use clean or gloved hands to squeeze the kale, massaging the oil and salt into the greens. Massage for about 30 seconds. The kale will look slightly wilted. Set aside.
- Transfer the cooled quinoa to the bowl with the kale. Add the hazelnuts, cherries, and feta.
- To make the dressing, whisk together the shallot, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and honey in a small bowl until all ingredients are combined into a dark dressing. Stir the salt and the pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat all ingredients well. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Peach and Arugula Salad with Pistachios and Lemon Vinaigrette. Recipe by Bryan Snyder, RD, Director of Nutrition, Denver Broncos.
- 5 ounces Arugula
- 1½ Peach thinly sliced for each salad
- 3 ounces Feta cheese
- ¼ Red onion thinly sliced for each salad
- ½ cup Toasted American pistachio kernels
- Lemon vinaigrette
- Kosher salt and fresh cracker black pepper to taste
- Lemon Vinaigrette Ingredients:
- 1 tablespoon Lemon zest
- ¼ cup Lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Italian parley
- ½ tablespoon Minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup Red wine vinegar
- ½ cup Pistachio oil olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Make vinaigrette by combining all ingredients except oil for dressing. Add oil slowly to emulsify with food processor or immersion blender. Wash and dry arugula, cut onion in half and slice very thin julienne. Wash and slice peach in ⅛th wedges, crumble feta and toasted pistachios.
- Mix all ingredients with dressing and season with salt and pepper to taste.