I knew I’d be eating a lot of nuts on Whole30, and I’d thought the cashews and cashew butter I regularly eat were fine. They’re Whole Foods brand and don’t have crap in them. I thought. (Pretend you didn’t see where this is going.) The butter doesn’t even have any added sugar. After eating the cashews for the first day or two I realized they are roasted with canola oil. I reached for the cashew butter in my desk at work on Friday only to be devastated to see safflower oil in the ingredients. WHY, HIPPIE GODS, WHY?
So this weekend I made my own toasted cashews and pecans. Take your raw, shelled nuts and either toss them in some olive oil and salt, or don’t. The nuts I toasted for eating out of hand got salt and oil, the nuts used in this butter stayed naked. I spread them on a sheet pan and roasted at 350 for about 20 minutes, stirring them and checking on them every 3-5 minutes until they started looking toasty and getting fragrant. I put the oiled, salted pecans back in the resealable bag they came in, which I feel was a stroke of genius you should celebrate me for. Then I made coconut cashew butter.
*Edited to add: This is not OVERLY coconutty. It has a nice mellow background of coconut. You could add coconut flakes (dried, unsweetened, etc.) to really punch up the coconut if you want. Mostly I just wanted to say “punch up the coconut”.
I don’t have exact measurements for the oil, but I have an idea. And frankly, it doesn’t matter that much. I made this in my Blendtec, which is not dirty despite what it looks like in this picture. Anyone know how to get that banged-up look off your blender container?
3 cups toasted cashews
healthy pinch of salt – half a teaspoon?
2-3 teaspoons of extra light olive oil
2 tablespoons-ish unrefined coconut oil. More if you feel like it. I added more as it was processing.
This makes about 16 ounces and you’ll probably wish you had more but word to the wise: DO NOT try to make a double batch all at once. Without oil. Unless your blender is still under warranty and you feel like being inconvenienced and blender-less for a time. Maybe I know someone who did that a few years ago, okay? And maybe that person is not entirely without good qualities, like her ability to make coconut cashew butter, OKAY?
I followed the instructions in the recipe book that came with my Blendtec. Throw everything in there and put it on setting one for a full cycle. It will look like it’s not even running. Scrape down the sides, let it run on level 5 for a full cycle. Scrape down the sides. Keep running it at 5 and scraping down the sides until it’s at your desired texture. Add more coconut oil if you want. I’ve made plenty of cashew butter in this blender and none has come together so quickly as this did. All that oil, man. I could’ve left out the olive oil entirely, but the coconut oil was solid at room temp and I was scarred by my previous experience ruining a blender so I wanted some oil in there that was liquid.
The recipe calls for three teaspoons of oil to three cups of nuts, which yields a lovely, thick classic nut butter texture. This version is definitely on the thin side – it almost reminded me of tahini. It might be too thin for your typical sandwich preference, but for Whole30 who cares? I can’t wait to drizzle this over some sliced pears.