Monday, August 13, 2012

Cashew Butter

Cashew Butter

It was a month ago when I made Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter which is now entirely consumed. I am now addicted to homemade nut and seed butter so this time I made cashew butter with great success. Using roasted cashews make this cashew butter more flavorful than store-purchased cashew butter. Store-purchased cashew butter tends to be a little thin because oil is added to the nuts during processing which gives it a thinner consistency. You can actually see the oil separation in which you always have to stir back into the nut/seed butter before using. With homemade cashew butter, you don't need to add additional oil. The natural oil from the cashews will release during processing, and that is enough to make the cashew butter a nice creamy consistency. You also have the option of adding as much or as little salt to suit your own taste. Nut butters are very easy to make as long as you have a reliable food processor (i.e., Cuisinart) or a high-power blender (i.e., Vita-Mix). It only took less than 10 minutes to make this delicious and smooth cashew butter.

1 pound package Trader Joe's brand UNSALTED roasted cashews
1/2 teaspoon salt

Place cashews in the work bowl of a food processor with a metal blade. Pulse nuts about 20 to 30 times to break up the nuts into small pieces. Then process continuously (about 7 minutes), stopping machine a few times to scrape down (about 5 to 6 times). During the processing, the cashew butter may seem tight and may clump together into one mass. With patience, it will smooth out. Just make sure to scrape down the sides of the work bowl occasionally, and spread the clumpy mass out to evenly distribute the cashew butter in the work bowl so it is not all at one side of the work bowl (like an unbalance washing machine). When the cashew butter is creamy and smooth, add the salt and process just until combined. Transfer cashew butter to an airtight container. The cashew butter will be a bit warm from the long processing. Just let it cool completely before covering and store cashew butter in the refrigerator. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Cashew butter will firm up a bit when refrigerated, but will soften quickly as you are spreading it on freshly toasted bread. You can also leave it out on the counter to room temperature to soften up.

Chunky Cashew Butter: After pulsing nuts into small pieces at the beginning of the recipe, reserve desire amount of the nuts to add back into the nut butter at the end. Follow the recipe to process the cashews until creamy and smooth. Add the reserved nuts the same time you are adding the salt. Process just until combined.

Yield 1 pound cashew butter