Homemade Nut and Seed Butter

Homemade Almond Butter. Or Sunflower Seed Butter. Or Pecan Butter. Make your own Homemade Nut Butters and save TONS of money over store prices. They taste better too!

One of the best tips I have for saving money on special diets is to make most of your own foods from scratch. We pretty much make everything here–Easiest Coconut Milk, Easiest Almond Milk, Homemade Rice Milk, Homemade Jello, Homemade Ketchup, salad dressingLiquid Stevia Drops, Homemade Baking Powder, Homemade Powdered Sweetener, and Homemade Protein Bars.

Am I crazy?  Not sure, but it sure helps us save money.

One of our favorite things to make homemade is nut butter

Nut butters and seed butters are great spread on things like my Super Quick Drop Biscuits or Gluten Free Wraps.

Or eaten on a spoon.  A large spoon :-).

I use butters in my Almond Butter Truffles and I soon hope to post a Cookie Dough Truffle that we love !!!

But until you’ve made your own Homemade Almond Butter (or any of those other butters), you really haven’t tasted anything yet.

Nut Butter and Seed Butter Tips:

1.  If you’re eating Jif, switching to a nut butter without trans fats and sugar is a great step in the right direction.  But…. did you know that a lot of  almonds are pasteurized with a chemical called PPO, which is engine fuel – Ick, right?)

2.  Making your own butters from seeds and nuts that are soaked and dried in a dehydrator is better still.

3.  The healthiest nut and seed butter is made by purchasing organic seeds and/or nuts and then grinding them into butter yourself.  But that gets pricey.  Here’s what I do.

We do purchase organic sunflower seeds, but most of our other nuts (macadamias, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans) are all conventional.  We haven’t chosen to spend our money on going organic with all of these items at this time.  We can only do so much.

There are other methods for making the butters, but I don’t think you can match the Vitamix for consistency, convenience and speed.  I know some of you like other blenders, but for me, Vitamix is the answer.  I’d love to hear if anyone has success otherwise, however.

I’ve read about using a food processor to make nut butters, but I heard from another reader who was trying to make almond butter in her Viking Food Processor (the same one that I have :-)) and it wasn’t working.  I’ve read many similar comments on the internet as well.  When it does work, it usually takes 13-15 minutes.  Compare that to about 2 minutes in the Vitamix.  That’s one reason I’m sold on this machine.

If you don’t have a Vitamix yet, please don’t give up on making nut butters.  I just think that the food processor method will be frustrating as a long term solution.  [I just actually ran up to the kitchen to try making sunflower seed butter in my professional food processor, and after blending for about 5 minutes, it still is not done :-(.  The mixture has now made its way into my Vitamix blender and will soon be smooth.]

UPDATE:  I am currently test driving the Blend-Tec as well.  Hopefully I’ll have an update soon but Vitamix has a new model too.

Homemade Nut Butter and Seed Butter

TIPS:

1.  To save on cleaning time, I typically make 2 batches of nut or seed butter at a time and sometimes more.  That way I only have to clean the blender container out once.  You know – I love to cook, but the clean up part?  Not so much.

2.  And here’s a great money saving idea:

After you are done making the butter, fill your blender up with about 3-5 cups of clean water.  Then turn the blender on high speed and let it run for about 1 minute.

The result: Dairy-free Nut or seed milk (great for those with food allergies) that you can use in your tea, coffee (or coffee substitute), or for baking as you wish!  It won’t be as thick as regular nut or seed milk, but if you wish to add some more nuts/seeds you can.  Then blend for about 1 1/2 minutes.  Have you seen the prices on almond milk in the grocery store???  You just saved about $2.50!

When you make the butters in the Vitamix, you may find it necessary to, add a bit of liquid oil (I prefer mild flavored olive) to the blender in order to facilitate blending.  I don’t typically find this necessary, but pumpkin seeds and almonds tend to be quite dry.

Fresh ground almond butter, peanut butter, and for those of you with peanut allergies who have been buying Sunbutter, have you looked at the price of that stuff?  – $30 for 6 pounds on Amazon?!  I get organic sunflower seeds for about $1.50 per pound.  That’s some serious savings.  Add some natural sweetener to the blender and make your own.

You can substitute nut and seed butters pretty freely in recipes.  There will be some texture changes, but I am not a recipe purist I started out trying to be one, but my stress level benefits when I realize that — newsflash — I am not perfect.  I do the best I can.

More Money-Saving Whole Foodie Ideas:

Easiest Almond Milk
Easiest Coconut Milk
Homemade Coconut Butter
Easiest Sun Dried Tomatoes
DIY Powdered Egg Replacer
Powdered Sugar Substitute 

And make sure you read why there might be Engine Fuel on Your Almonds.  It’s a must read.  Yes – I said “engine fuel”.  Sheesh.

