saltwill help enhance the flavor of the nuts and cashew butter
oilshouldn't be needed unless you use raw cashews (and sometimes not even then); use a neutral oil like avocado oil, or coconut oil
sweetenergranulated sugars (like coconut sugar), dates (or date paste), sweeteners (like monk fruit or erythritol), or even liquid sweeteners (like honey or maple syrup - use with caution as they can cause the butter to seize - read recipe notes for more information)
Check the blog post for all the optional add-ins and flavored cashew butter varieties!
To make soaked cashew butter (it's often referred to as sprouted, though cashews don't physically "sprout", as almonds do), you'll need to start the process of making homemade cashew butter with a couple of additional steps: soaking and dehydrating. Here's how (make sure to leave 1 ½ day for these extra steps).
Step 1: Soak the cashews
Add the cashews to a large bowl and cover with cold/room temperature water. Leave to soak for at least 4 hours, up to 24. (I do this at room temperature and will replace the water after 12 hours if I do a full day soak).
Drain the nuts, rinse them once more, and use a clean tea towel to pat them as dry as possible.
Step 2: Dry the nuts
There are three ways to dry the cashews: in a dehydrator (best if you want to make raw cashew butter), oven, or air-drying (though they can take days to dry depending on the climate/temperature).Dehydrator: spread the cashews across the dehydrator tray/s in a single layer. Then, dehydrate at 104ºF/40ºC for 14-18 hours, or until completely dry.Oven: to mimic a dehydrator, use the lowest temperature available (often 122ºF/50ºC) until dry. Alternatively, you can heat them at a higher heat, with the door just slightly propped open (to allow steam to escape).The nuts need to be dry to continue with the cashew butter recipe. If you want to make raw cashew butter skip the following step.Now carry on to roast the cashews.
For Regular Cashew Butter
Step 1: Roast the cashews
Spread the raw cashews across a large baking tray and roast in a pre-heated oven at 330ºF/165ºC for 10-15 minutes, until golden in color and fragrant.
Remove the tray from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes.
Step 2: Blend the cashews into a smooth butter
Pour the cashews into your food processor/blender and blend until smooth. During this process, the cashews will go through several stages. First, they’ll be ground into a fine meal. Then they will start to thicken up as the oils release. Next, it will form a ball, a thick paste, and finally, a smooth, creamy cashew butter.While blending, give your machine a break every 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the jug (to avoid it overheating, and make sure all the nuts are evenly processed).The time it takes to blend the cashew butter to your desired ‘smoothness’ will depend on the machine you’re using, the cashews (whether roasted or raw), and your desired smoothness. For this super-smooth roasted cashew butter, the process usually takes between 12-15 minutes (machine breaks included).
If you're using raw cashews: if your particular machine is very high-powered, you may still not require any additional oil. However, if the cashews won't go past the powder/ball stage for several minutes, I recommend adding 1-2 tablespoons of oil.
Once you've reached the desired consistency, you can then add in any extra ingredients for flavored cashew butter or transfer it straight to an airtight jar.
How to Store
Store: you can store the cashew in the refrigerator for between 6-8 weeks, using clean utensils in the jar each time. It may last up to four months, by I always finish the jar within 6 weeks, so I can’t guarantee it.Note that it’s normal for the cashew butter to separate when chilled (solids and the bottom with oils on top). Just give it a good stir before using.Freeze: alternatively, transfer the cashew butter to a freezer-safe container and freeze for between 3-4 months.
Patience is key: depending on your particular food processor/blender, this process can take as little as 5 minutes, up to 20 (or more!). Just remember to give your machine breaks so it doesn’t overheat.
For crunchy cashew butter: add a 1/4-1/3 cup of cashews to the processor, to begin with, and pulse several times until a crumb consistency then set aside. You can then fold them into the cashew butter at the end.
Use a food processor when possible: I’ve found they work best unless you have a very powerful blender.
Taste the cashews first: I know this sounds odd, but if you've just gotten a new brand – cashews can vary quite a bit. So make sure you like the flavor of the nut before blending.
If you use raw cashews: you're more likely to need to add some oil to the recipe. I’d still practice patience and give it at least 10 minutes. However, if it won’t move past the crumbly/balled up phase for several minutes, add in 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil and continue.
Make sure to add any flavorings after the butter is creamy and smooth, and aim to use flavored varieties within two weeks as the shelf life will change.
Check the blog post for more top tips and answers to FAQs!