I am a total peanut butter nut (pun intended). It is one of my favorite foods in the entire world and I could literally eat it every day. However, lately I have been into the idea of trying my hand at making some homemade nut butters, with a nut other than the peanut.
(How many times can you get the word 'nut' in a sentence?)
Since I love walnuts, and they are delightfully healthy, I decided to give walnut butter a try, and I am so glad I did. The result was a delicious treat with wonderful texture, just the right amount of salty and sweet and a nice alternative to my beloved peanut butter. Do give this recipe a try - you will not be disappointed.
Two notes before you read the recipe:
1) You can use normal cinnamon, but if you feel like splurging a little, try McCormick's Roasted Saigon Cinnamon. It is a little spicier, with a bolder cinnamon flavor. Also great on oatmeal and in cookies, this is just a great spice to have in your pantry.
2) It is recommended that you use walnut oil, but if you don't have it, canola oil will do. However, walnut oil is full of the rockstar omega-3 fatty acids and is great for cooking at a high heat, so it is a good all-around oil to have around.
Homemade Cinnamon Walnut Butter
(original recipe by Gluten Free Girl and The Chef)
Makes 1 cup
2 cups walnuts, shelled
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp honey
1 tsp Roasted Saigon Cinnamon
2 tsp walnut oil
1) Soak the walnuts overnight in a large bowl of water. This will help remove the bitter taste that walnuts tend to have.
2) Once the walnuts have been soaked, drain and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Spread the walnuts out onto a cookie sheet and roast in the oven until the walnuts are dry and slightly golden, about 10 - 15 minutes. Make sure not to let them burn, as that will change the taste of the butter. Once toasted, remove from oven and let them cool entirely.
3) Put the cooled, toasted walnuts in the food processor and pulse until they are broken down, crumbly and slightly sticky. Add the salt, honey and cinnamon and pulse until combined. Taste the walnut paste and adjust seasonings as needed. When I was making it, at this point I added a little more honey and a little more cinnamon, but it's totally a matter of taste.
4) When happy with the seasonings, slowly drizzle in the oil while the food processor is running. The walnut paste will turn into walnut butter after a few seconds and you will be one happy camper. (Feel free to add a little more oil if you feel the texture is too dry.)
I stored my walnut butter in a mason jar (I will never tire of storing things in mason jars) and am really happy with how it turned out. It is great paired with apples, on bread with apple butter (heeellloooo amazing) and would taste delicious with a mild, soft cheese and crackers.
I am now totally inspired to try other combinations of nuts and seasonings. Next time I think I will go savory...maybe pecans and curry? Walnuts and roasted garlic? Almonds and paprika? I really think the possibilities are endless.
I hope you enjoy!
Can you think of any other combinations that might work?