What kind of nut or seed butters does your family eat?

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  1. Thanks so much for this easy-tp-follow recipe! I tried almond butter once in my Vita Mix but the recipe said to add way too much oil, and I used coconut oil…. Just did this today and I have a lovely batch of almond butter ready to use. :-)

  2. So I’ve never made my own nut butter before. Instead of dehydrating the nuts after soaking, could one just make the butter with the wet, soaked nuts? Or is the dehydrating necessary? Thanks!

  3. Alison PRice says:

    HI Adrienne :)
    Going to try the nut butters myself again. So reading through the posts it seems that you have found that soaking then dehydrating (vs. soaking and going straight to the Vitamix with wet nuts) does effect the taste? Just curious if I could skip the dehydrating part… :)

    • Hi Alison! If you don’t dry the nuts, the nut butter will be watery. We tried it once and it’s pretty bad. I believe I’ve seen some people do it that way but I don’t think you will like the resulting texture. Many say you need to add oil to the almonds but I find I can get them into a butter without the oil – just if you dry them a lot it makes a really thick butter. That is one thing I haven’t figured out. All the nut and seed butters on the market seem to be pretty moist – but they don’t indicate that they have oil added and I don’t know how they do that. :)?

  4. I have a Blendtec and it took a bit of patience to make almond butter, but peanut butter is a breeze.

  5. Whats the shelf life for making your own nut butters? Keep in the refreg, I’m sure.

    • Hmm… I am reading 6-9 mos in the fridge but I can’t say for sure. We never have it in there that long for sure. That I am sure about!

      • Thanks for the reply!
        …Also, since I don’t have a dehydrator what I do with the soaked nuts afterwards is: spread them on a cookie sheet and put them in the oven without turning on the gas. It takes awhile, but it works:)

  6. Hi Adrienne! Which type of container do you have on your Vitamix? Is it the tall skinny one? or the newer “under the cabinet” version? I haven’t tried making almond butter in my Vitamix yet, since I really like the product that I get out of my food processor (I had that first). It takes a long time in the food processor & I’m sure I’m shortening it’s life putting it through all that stress. Unfortunately, the Vitamix recipe requires added oil, which is unnecessary in my food processor. I have the tall skinny container on my Vitamix & I’m thinking it might need the oil to get a smooth product. Have you successfully made a smooth almond butter without oil?

    • I use the taller one – I have the 5200. That’s what I was worried about too w/ the food processor. I never use added oil – sometimes the butter turns out dry but we just deal with it. I will likely add some coconut oil in the future. It seems to depend on how much my nuts have been dried. :)

  7. I have a Blendtec blender, well actually mine is a K-Tec from before their blenders became so popular (mine is part of a mixer, food slicer combo thingy). I love the nut butters I have made in it, all 2 times, lol! But those were some really good cookies!

  8. Can this be made with raw organic sunflower seeds without the soaking and drying? I don’t currently have a dehydrator and am very anxious to make this. Thanks

  9. I am seriously considering making my own butters, but got snagged on a few things. How much nut butter is made via 8 oz and 16 oz of nuts? Do I need more to get a regular size container like in the stores? I live next to a Whole Foods and I can buy nuts in the bag or by bulk. (This would point me toward the bulk option and save on the plastic packaging.)
    Also, I see a lot of raw and roasted nuts. I know that roasting nuts changes the nutritional content of the nuts and they’re not as good as the unroasted. Does raw equate unroasted? If I buy salted, do I need to add more salt when grinding?

    • It depends on the size jar you buy but most are 16 oz. I don’t add more salt when grinding but that’s up to your taste. I could see adding some for more flavor. Raw should equate with unroasted but some will not consider flash pasteurized or steamed or chemically treated nuts to be raw.

  10. Does it matter which Vitamix you use to make nut butters?

  11. Katarina Squillace says:

    Hello! I have made my first almond butter in Vitamix and I have to say it didn’t looked like butter ( I didn’t add any oil to it, which I’ll include next time), but the problem is that Vitamix overheats the nut butter while making it. The almond butter I acquired is not raw product anymore!

    • Sometimes my butters are thinner than others and I don’t know why. Must be the moisture content of them. As for the rawness, I have never measured the temp of the butter but I would assume it gets hotter than 115. You could try making it in small spurts and that would likely reduce the temp.

  12. Do you have a recipe for homemade tahini? I have one but i can’t get it blended. It calls for 4 cups of sesame seeds Bake 10 mins cool But in vitamix with 1/2 cup of melted coconut oil. Any suggestions?

  13. I made some sunbutter in my new Kitchenaid food processor the other day and it only took a couple of minutes, including scraping down the bowl. I thought it was much easier and faster than using my Vitamix, which is hard to scrape out of.

  14. I forgot to say that I added a little coconut oil and a little sunflower oil. Both are mild.