Creamy Homemade Cashew Butter is perfect for spreading on toast or adding to salad dressings. This Oil-Free Cashew Butter Recipe is an easy way to save money over store-bought nut butter. Give it a try and you'll be hooked!
I've long been a lover of almond butter, but lately, I've been absolutely obsessed with its creamy cousin: Cashew Butter! Not only is it perfect for spreading on morning toast and adding to salad dressings and oil-free vegan baked goods, but the smell is divine. It actually reminds me of cake batter or cookie dough! Plus making your own cashew butter at home will save you tons of money over store-bought. So if you've never tried making homemade nut butter, take a look at this tutorial and you'll find everything you need to know to make your own cashew butter.
You'll love this cashew butter recipe because it's:
- Creamy & Delicious
- Quick & Easy
- Vegan / Vegetarian
- High in Magnesium, Zinc, Vitamin K, and more
- Perfect for breakfast, lunch, and snacks
- Perfect for adding to Salad Dressings & Baked Goods
Can I use a blender to make cashew butter?
I had the same question, so I gave it a try. I used a blender similar to a Vitamix, but I was sorely disappointed. I had hoped the process would be at least similar to using a food processor, if not easier. But it was not. Let me outline some of the problems I faced when using a blender.
- It took FOREVER! I couldn't believe how long it took. I'm used to cashew butter taking about 10 minutes in the food processor. This took almost 1 hour! Yes, you read that right.
- I had to scrape down the sides about 100 times. Again. Insane. When I make cashew butter in the food processor I scrape down the sides several times, but nowhere near that amount.
- When the cashew butter was finally done, it was really difficult to get it out of the blender. Most of it was stuck deep under the blades. When I use a food processer, I simply lift the blades out and use a rubber spatula to scrape out the cashew butter.
- Cleaning the blender was also a pain because the cashew butter was stuck under the blades.
Conclusion: From now on I'll stick with making cashew butter in the food processor.
Can I use pre-roasted and/or salted cashews?
Yes, but with a word of caution. I like blending the cashews when they are warm, as it seems to speed up the process. So using pre-roasted cashews might take a little longer (then again you skip the roasting time, so maybe it's a wash).
I would be more concerned about using salted cashews since they tend to be very salty. When you start with unsalted cashews you can control the amount of salt (or leave it out altogether). You could try rinsing the salt off of the cashews, but make sure they are thoroughly dried before you start processing (see my warning below).
Can I make other nut butters following these steps?
Yes! The process for making almond butter is exactly the same, as you can see in my tutorial about making almond butter. I have not tried making sunflower seed butter yet, but according to the internet, the process is virtually the same.
The fact that you're making cashew butter from scratch rather than buying it pre-made is enough to save you money. That said, whole cashews can be expensive, so here are a few money-saving tips.
- Buy cashew pieces, rather than whole cashews. They are almost always cheaper. You can also usually find cashew pieces in the baking aisle.
- Nuts in the baking aisle (even whole nuts) are usually cheaper (same nuts, different packaging).
- Finally, if you buy nuts in bulk, you can usually save a little money. (Nuts can be stored in the freezer to keep them fresh longer, so don't be afraid to stock up.)
Don't make this mistake!
The first time I made almond butter I got impatient and added a little water to the nuts as they were processing. I thought this might help them blend better, but water and oil (from the nuts) don't like each other, so this effectively ruined the almond butter. You can read more about it in my post on how to make almond butter, but just take my word for it, DON'T ADD WATER!
- Cashews! For best results, start with raw, unsalted cashews.
- Sea Salt: This is completely optional, but I find that a pinch of salt really enhances the flavor of the cashew butter.
- Some people like to add a tablespoon of coconut oil near the end of blending. This can help with the consistency. However, I prefer to leave it out.
- You can add 1 to 2 tablespoons of maple syrup to the cashew butter at the end of blending to make a sweet maple butter that's great on morning toast.
How to make cashew butter
- Set the oven to 325F or 165C (no need to preheat). Place the cashews on a baking sheet and roast for about 10 minutes, or until they are lightly browned. Let cool 1 to 2 minutes until they are safe to handle.
- Place the cashews in a food processor with the S-blade. Blitz on high for a few minutes. The cashews will quickly turn into coarse flour. You will need to stop the food processor to scrape down the sides a few times.
- After a few minutes, the cashews will start to release their oils. You'll notice small pearl-like granules forming. Continue to run the food processor on high. Stop to scrape down the sides as needed.
- Eventually, the granules will start to stick together to form what looks very much like cookie dough. If you're really lucky, a big dough ball will form and roll around the food processor as it's running. At this point, you shouldn't have to scrape down the sides.
- The dough will suddenly thin out and turn into "butter." At this point, the cashew butter is almost done! (Look at the photo below on the left. This is what the cashew butter will look like when it magically transforms from "dough" to "butter.")
- After the "dough" turns to "butter" continue to run the food processor on high for 3 to 5 minutes. Don't skip this step! This will make the cashew butter smooth and creamy. (See the photo below on the right. You can see that while both could pass for cashew butter, the one on the right is much smoother.)
- Once the cashew butter reaches that smooth, creamy consistency, you can serve and enjoy right away or store for later.
How to serve
- I like toast with cashew butter and either Chia Berry Jam or Apricot Chia Jam smeared on top. Throw on another piece of bread and you have a sandwich that's perfect for packed lunches.
- Spread on a healthy muffin! Some of my favorites include Pumpkin, Blackberry, and Zucchini.
- I also love toast topped with cashew butter, sliced strawberries, and hemp seeds.
- Cashew Butter is creamy and can sometimes be added to savory dishes. I use it in place of butter in my Vegan Butter Chicken.
- It can be added to creamy salad dressings in place of oil.
- You can use cashew butter in baking. It would make a good substitute for almond butter in these Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies and Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.
How to store
- Store cashew butter in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last up to 4 weeks. As it sits in the refrigerator longer, it will start to dry out a bit.
- Before serving, it helps to give the nut butter a little stir, especially if the oils have separated. This will also make it easier to spread.
- 3 cups raw, unsalted cashews
- 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt (optional)
- Turn the oven on to 325F or 165C. (No need to preheat). Roast the cashews for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.
- Add the roasted cashews to a food processor. Blitz on high, occassionally stopping to scrape down the sides.
- The cashews will transform from a coarse flour, to a dough, to a "butter." (See photos above). This will take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes, depending on your food processer. Be patient and DON'T ADD WATER.
- Once the cashews have turned into "butter," continue to run the food processor on high for 3 to 5 minutes. This will make the cashew butter smooth and creamy.
- Serve and enjoy right away or store for later.
- Some people find the adding a tablespoon of coconut oil improves the creaminess and spreadability. I prefer to leave it out.
- Do not use a mini food processor. They are not powerful enough.
- I don't recommend using a blender unless you have something really powerful like a Vitamix.
- The exact time for processing will vary based on the power of your food processor and how many cashews you're blending.
- Although the recipe calls for 3 cups of cashews, anything from 2 to 4 cups will work. The exact amount isn't important.
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