Almond Butter Is Too Expensive
There, I said it. Everyone THINKS it, but I’m done living in the shadows. No more will we be oppressed by high nut butter prices, especially when it’s insanely easy to make them at home yourself. It takes a little bit of time, but it’s mostly hands-free, with the exception being a few scrapes down the side of your food processor every five minutes or so. That said, I’m also tired of almond butter. I don’t much care for almonds – I’ll eat them, but I’m not overly excited at the prospect – but every paleo or keto blog or recipe I see that extols the virtues of almonds has lead to burnout for me. No more, go away, I’m done.
Enter the walnut!
Walnuts are spectacular for low carb dieting, as well as paleo, or simply for regular people wanting an extremely healthy fat in their diet. Walnuts are full of omega-3s, folate, magnesium, and have a strong link with increasing brain health, particularly in inferential reasoning (in adolescents especially). This is perfect because honestly they look like little brains:
Plus walnuts are just simply delicious. Give this walnut butter a try when they’re cheap and plentiful during the summer and fall – fresh walnuts are divine, though you can also do this without breaking the bank when walnuts are on sale for holiday baking. The beauty is that crushed or chopped walnuts are usually fairly cheap, as people want whole ones for pretty cookies. We don’t; we don’t care what you look like, walnuts, keto loves you just the way you are.
You can season them any way you want; I chose vanilla and cinnamon because those are the best flavors, but you can choose a lesser set of spices if you want.
Walnut Butter Ingredients
16 oz raw walnuts
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp Pyure sweetener (you can add more to taste, but I don’t recommend more than 1 tbsp at a time)
2 tbsp coconut oil
Start by gathering up your walnuts. Here I chose peak-of-the-season, organic walnuts picked straight from my grandfather’s ancient grove:
Just kidding; these were chopped walnuts on deep discount from Aldi. Though my grandpa does have walnut trees, so I’ll be pilfering some in the summer. If your walnuts come a little bit bigger and more orderly than these (which were pre-chopped), you can break them down a bit to get them to fit in your food processor a little better, but you don’t really need to.
Before we start to grind them, we’ll give them a quick toasting:
You don’t want them to burn, so keep it at medium-low heat and make sure you’re tossing them around every couple minutes. Also to ensure even toasting, I separated my pound of walnuts into two pans, each with one layer of nuts. Toast for about 8 minutes, then toss them in a bowl and stick them in the fridge for a few minutes, just long enough for you to set up your food processor.
Pour your walnuts into the bowl of the food processor, and start on low speed. If you have a grind option, maybe use that, but I just used the regular chop option and let it run. At first, it’s going to grind them into meal, and it will creep up the sides, so your first few scrapes down the sides of your processor will happen relatively quickly after you’ve started. Let them blend, taking care to keep an eye for side-creep and scraping accordingly, for about 5 minutes. At this point, it should start to get pasty. You’ll add in your coconut oil now; this will help ensure it keeps a creamy consistency (and you can’t taste it). Blend for another 5 minutes.
It should look something like this:
At this point, add in your spices. As I said, I used cinnamon and vanilla, but you can use anything that’s reasonable. Not nacho cheese or cool ranch, please – pretty sure you can go to jail for that.
I also used Pyure sweetener. It’s stevia-based, and it doesn’t have that weird aftertaste that pure stevia has, nor does it have that odd cooling mouth-feel that pure erythritol has. I highly recommend it:
Now you’ve spiced and oiled your walnut butter, we’re in the home stretch. Continue blending for another 10 minutes, scraping down the sides as you need to, though at this point it should be good to go on its own. After 10 minutes, give it one more good scrape and blend for another 5 minutes, or until it reaches your desired consistency. I was done after about 17 minutes total, but mine were already broken down when I started.
Voila! Your very own walnut butter that took little effort and cost essentially half what you’d pay for a comparable store-prepared nut butter. I’ve found that cashew, walnut, and pecan butter are even more expensive than almond and that’s if you can even find them in stores. This has the added benefit of no sugar and no artificial weirdness. It’s toasty, spicy, and perfectly sweet.
Walnut Butter Uses
What can you do with it? Well anything! Use it for recipes where you would use peanut or almond butter, spread it on apples if you’re eating apples, or just eat a tablespoon when you’re craving something sweet. One of my favorite snacks is 2 tablespoons mixed in with some plain greek yogurt and a pinch of Pyure. It’s perfectly sweet, has a good dose of protein, and it’s not a carby mess like store-bought flavored yogurts.
When summer comes along, I’ll be doing a recipe spot on pecan butter. I LOVE pecans, and it’s a little bit different to make than other butters, but it’s so worth it.
How will you use your new keto walnut butter?