Homemade nut and/or seed butter is a great addition to any plant based kitchen. It’s simple to make, nutrient dense, and delicious. Best of all, you can cycle through different nuts and seeds and have fun with flavorings. This not only allows you to flex your creative muscles, but also varies the nutrients you get in each jar. Whether you make nut or seed butter, the process is the same. I often combine the two for enhanced digestibility (also, seeds tend to be cheaper so combining is more economical when you are using relatively expensive nuts like almonds). In keeping with yesterday’s dopamine theme I’ve created a dopamine butter. What makes it dopamine butter? Almonds and pumpkin seeds are high in tyrosine, an amino acid that is involved in the creation of dopamine. Since low dopamine levels are thought to contribute to fatigue and mood swings I often give T a spoonful of this when he is starting to get a little cranky.
-Pour 1.5 cups raw almonds and 1.5 cups raw shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas) into good quality food processor, turn on
-It will become a powder
-It will stick together, stir a bit
-It will become a ball, stir a bit
-It will separate, at this point you can add your desired spices. In this batch I used 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp salt, and organic powdered stevia leaf (the sweetness equivalent of 1 tsp sugar)
-Keep blending until creamy
-Store in airtight jar in fridge
A few tips:
-If you are a nut-butter-newbie, I suggest starting with peanut butter. Look for dry roasted peanuts with no added oil. It comes together in less than 10 minutes and will help you get comfortable with how the process works
-Avoid the temptation to add additional oil or other liquid. Depending on what nut or seed you use it may take longer for the nuts to cream up but they will eventually. The above took about 25 min so it’s a good thing to do while cleaning the kitchen or playing with your little one since you only need to stir occasionally.
-The food processor will heat up, this is normal. If it gets overly hot you can let the nut butter rest and come back to it later.
Use it as a topping for a smoothie bowl, stir it into oatmeal, enjoy it in a sandwich, or savor a few teaspoons as a post-workout snack….this butter is nuts! (and seeds)