2-4tablespoonsunflavored oilif necessary, for easier blending (see note 2)
pinch of saltoptional but recommended (see note 3)
Sweeteneroptional (see note 4)
Add cashews to a high-powered blender or food processor. Pulse the cashews until they are finely chopped.
Process or blend on a low speed for 1 minute continuously, then stop the machine and scrape down the sides. The cashew butter will be dry and gritty.
Process or blend on a low speed a second time for 1 minute continuously, then stop the machine and scrape down the sides. The cashew butter will start to form a clumpy paste.
Process or blend on a low speed a third time for 1 minute continuously, then stop the machine and scrape down the sides. The cashew butter will be thick and grainy at this point. If the blender or food processor is having a hard time blending or if the motor is overheating, add a little oil - just enough to facilitate blending, otherwise, the cashew butter could end up oily.
Process or blend on a medium speed fourth time for 1 to 2 minutes longer. The cashew butter should be creamy and smooth at this point. It will also be warm and fragrant and delicious. If desired, add a pinch of salt and sweeten.
Cashews: To roast cashews, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Add raw cashews in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 10-15 minutes. But don't walk away! Stir occasionally to prevent scorching and keep an eye on your cashews since oven temperatures may vary.
Oil (optional): A neutral oil, such as grapeseed oil or olive oil helps raw cashews blend smoothly.
Salt (optional): A pinch of good sea salt boosts the flavor.
Sweetener (optional): A little sweetener to taste can be nice. Try brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, or stevia.
Yield: 4 cups of nuts makes about 16 ounces of cashew butter. 1 serving = 1 ounce / 2 tablespoons
Storage: At room temperature, cashew butter should keep for up to 2 weeks, if you can keep away from it for that long. If you want to savor it, store the cashew butter in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for 6 months. Cold nut butter will be harder to spread.
Use at least 4 cups of nuts: This recipe doesn’t work as well with smaller amounts.
Raw or roasted: Roasting enhances the flavor and aroma of the cashews. Any nut is always better roasted. And, freshly-roasted cashews with warm oils will blend just a little faster, too.
Patience: Because all machines differ, it may take longer to get the desired results at your house. Don’t give up!
Caramel: You can go natural and use dates and a tiny bit of vanilla extract to make cashew butter taste like caramel. After grinding the cashews into a fine powder in step 2, add a couple of soft pitted Medjool dates. Proceed with the recipe as written, adding a little oil, if needed. Once it is completely blended, add a little vanilla extract and a good pinch of salt and blend again. Keep in the refrigerator for up to several weeks.
Chocolate: Add 1/4 cup melted dark chocolate during the final stage of blending, or add 2-4 tablespoons of good quality cocoa powder plus a little sweetener to taste.
Coconut: Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup toasted shredded coconut (preferably unsweetened) to the blender or food processor during the first step. The natural oil from the coconut will be released and you may not need to add any extra oils. Or, after the butter is finished, gently fold in wide-flaked coconut for a crunchy butter. If you like coconut, you will LOVE this.